The E-Sports Entertainment Association (ESEA) League has confirmed that an employee put a code into the league’s client software to mine Bitcoins off of other members’ computers.
Bitcoins are an electronic currency and are controlled by a complex cryptographic equation. Bitcoin mining is the process of trying to solve the equation, which requires a lot of computing power. This particular act of Bitcoin mining was discovered by users when they noticed unusually high loads on the GPUs, with one user accusing ESEA of frying his video card as it maintained over 90ºC “for an extended amount of time.”
Earlier reports said Eric Thunberg, co-owner and administrator of the league, said the code was an April Fool’s joke which was tested on its own accounts. However due to “potential drama” they decided to pull the plug on the joke.
Co-owner Craig Levine has now old Kotaku that since April 13th, 2013, an unnamed employee who was involved in testing the code has been using it “for his own personal gain.” While the employee was not named, Levine said it was not Eric Thunberg.
The total value of the Bitcoins mined add up to $3,713.55 according to ESEA, who have donated that plus a matching amount to charity, and also increased the prize pool for the current season by the same amount.
ESEA is offering affected users free memberships, and said the employee who used the code will be disciplined.