TSM data mining zones in Apex Legends – Controversial or Cheating?
TSM are one of the better teams competing in Apex Legends, pulling off great results at ALGS last season. However, it seems they’ve had a bit of an advantage in their gameplay.
TSM has been data mining zones in Apex Legends. While not the type of cheating that normally draws the ire of fans and players, this is a bit strange. It’s debatable how much they’ve broken the rules, but this is a more creative form of preparation and borderline cheating in Apex Legends esports.
TSM Data Mining Zone Endings in Apex Legends
Data mining is an established practice in games, although technically against the rules. Typically leaks in games come from fans data mining the content of the game and seeing what is coming up in the title. The user agreement specifically states that data mining is against the rules. Saying that users can’t “use any device or process to access EA services for any purpose such as scraping data” or “addicting in cheating or other anti-competitive behaviour.” Players who break the terms of service are banned from competing in esports. However, TSM has been using data mining much more creatively.
They’re not getting information on upcoming skins. They’re getting information on the zones. Instead, they are data mining for where end zones will fall to be able to better prepare and position for the late game. This takes out one element of randomness where teams have to rotate without knowing where the game will end. While they don’t have advanced information on the exact zone, the data mining might have given them an advantage
Dropped, an SSG player, revealed that data mining zones in Apex is much more common than players might think.
Data mining for zones is supposedly a thing in apex and I think it should be talked about and more common knowledge for everyone. The way it was explained is, you can basically find through the code of the game in each update which certain zones can happen and which can’t.
— SSG Dropped (@Dropped) November 29, 2022
TSM has been the main team accused of this. The coach of the team attended a stream and admitted to data mining zones in Apex. TSM is currently sitting in 2nd in the bug infested ALGS Split 1, and data mining is just another problem dropping into the big pile of issues.
Was TSM Cheating?
The big question with this is if it’s cheating or just using the best information available? It is tricky to draw the line. Data mining should by the rulebook, lock TSM out of competing in esports. But if every major team is accessing this information, it is hard to pin down which player got the information through data mining in the fireplace. Those involved with TSM have said that they don’t consider it to affect competitive integrity. Basically, they don’t think it’s cheating.
Players are somewhat divided, but the prevalence of this could complicate things. ImperialHal, a player for TSM, has said that there are many teams using this information. In the past, data mined zones have been made publicly available. A miner shared their findings for possible zones for maps like World’s Edge. However, it seems teams are using more information for competitive play.
It’s difficult to say if this cheating will result in any bans. If the information is as widespread as TSM players have said, they likely can’t ban everyone. It seems like the zone information might be found again even if changes. This form of creative cheating might just be something that fans have to accept from esports. That players have a bit more information about zones and rotation than your average player, for better or worse for the ALGS.