A security breach may have cost current Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen an esports championship victory yesterday, and he’s not happy.
Verstappen was competing in the “24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual” competition, the biggest esports event in endurance racing, which sees real-world FIA drivers compete alongside leading esports players for a total prize fund of US $250,000.
The five-round championship, which culminates in a live 24-hour finale, is ending on a sour note after server problems saw Verstappen – who was leading the race by over a minute – thrown out of the game and disconnected.
Several other drivers reportedly experienced similar problems while competing in the race. Earlier in the race, the Le Mans Virtual organisers had confirmed that it had suffered a “suspected security breach”
Although some may feel that “it’s just a game, what does it matter?” the truth is that esports is big business. Large amounts of money are spent in connection with the creation and organisation of video game tournaments, multi-million dollar sponsorship deals, as well as gambling.
Inevitably this can result in esports events being the target of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against gaming servers, whether it be done with the intention of extorting ransoms from those hosting the virtual competitions or simply mischief.