It appears that a major game company, which I would assume is Blizzard, is attempting to design cheating right into its esports platforms, based on a report from Crazy Days and Nights, of all places:
This A list gaming company which is a merger of two big companies has a patent in which their match making services (traditionally random based on certain parameters) can be rigged in order to influence in game purchases. If one reads between the lines, this implies that all random events in their games are determined server side.
The ramifications of said patent were present for all to see at the online collectible card game world championship in 2019. In said tournament, the company fully rigged random results left and right in order to obtain political favor with China. This incident occurred within a few weeks after the company banned multiple players for speaking out against Chinese oppression of Hong Kong.
Examples of rigged events on behalf of the Chinese player included always having certain key cards in her hand by X turn, always going second when playing a deck that greatly benefits from going second, or random results from cards played always swinging significantly in her favor.
Many people who watched the live stream of the event suspected the fix was in, but had no proof. It is unknown if the player herself was in on it (assuming no due to innocent until proven guilty).
This is potentially the worst scandal in esports history.
Here’s the patent that can prove the fix is in. The one that by reading between the lines, a lot can be inferred. I also quoted some of the more disturbing passages that prove that the company can rig random events (quotes are about matchmaking, which is supposed to be random).
“In another example, if a player has been performing poorly (e.g., getting killed at a rate higher than the player's historical rate), the scoring engine may dynamically adjust one or more coefficients to match the player in a game that will improve the player's performance. For example, the player may be matched with easier opponents, matched with better teammates, and/or placed in a game that is more tailored to the player's preferences (e.g., players that play in games more closely aligned with their preferences tend to perform better).
To fine-tune the matchmaking process, the system may include an analytics and feedback engine that analyzes player and match data to determine whether a given match was good. A match may be deemed "good" when a player is determined to have enjoyed gameplay associated with the match based on one or more quality factors that are used as a proxy for player satisfaction. The quality factors may include, for example, a duration of a gameplay session (e.g., via analysis of player historical data), player psychological state (e.g., frustration level), and/or other information.”
I don't see how this is going to be legal, much less even remotely acceptable to the players being manipulated by the patented algorithms.