A clip of 33’s Broodmother has sparked a conversation on whether editing Dota config files should be permissible in a competitive setting.

A new clip of Tundra Esports offlaner, Neta "33" Shapira has sparked a debate over whether editing config files in Dota 2 is legal. The clip posted by Daniel "ImmortalFaith" Moza, coach of DPC Div 1 Team Tickles and well known guide creator, shows 33 effortlessly microing his spiderlings, perhaps too effortlessly.

Broodmother players will know issuing that many commands at once and so fast is almost impossible. To achieve this 33 appears to have made a slight alteration to the Dota config files of the game. The question now remains: Should or shouldn't this be legal?

The clip of 33 playing Broodmother is from a match in the OGA Dota finals against Team Spirit, which Tundra won. ImmortalFaith said on Twitter he personally didn't see any difference between this and using a script, and asked for clarification from Valve and Dreamhack. "Same question here. We’ve already contacted Valve via email to figure it out," said Marie Gunina, Sports Director for DPC Div 1 CIS team Hellraisers.

How it Works

The way the "script" works is somewhat subtle. As explained in the replies and on Reddit, it works by removing a file from the game files. In this case, the file is npc_unit.txt. With the file in the game, when you hit tab to select different units, you select all of the spiderlings, and then all of the spiderites. By removing this file, you can then micro each individual spider while holding ctrl and tab.

"You can also allow the 'auto-repeat right mouse' and just keep tabbing to send out a sh*t ton of spiders to scout," said Hakadlo.

The Smart Attack Move setting means a Brood player with an edited config file only needs to press tab to issue movement commands
The Smart Attack Move setting means a Brood player with an edited config file only needs to press tab to issue movement commands

Why it Matters

The change obviously makes it easier to individually micro each individual spider. This makes it so that you can have scouts all across the map and maximum efficiency.

In addition, Reddit commenter Hajadlo (Senior Operational Technician at @ZnipeTV) points out other potential issues with this type of "script." With the same file, you could potentially visualize the range on every unit, including towers and neutral creeps. This could be especially useful for the Helm of the Dominator offlaners, who often micro these neutral creeps.

Per se, this exploit is on the borderline between being a script or not. In many ways it appears more like a macro. Nonetheless it's not an ability that you have normally and you can't use console commands for it either.

ImmortalFaith contends he is not posting this to call out 33 specifically. Rather he has noticed this happening a few times and is hoping for clarification from Valve on whether it should be allowed or not. Even some pro players like SumaiL have chimed in, referencing the event. As of now Valve as not responded.

What do the rules say?

The rule handbook for last year's ESL DPC CIS is available online, but editing config files appears to be part of a grey area.

"The use of scripts and macros via console commands, config binds, or third-party tools is prohibited. Whenever more than one command is issued with a single bind, it is considered illegitimate." - DPC CIS 2021 Season 1 Rulebook.

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