With a $100,000 at stake, was Andorra’s entire internet service taken down to nobble an eSports tournament’s favourite?
Andorra Telecom, the only ISP in the principality, came under heavy distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) fire during a multi-day Twitch gaming tournament, reports Tom’s Hardware.
Andorra is the New Zealand of SquidCraft Games, online tournaments which often have six figure prizes, with its eSports players punching way above their weight for a small nation.
The DDoS attacks came during the scheduled SquidCraft Games tournament in Minecraft, which games analyst Esports Charts has described as a record breaking event in the world of Twitch Rivals tournaments.
However due to the flakiness of their network connection, at least eight Andorran contestants crashed out the tournament on the second day after DDoS attacks forced them to be repeated disconnected.
The lights went out all over the routers
Foul play is suspected. There is suspicion that rival games player has planned the DDoS attacks on Andorra Telecom. Andorrans are keen players and a significant portion of the 150 SquidCraft games participants live in Andorra.
Taking out the Andorrran contingent would significantly improve a contestant’s chance to win the $100,000 prize.
The SquidCraft Games was a highly anticipated Twitch streaming event designed to emulate the hit Netflix series called The Squid Game in Minecraft. It had been a viral game streaming event with a peak viewership of over a million on day two of the event. The event ends on Tuesday.
This just isn’t SquidCraft
The early rounds of the tournament went without a hitch for all players, in terms of fairness. The games “green light, red light,” and “hide and seek” ran smoothly to their conclusions.
The “cookie game” round had to be suspended on day two due to a programming glitch. Then the DDoS attack on Andorra Telecom began. At least eight Andorrans were still in contention until suddenly all the lights went out all over their routers.
Their Twitch streams had all been cut simultaneously. This was no accident.
No ordinary cable outage had done this. Sadly the whole population of Andorra was affected as the principality had little or no internet connectivity for over half an hour after the start of the DDoS attacks.
Stream dried, twitching stopped
An hour after the DDoS the Andorrans were no longer Twitching and their stream had dried up. Andorra Telecom Tweeted to admit that it was getting back to normal after a DDoS attack. Until that time, the downed SquidCrafters could only guess on the reasons for their disconnects.
The Andorran contingent returned on the following day of the tournament, but another DDoS on Andorra Telecom left the ISP.
All the Andorran participants in the SquidCraft Games got eliminated from the Twitch tournament. The organizers had no choice, says Toms Hardware.
Andorrans’ DDoS suspicions
Many suspect the DDoS attacks targeted Andorra Telecom because of the tournament, the size of the prize and fear of the Andorroan gamers. A tweet by internet observer NetBlocks confirmed that the Saturday evening attack was targeted at Team Andorra.
Meanwhile, The SquidCraft Games continues into day four of six today with 42 Twitch streamers left.
Team Andorra has been ‘Scooby doo-ed’ [frightened off by spooks] and the hackers have got away with it – for now.