A new cheating scandal hits Hearthstone with suspicions of a BOT dominating Mercenaries leaderboard, and this isn’t the first time!

The Hearthstone Mercenaries community is accusing the leaderboard player of being a bot. This wouldn’t be the first time cheaters incur into bots to boost their MMR or get extra resources. What are the suspicions based on, and what other precedents of bots in Hearthstone Mercenaries do we know?

Hearthstone Mercenaries leaderboard dominated by a BOT?

ZombiesGoNomNom, a Hearthstone Mercenaries content creator, posted yesterday accusations of the #1 leaderboard player being a bot. The accusation has some solid arguments behind it. Moreover, there had been similar cases in the past.

Suspected bot account playing for over 48hs straight Hearthstone Mercenaries
Suspected bot account playing for over 48hs straight

According to d0nkey’s website, a page that tracks stats for various game modes, the suspected account had playing sessions for over 24hrs, spamming game after game. Moreover, the stats show that the account was using the same composition, regardless of what it was paired against. Furthermore, the alleged bot repeated the same actions turn after turn, game after game.

This is not an isolated case. There have been several reports of players using bots in Hearthstone Mercenaries. Last month, after Blizzard lifted the MMR limit, a Chinese player got to over 100,000 MMR points in Mercenaries leaderboard, presumably, using a bot. 

Why are people using bots in Hearthstone Mercenaries?

With no ladder incentives or esports circuit in Mercenaries, many may wonder why players take the risk of being banned for using bots. As with most cheaters, there isn’t only one explanation. 

To begin with, some might just want to get some internet points or prove that they can break the system. In other cases, bots are used to farm Coins and experience. However, excess Coins have no value in Hearthstone Mercenaries, why use a bot to accumulate them?

Esportsgg resident Hearthstone Mercenaries expert Steven Mullahoo thinks that these players use bots to get Coins in preparation for future changes in the game. This makes sense since the excess Coin problem is something even Hearthstone Interim Game Director Iksar is trying to solve.

What is Blizzard doing with these Bots?

Despite Blizzard has policy of not commenting on sanctions, community members and Hearthstone Mercenaries experts mention that usually those Bot accounts get banned given the time. However, it is unclear if this is a result of Blizzard detecting the bots or if it’s the community that does the job of pointing them out.

In previous bot incidents, Blizzard sources mentioned that they have several detection systems in place to prevent and sanction these behaviors. However, they weren’t able to give any details about them since that could jeopardize the effectiveness of the tools.

The Hearthstone Mercenaries community does a fine job checking on stats sites and exposing these accounts. Maybe the joint efforts are enough to disincentivize this behavior.

Stay tuned to Esports.gg for more Hearthstone news and updates. See you next time, in the fighting pit!

Manuel

Manuel "Rane" Delgado

Writer of the Month: August | Twitter: @RaneTDF

Manuel “Rane” Delgado is an experienced Hearthstone caster, content creator, and tournament organizer from Argentina. He started his career on Esports casting his own tournaments, now he currently covers Hearthstone Grandmasters’ Americas region for LATAM, among other content creation. Besides esports, he works in a construction company, which made him kind of a "handyman" when fixing everyday house problems.