ESEA co-founder Craig "Torbull" Levine has issued a statement to shed some more light into the scandal involving the Bitcoin scandal.
The gaming community woke up to the news that a malware which used the users' graphic card to mine for Bitcoins, was coded into ESEA's client on April 14th and had been running ever since, raising more than $3,600 in this two-week period.
ESEA chief Eric "lpkane" Thunberg was quick to respond to accusations and stated it was an April Fools' joke gone wrong. The code was allegedly abandoned after being tested on some admins' account and was released by accident.
After an initial reaction on ESEA's forums, Levine has now put together a statement in which he distanced himself from this action, which according to him was the work of an employee who "used the test code for his own personal gain."
Levine noted that ESEA decided last month that the mining feature was something that was not worth exploring and that all the necessary internal steps "to ensure nothing like this ever happens again" will be taken.
The $3,713.55 that were raised through mining bitcoins will be donated to the American Cancer Society, while the prize pool for ESEA season 14 will be increased by the same amount.
Below you can find Levine's official statement, taken from ESEA's website:
"Throughout the history of gaming and e-sports, there have been scams and straight up theft by players, teams, event organizers, and even “sponsors.” Over the past ten years ESEA has prided itself on being an upstanding member of the gaming community by providing a high quality service, paying out prize money, and being upfront and transparent with you, the community. We worked hard to build your trust and often took the longer, slower, and more meticulous road than others. That approach has paid off as we had success with our premium service and league. Over the two weeks we failed our community.
"ESEA’s goal is to provide our community with cutting edge technology and tools. Whenever possible, the management and owners at ESEA initiate private tests on potential new products and tools that might interest our community. With the whole fervor around Bitcoin, we did conduct some internal tests with the Client on only two of our own, consenting administrators’ accounts to see how the mining process worked and determine whether it was a feature that we might want to add in the future. We thought this might be an exciting new tool that we could provide to our community. Ultimately, we decided that it was not.
"On April 13, 2013, after the initial tests, ESEA informed those involved in the test that we were killing the project and they should stop using the beta test. It came to our attention last night, however, that an employee who was involved in the test has been using the test code for his own personal gain since April 13, 2013. What transpired the past two weeks is a case of an employee acting on his own and without authorization to access our community through our company’s resources. We are extremely disappointed and concerned by the unauthorized actions of this unauthorized individual. As of this morning, ESEA has made sure that all Bitcoin mining has stopped. ESEA is also in the process of taking all necessary steps internally to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.
"The owners and management at ESEA all apologize to each of you that were impacted by the recent events and intend to make things right. ESEA has issued a free month of ESEA Premium to all of our community members who were enrolled in Premium for the month of April. We also ask anyone who has experienced any physical damage to their computers to open an ESEA support ticket.
"In an effort to maintain complete transparency, we have released all of the Bitcoin wallet addresses as well as data dumps of the wallets themselves. The value of the mined Bitcoins was $3,713.55 and ESEA will be donating 100% of the $3,713.55 to the American Cancer Society. ESEA will also match 100% of this amount for a total of $7,427.10 donated. ESEA is also increasing the Season 14 League prize pot by $3,713.55.
"As a team, we work hard to create cool things and we’ve worked even harder to consistently do things the right way. While it’s incredibly disturbing and disappointing that this happened, we’re committed to improving ourselves and rebuilding trust with our community."