An $18 million video game tournament was taken down by a hack attack

Dota 2ValveA screenshot from Dota2.

The International — the world championships for mega-popular online game Dota 2 with $US18 million in prizes from developer Valve Software — was brought to a crashing halt in the middle of its very first round of the second day thanks to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

In a DDoS attack, a server is bombarded by so much phony traffic that the network overloads and shuts down.

It’s one of the simplest and most effective ways to cripple a public network. The word that this was a DDoS attack came via a Dota 2 analyst on the official The International livestream, PC World reports.

Since the Dota 2 matches at The International are played via the public Internet, not a local network, the tournament was prone to an outside attack.

When gameplay paused, Dota 2 teams Evil Geniuses and compLexity Gaming were just starting their match.

The match has been paused for almost an hour and counting, with analysts and match correspondants on the tournament show floor filling time until the match can be restarted.

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