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Cheating case on Hearthstone (another card game)

Hearthstone is a virtual card game, with some similarities to Magic the Gathering, players create decks withing a sets of cards, and then compete with them. Always online, there are never real cards printed.

I read today that during some online tournament (Hearthstone Global Games), Taiwan's team was disqualified for cheating. Most info I got comes from this thread: but I will try to summarize what happened.

The games are played between teams, that means, teams are allowed to seat together and discuss each decision. One player is officially lined up, and plays the game on his computer, but others are allowed to be around him, or even see his screen and talk to him from their houses using Skype.

The games are being broadcasted (the equivalent of our vugraph on BBO) with a 15 minute delay to avoid players looking at their opponent's hand (which is unknown except for the number of cards it holds). Still looking at official vugraph is not allowed.

The Taiwanese team had a conversation that went something like:

-Don't play this way, opponent probably has "Mind Control Tech" (a card that could make them most likely lose)

-That card was discarded on the "tracking" event.

-How do you know? (the "tracking" event is supposedly private, opponents cannot know what you discard)

-He just saw it

-How did you see it?

*Moment of silence*

-Dynamic Vision


And then they all laugh.


Turns out the Tracking event that produce discards had happened the way described (With Mind Control Tech being one of the cards picked to be discarded), it occured on the early turns of the game, and more than 15 minutes had passed since the beginning of that game that was lasting long, and so, they had seen it on the official broadcast. Since they were all playing form their homes with an skype conversation, any player except the lined up player could be browsing whatever he wanted on his computer.


The Taiwanese lined up player was so naive that he uploaded the skype conversation himself, and had he not do so himself they wouldn't had been caught.


From what I read, and given that prizes on Hearthstone are quite big, the crazy thing would be that there was a single team not cheating given the nearly unexisting security measures.



On the other side of the spectrum we have another case of the same game 2 months ago. A more serious tournament in the individual format, where 2 players faced in a match, each one playing from their country, but playing in an official venue, with a tournament director behind them at most times.

The winner would be the one who got at least 3 victories from 5 total games. After the first game was finished, officials from the host country, announced that the game had to be replayed, because due to a communication issue, it could had been possible for the player from the other country to get audio from the live commentators.

Some people were suspicious to the fact that the player who had lost that game was from the host country, and the winner was a foreigner playing from around 5.000 km distance.

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