Dotabuff violates Dota 2’s player privacy settings, giving players an unfair edge

Let's not ban each other's mains anymore.

Dotabuff is a statistics source for Dota 2 fans that allows them to keep track of their performance and the current meta. Though Valve allows players to opt out of its API and prevent websites like Dotabuff peak into their track records, it looks like the statistics hub has been ignoring privacy settings.

The Dota 2 community has been speculating that the data leak could be tied to an API bug that Valve hasn’t fixed, but Matthew Cyborgmatt Bailey recently revealed that wasn’t the case. 

Given that Valves Dota 2 API is working as intended, Dotabuff could be using alternative methods to reveal hidden user data. On the Reddit thread discussing the topic, esports analyst Ben Noxville” Steenhuisen shared that there were three other alternative ways to gather player data and many Dotabuff-like services were already using them.

In recent years, even players who enjoy publicly displaying their match history started hiding their match history due to scouting apps. These tools allow players to check out the best heroes of their enemies, allowing them to ban or counter pick. In regards to this, fans with limited hero pools thought they could solve the problem by hiding their matchmaking history, which hadn’t been working for a while.

While it looks like an ethical issue, it is up to Valve to patch out the three other ways that allow third parties to fetch user data. Considering Valve also hasn’t made an official statement regarding scouting tools that come in the form of Overwolf apps, there isn’t a line on the sand in this matter. Developers are naturally trying to build tools that can give players an edge on the field and the situation might continue as its until Valve takes an official side.

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