After a lengthy six-month court case, Riot Games has emerged victorious from their legal battle with the German hackers behind the scripting service, LeagueSharp. The website, which provided League of Legends cheats and scripts to thousands of users, have until February 28th to completely cease operations. It’s yet another blot on the eSports landscape eliminated by Riot, who have set the precedent for their 2017 crusade against websites selling scripts for cash.
Scripting is to eSports what doping is to athletics. Within League of Legends, there are two broad categories of scripts: Champion Scripts, which can automate difficult ability combinations and Utility Scripts, the alteration of general gameplay (e.g. dodging assistance).
Though it is nigh on impossible to utilise scripts on stage for an LCS match, players utilising scripts within the pro’s day to day practice environment, Solo queue, can seriously harm game quality. Team SoloMid Mid laner, Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg was just one of many players to experience the immense frustration of playing against a ‘scripter’:
Riot Games hunted down the individuals behind the organisation LeagueSharp, the world’s largest League of Legends hacking and bot service, demanding that the service be shut down out of fear that the scripters “could spell the end of the game”. LeagueSharp provided paying subscribers with the ability to press “Space bar to win”, which according to creators was capable of carrying out “lightning fast perfect combos in a fraction of a second, much faster then normally humanly possible.”
The trio of German hackers behind the organisation — Matthias “Jodusmame” Oltmann, of Grossenkneten, Germany; Stefan “0hm” Stefan Delgato, of Wiesbaden, Germany; and Tyrone Tom “Beaving” Pauer, of Lunen, Germany — employed every trick in the book to avoid justice. Originally, the group set up Misti y Pichu Pichu S.R.L. (Also known as Chachani) as a shell company in Peru to help cover their illegal activities, as outlined by Riot in their lawsuit submission.
Additionally, Riot accused the defendants of operating through a Peruvian shell company, which held the copyright to their scripting software, in hopes that it would protect them from legal ramifications:
“Knowing that this lawsuit was imminent, Defendants have been quickly and carefully destroying or concealing evidence such as their most incriminating online posts and purporting to hide behind a Peruvian shell corporation created solely for the purpose of evading liability.”
Riot Games Legal Complaint
Knowing the fight was almost lost, the LeagueSharp organisation dropped one final martyrdom grenade, hacking and subsequently leaking information about a Riot Games employee:
“[The] defendants or those working in concert with them disseminated personal and non-public information about a Riot employee, threatened that employee, and posted offensive comments on the employee’s social media.”
Riot Games Legal Complaint
Eventually, the defendants agreed to cease all activities, falling to their knees with a whimper:
“As a result of our lawsuit with Riot, we have agreed to cease development and support for LeagueSharp and any other tools related to Riot Games. You also should be aware that using third-party tools in League of Legends may result in the suspension or banning of your account by Riot Games.
“We apologize for any pain we’ve caused to players of League of Legends.”
LeagueSharp Official Statement
Before being forced to close its doors, Riot suspected the LeagueSharp service had an expansive community, consisting of tens of thousands of paying subscribers bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars each month to the hackers.
With the settlement, Riot have taken another step towards eliminating the sordid scripting community. Rival scripting services may well be looking to absorb the overflow of scripters from the closure of LeagueSharp, but each should expect cease and desist documents to find their way into their inbox’s in due course.