LGD owner Pan “RuRu” Jie has been accused of stealing an API Key from Perfect World, back in 2013. The allegations come from Douma, co-founder and former employee of the VPGAME betting platform – also owned by Pan “RuRu” Jie. The stolen API Key was allegedly used to access private lobbies and inventories in the game client, and transfer items between platforms. RuRu has been accused of using the API Key to unjustly obtain scrim and strategy data from opponents. In addition, the API Key was reportedly used in an elaborate inventory items scam put together to eliminate competition for the VPGAME betting platform.
Pan “RuRu” Jie has been accused of stealing a Dota 2 API Key in 2013 from Perfect World, that allegedly allowed her various organizations to dishonestly gain the upper hand on multiple business levels.
As owner of the LGD Gaming organization – which included CDEC at that time – as well as owner of the VPGAME betting site and KeyTV productions, RuRu is involved in multiple aspects of esports and Dota 2 in China and has strong connections with Perfect World.
Perfect World is a China-based video game company specializing in MMORPGs founded in 2004 with a primary aim to develop and market games with Chinese characteristics. In October 2012, Valve announced an agreement granting Perfect World exclusive rights to market and distribute Dota 2 in mainland China. This means they have full access to the API Keys and all the information Valve uses in order to complete transactions and produce the game.
Douma – cofounder and former employee of VPGAME, has reported that RuRu was able to obtain (specific wording used “steal”) an API Key from her connections in Perfect World, in 2013. It is important to note that the accuser has made it clear that Perfect World was unaware of this, absolving them of any participation in the situation.
This specific key has allegedly allowed RuRu to access private lobby information, as well inventory items. The implications are therefore two-fold in how she reportedly used this information.
API Key private lobbies
Having access to the private lobbies of any opponents allows for the user to obtain information on scrims. This includes all roster info, strategy, and all data necessary for obtaining a competitive edge not normally or readily accessible.
More than likely, the person using the key would have been a coach or statistician to extrapolate data and prepare players against their opponents in various tournaments. The implication would be that any of the various teams under RuRu’s ownership at the time (LGD and CDEC) could have potentially benefited financially and in their status/rankings.
Players across the board were most likely unaware of the possession of the key or how their strategies/data were devised.
Should the allegations be proven true, this would cast a shadow on CDEC’s spectacular run at The International 5 – a blemish that would be devastating for all parties involved.
API Key inventory
The API Key allows the user to not only view but fully access inventories.
According to the allegations, the key has also been used to move items freely between any Steam users. As stated in the information provided, VPGAME was able to do this by misleading Valve into thinking that VPGAME competitors (大力菠菜, DOTAMAX) were the ones scamming their users. When the employees first learned about the ability to move items, they were instructed by RuRu to move 大力菠菜’s items (dragonclaw hook and Rotten Stache) to DOTAMAX and then move some of VPGAME’s arcanas to DOTAMAX. This would frame DOTAMAX, when both 大力菠菜 and VPGAME would report the loss of items to Valve, and the lost items would then show up in DOTAMAX’s inventory.
VPGAME allegedly used this strategy to have their competition banned for misuse and negative business practices.
API Key allegations disclaimer
The information that has come forward regarding this incident is following a messy dispute between RuRu and Douma. It appears that when Douma prepared to leave VPGAME to join C5game there were some issues that led into lawsuits and Douma then exposed the situation.
While the information provided appears to back up the allegations on the surface, there is no direct confirmation as of yet. Neither Valve nor IceFrog have made a public statement about the accusations.
It also appears that Perfect World and the players on the various teams were not aware or involved in the matter.