Dota 2

This Match & Market abuse has been going on for years without any BAN

Content of the article: "This Match & Market abuse has been going on for years without any BAN"

Hi, this post will be long, apologies for that. But since there is no way of explaining this huge steam community market abuse (that also includes matchmaking abusing) I ask humbly for your patience.

Lets dive in:

As most of you people know, there are various ways to make some little money on Steam community market by BUYING/SELLING Dota2 skins. You can either buy on low season and sell in high (which I usually prefer) or you can catch some cheap items by setting a buyout price and sell them daily for it's average value and get a few cents for each sale. Now obviously that's not something you'd like to invest a lot of time in because:

  1. catching a cheap item is hard. You'll have to check item prices every few minutes for competitors. You have to control the listings if any competitor has set a +1 value (on their own currency) higher buyout price for an item.
  2. Russian ruble and some other currencies has a huge advantage here since you'll see the buyout price in your own currency. Say you're in Germany and you're using EURO. the russian competitor has a currency with smaller units and while you have to upbid the buyout price 1 cent everytime and when you do so, it will appear in any other currency as an increase, the russian competitor can do the same with 1 ruble and it won't get noticed. Because STEAM converts it to EURO and any ruble difference of 1 to 10 will still be in the same range of 1 cent. When he updbids your buyout price, it'll appear as the same value for you on your own EURO interface (1 EURO = 89,47 ruble) but different value for him.

Now steam changed the rules for buyout priorities a few years ago. The first bidder gets the advantage over the highest bidder. So if you're lucky and the BUYER uses EURO, despite having a higher buyout price the russian competitor will lose the bet and you'll get the item. But that is rarely the case and 9 out of 10 times, someone with smaller currency units will buy the item and you'll lose the gamble.

Now lets put this aside and come to the real problem. BOTS! Yes, market BOTS! I've posted about this before and it hit the front page with a few thousand uprotes on r/Steam but nothing changed ever since. There are BOTS that continuously seek for cheap items and set higher buyout prices for those every 2 minutes. I know the identities of some but I'll come to that later. It may sound like a small deal that I am making a fuss about someone setting a better buyout price and getting the item, but when that person does that for 100 different item sets with each of his account, they gain control over thousands of items. These accounts are getting hundred items everyday and sell it back with a better value varying from 0.10$ to 100$. U can imagine that gets them 1-3K on average every month for every account they got! I don't know how many there are but I know at least 10 of them continuously seeking. I've been observing them for the recent 2 years in hope they would get noticed and banned for that! Didn't happen.

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Now let me explain how I got the proof. For the last few weeks, I've been trying to compete on various items to set a higher BUYOUT PRICE. If my BUYOUT PRICE gets replaced every 2 minutes I get suspicious. I try to set higher buyout price for 5-10 times but no matter when & how many times I do that it gets replaced by a higher value. That is unless the bot comes to some ODD number that's bugged. To explain this, I'll quote this:>! !<

There are a few prices(numbers) for every currency in an item listing that no matter how many times you type that specific price, it does get adjusted(reduced) to a very close number. I will call these "ODD numbers" for the sake of simplicity. And if you want an example, here you go:Since I am using the market in Turkey, our currency is TRY. And whatever you do, you can not bid the number 19.07 Turkish liras, cause if you try to set that price for your bidding it gets adjusted to 19.06TRY Same for 19.08TRY, cause it also gets adjusted to 19.06TRY. So if you see a price of 19.06 in the market and want to up bid it, you have to add a number that's at least 19.09 (3 value higher than 19.06) IF you set that up, than now you become the highest bidder. Now I don't know the mystery to this, but there are lots of numbers like this that gets adjusted to a different value. Might be because of currency exchanges and stuff. And I think these numbers are different for every currency. What I experience in 19.07 and 19.08, someone else experiences in a different number for EURO, Russian ruble or Chinese Yuan.

Now that little bug or inconsistency is luckily working in our favor, because it reveals the account behind that behavior is a BOT. The BOT can't make sense of this inconsistency and keeps cancelling their low bid every few minutes to add a higher one but failing in the attempt to set a +1 higher value on that. Let me make it clear with an example.I bid an item for 75.80 TRY, it is not an ODD number in my currency, but it probably is for the person that uses bots to up bid mine every 3 minutes. So every time he cancels his 75.79 bidding price and tries to set 75.81, since it's an ODD number in his own currency, the CLIENT automatically adjusts it to 75.79 again and he repeats this thing over and over again without figuring out what the HELL is going on or setting a manual number that is at least 3 value higher than the current one.

Now when a human being sees that the bid he is setting gets adjusted automatically to a lower number than he has typed in, what would he do? He would try something else right? But machines don't do that, this BOT has been replacing his BID for the last 1 hour 30-40 times already and in my experience it won't stop until some random human being comes with a much higher value so the BOT will try to upbid that one instead and get out of the loop.

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To collect data on these competitors I had to sell my own items for the highest bidder. Surprise Surprise, it was always the same account. After buying mine, he sets a new number for the price again, guaranteeing getting the next cheapest item again.

name has been sealed because of the subreddit rules regarding witch hunting.

Also, this is the inventory of the same account, you can see how many items he is getting everyday.

This is the 3rd page of his inventory and it kept growing every hour.

Also bear in mind that this is just one of the new alt-accounts of the same main BOT acc that has been on the market for at least 2 years. Maybe longer but 2 years ago is the 1st time I noticed it wasn't a real person but a bot.

This is another main BOT account with much bigger inventory.

Most of these accounts are also related with each other as they're on each others friends list. (probably for sending dota plus subscriptions to each other or match abusing)

Now Why and how are they abusing match making? Although it's not the only way to make money, it's one of the consistent ways to do so. Buying inscribed/autographed/normal items and removing/adding gems and selling them with profit. For doing so, they need Artificer's chisels or Artificer's hammers. By having DOTA+ you can get these hammers for 1000 shards. So these accounts buy 100 items using bots for cheap, also do match abusing and get free DOTA+ shards, remove or add gems and sell the items back. Here I show the proof they're also involved in match abusing:

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Games usually end in 16-19 minutes as if they end earlier than 15:00 they do not count.

Countless games ending in 16 to 19 minutes. Not a single normal game played.

Now as you can see, the account is queuing for different regions despite being in the russian region/currency. Is abusing matchmaking to get extra shards everyday. They're probably abusing matchmaking for other reasons too, can't say(maybe boosting, leveling up the Battle PASS etc…). But one thing is certain, they've been doing this for years without being caught. They make thousands of dollars every month. They're ruining the experience for every market trader hoping to get a buck. Every ordinary customer on the market hoping to get an item for cheap gets robbed. I have been trading dota2 items myself too and I am all okay for competition on the market. But knowing these people get 1000x more without the need of being on their screen is foul play.

I've reported this account a year ago and I didn't get a response from VALVE. I've reported him again a week ago, support is still in silence. I am hoping we can get some awareness on this issues that hurts thousands of people on the market. I may edit my post to reveal the identity of the BOTS if the mods approve it. Until then, have a nice day!


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