Valve's $18 million Dota 2 tournament disrupted by crippling DDoS attack

By Scorpus ยท 11 replies
Aug 4, 2015
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  1. The biggest competitive gaming event of all time, Valve's $18 million Dota 2 tournament known as The International 2015, has been disrupted due to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that crippled the event's internet connection.

    This particular DDoS attack halted a best-of-three matchup between Evil Geniuses and compLexity Gaming for several hours as Valve technicians struggled to reduce the impact of the attack. After play resumed around 4:20pm ET, the match continued without further interruptions, although the attackers could attempt another DDoS attack before the tournament finishes on August 8th.

    Dota 2 requires an internet connection to play, unlike some other competitive games that can simply be played over a local network. This means that if an attacker can find the location of the servers that run Dota 2, they can overwhelm them through a simple DDoS attack, putting a stop to any competitive play at the time.

    There's not a whole lot a company can do to prevent a large scale DDoS attack from occurring, as attempts to filter out 'bad' traffic to a server may end up harming legitimate users. Once a server comes under fire from an attack, there are usually some steps a company can take to reduce the impact, although usually some damage has already been done before technicians get the situation under control.

    It's odd that Valve relied on standard Dota 2 servers for the tournament, rather than creating a modified version of the game that used local severs isolated from the public internet. This is one option that Valve may explore to ensure that DDoS attacks don't interrupt their major e-sports events in the future.

    Permalink to story.

  2. 63Jax

    63Jax TS Enthusiast Posts: 85

    Why aren't they using a closed network for this kind of events, something like a LAN, like we used back in the days when we played Star Craft and some other old games when internet was not widely available..
  3. Jamesbrah

    Jamesbrah TS Enthusiast Posts: 60   +12

    Because the game itself requires access to the internet and goes to the standard public servers. It would have to be modified completely for this, in a sort of 'tournament' mode.

    Which I mean I agree, they should have done - but it's probably not as simple as it sounds.
  4. oranuro

    oranuro TS Enthusiast Posts: 49   +13

    Last summer one of the big Dota tournaments DID use a closed network. I remember this because one losing team complained about lag when there was zero latency between hubs.
  5. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,685   +1,084

    Is it bad that I don't care?
  6. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,670   +1,102

    the modification isn't that hard to make.
    Mahmoud Zaki, Adhmuz and Darth Shiv like this.
  7. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,341   +843

    Every competitive game has LAN for tournaments so I don't feel sorry for them for not making one.
  8. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    It's a fair oversight... well let's see if they learnt anything from this...
  9. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 465   +217

    If the tournament was run on a LAN network we would be unable to watch the game within the Dota 2 client using DotaTV.
  10. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,670   +1,102

    CS:GO tried to make GOTV IPs available for all pro games. They ended up with tons of problems (especially ddos). All big leagues and tournaments no longer share their GOTV IPs.
  11. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TS Maniac Posts: 247   +185

    I hope in the coming days we see the news story: "unexpected surge in network traffic coming from Activision Blizzard headquarters seems fishy"
    Phr3d likes this.
  12. DAOWAce

    DAOWAce TS Booster Posts: 268   +39

    *cough* Starcraft 2 *cough*

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