'Cheating' Scandal Hits $10,000 Hearthstone Tournament

'Cheating' Scandal Hits $US10,000 Hearthstone Tournament

Yesterday, competitive Hearthstone player Radu "RDU" Dima won the DreamHack tournament for Blizzard's digital card game, going home with $US10,000. But the big win comes with an asterisk: during the second match of the finals, observers saw Dima's in-game Hearthstone friends sending him in-game messages that included information about the cards in his opponent's hand.

Screencaps taken by Redditors during the tournament, like the photo above, reveal an observer telling Dima that his opponent has "a bow and a Hunter's Mark [card]."

In a game like Hearthstone, where much of a player's strategy can depend on what cards their opponent is holding, that kind of information can be invaluable.

After reviewing what happened, DreamHack organisers decided that the information would have not affected the match's outcome, and that Dima's victory would stand. But over the past day or so, Hearthstone fans on Reddit and elsewhere have been outspoken about what they see as cheating in one of the world's biggest eSports tournaments.

In a lengthy post on Reddit this morning, Dima said he did not wilfully cheat, and that the person who sent him the message was a stranger that he'd added to his Hearthstone friends list just before the final match.

"I never thought people would do that kind of bullshit but I did not expect somebody to tell me [opponent] Amaz's hand in the point where that information was useless and all the Reddit to start making me a cheater and stuff and ruin all my reputation that I think I deserve," Dima wrote. "Conclusion: Never add randoms after games because they can ruin your whole reputation after you win DreamHack in a legit way."

Jason "Amaz" Chan, who played against Dima in that final round, addressed the situation on his YouTube channel, saying he doesn't think Dima cheated, and that he believes DreamHack should have been better about organising and communicating during the tournament:


    He didn't deliberately cheat, but at the end of the day he still had information about his opponent's hand that he shouldn't have and was able to make informed decisions. At a competition level, that should have at least invalidated the result and forced a rematch.

    Hearthstone is relatively new and it's possible Blizzard hadn't given much thought to high level competitive play. Now that this has come up, it's probably a good idea for Blizzard to give organisers the ability to disable battle.net chat on competition computers, to avoid this kind of thing happening in future.

    All in all, nobody's really to blame except the people who sent the messages in the first place, but it really should have been replayed as a result.

    Not the fault of the player, but I would be curious to learn more about this Pufulette and what the hell they were thinking or doing. Idiot. Respect the game and the players.

    They shouldn't be broadcasting these things live... delay stream based on last move cycle would be good, recording the game and playing it after the win would be better.

    Be nice if they can buffer the steam on a delay. I am surprised this doesn't happen more often in the Hearthstone top bracket given that so many people Twitch stream now, its the new split screen sneaky peeking. Play your game on the left screen, watch aplayers stream on the right.

      These things often have huge crowds there live, I don't think buffering or pre-recording is going to work for that.

    Allowing messages in game during any competition is a n00b mistake by the organisers.

    Imagine a CS comp where people can message you with opponent locations. I mean c'mon. Starcraft II in game chat? "He's building next to you" I mean geez

      I think the biggest mistake from the organisers was broadcasting the games live without delay. Even if chat was disabled, no-delay competitive game broadcasts are a terrible idea.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now