ESEA recently found it prudent to use idle machines connected to their matchmaking client for bitcoin mining.
Rather than outline the reasons why this is incredibly stupid, or potentially criminal, I’d rather call attention to the reaction to the discovery that this was going on. They’re essentially trying to pass this off as an inadvertent deployment of bitcoin mining routines cooked up as an April Fools joke.
An April Fools joke? How would “lol we ran everyone’s GPUs at 100% for a day to get some magic fairy e-money!” in any way boil down to a thinly veiled absurd practical joke. No, don’t think so, not buying it.
If the revelation was that they had discussed the possibility of entering the malware business by turning their PUG system into a botnet, but ultimately nixed the idea because holy shit can you possibly be that stupid, I could buy that. People inadvertently come up with horrible, user-abusive ideas for software all the time. Usually they’re quickly recognized as such, and scrapped.
Not in this case. Code for mining on subscriber machines was written, tested, deployed, and seemingly ran for weeks before some people got hip to what was going on and demanded it stop.
That’s where it breaks down. Bugs are accidental, functional code that executes properly towards a particular goal isn’t accidental. Code is deliberate. This was deliberate.
ESEA has long considered themselves to have a permanent position as a profitable fixture of the esports scene, and their administrators have acted for years as though completely untouchable. I don’t think they should enjoy such a position much longer.