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Valve bans Dota 2 team from The International for using programmable mouse

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Valve has disqualified a Dota 2 team from its upcoming The International 2018 for using a programmable gaming mouse. In doing so, Thunder Predator used an "unfair advantage", so says contest organiser FACEIT (opens in new tab), during the South America qualifiers, which prevents them progressing to August's $15 million competition (opens in new tab).  

As reported by Motherboard (opens in new tab), Thunder Predator's AtuuN is said to have selected Meepo—a Geomancer, who is billed as "one of the hardest carries in the game to play effectively due to his heavy reliance on micromanagement." Meepo can create clones of himself, and when each clone teleports, they deal damage in the surrounding area. And while this cloning method can be a powerful means of offence, said micromanagement means each clone must be instructed individually. 

Under pressure—like, say, during a tournament—this routine isn't easy. 

Motherboard (opens in new tab) links to this YouTube clip (opens in new tab) of AtuuN effortlessly directing Meepo clones around the map during the third game. This caught the attention of the Dota 2 subreddit (opens in new tab), who in turn accused AtuuN of leveraging a software macro—a process that lets players roll complex button combos into fewer/single clicks. 

Combat logs (opens in new tab) (see above) showed that AtuuN teleported Meepo clones at the exact same time. This process would normally take players several seconds—they'd otherwise need to instruct each Meepo individually—but Thunder Predator denied using macros. It did, however, concede that a programmable mouse may be at fault—a Razer Synapse 3.   

"The player of our squadron ‘Atún’ has a Razer Synapse mouse, which, like any professional player, has put its own manual configuration to be able to have a better use of Hardware in benefit of its efficient performance in each of the games played with this hero (Meepo)," says Thunder Predator (via Google Translate) on its official Facebook page (opens in new tab). "In this way, we highlight the fact that no type of hack has been used."

FACEIT, on the other hand, felt differently (opens in new tab).

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Thunder Predator suggests it's been hard done by. "That is why through this announcement," the Facebook post (opens in new tab) continues (again, via Google Translate), "we denounce this accusation, affirming that at no time, our player ‘Atún’ use any type of hack or particular program that facilitated his game mode before the match, yesterday, with the SG team."