1. FACEIT surprised us by changing to a paid model for downloading their demos, and the price that they’ve estimated (€270k / year) would double our infrastructure costs. Since we can’t pay this amount, new FACEIT matches won’t be available on Leetify for now.
  2. We’ve been hard at work looking for solutions to this problem, including many attempts to communicate with FACEIT. But crucial details about these changes still haven’t been shared with us, which is making it tough to decide on a proper solution. 
  3. FACEIT has been unwilling to provide a transition period for us to properly solve this new challenge. FACEIT gave us days to react to this major change, which made it all but certain that our shared users would experience an outage. We expect 3-6 months of notice for a major change to a partnership that’s been active for years. 
  4. We understand that FACEIT is cutting costs as a company, and we’d be happy to collaborate on a solution that helps them accomplish this.
  5. FACEIT has told us they don’t believe this change is impacting their users, because nobody has complained to them. Please let FACEIT know if this change is negatively impacting you.

Keep reading if you have questions about any of these points! We walk through everything in detail.

What change did FACEIT make?

For years, we’ve been able to download the demo from every match that an active Leetify user plays on FACEIT, for free.

In mid-February, FACEIT surprised us by changing to a paid model for downloading demos, and they want to charge us an amount that we simply cannot pay (an estimated €270 000 per year). Paying this would more than double our infrastructure costs despite FACEIT matches being a fairly small fraction of our total traffic. There's no way for a company of our size to pay this outright, so we have to figure out another path forward. 

Unfortunately, FACEIT only gave us a few days to react to the changes they imposed, which is simply not enough time to reach a good solution. We’ve been in constant contact with FACEIT trying to get more time to solve this issue. We would be sad to see free demos go away in any circumstance, but the way FACEIT handled this completely undermined our ability to give you a smooth transition to their new terms. 

We’ve also been unable to get straight answers on key parts of the deal, such as the specifics of pricing and how FACEIT will validate the number of downloads we make each month. The €270k number from above is based on a price and usage estimate that FACEIT provided us, but the usage numbers they built this estimate on don’t match our numbers on how many demos we actually downloaded from them. And since this is just an estimate, we have no guarantee that the final amount they bill us would match. This combination of factors means we have no option but to let the integration go down for now. 

Why do we feel that FACEIT is mishandling this?

FACEIT imposed these limits with no warning, leaving us with no time to make adjustments or find a solution. They’ve held firm that they are unwilling to provide any transition period extending into March. A 3-6 month transition period is a totally reasonable expectation for a fundamental change to a partnership that’s existed for years. This would allow us to discuss the root issue, explore how costs can be reduced for FACEIT, and change the way Leetify’s FACEIT integration works to suit their needs. We’d have time to make these changes without directly impacting our shared users (you!).

Another big issue: After over two weeks of direct communication, we are still missing many crucial details from FACEIT, including a draft for the commercial agreement they want us to sign. It’s impossible to make real progress on solutions when we don’t even have basic guidelines about how pricing will be calculated. We fear that it will be very difficult for us to say yes to the agreement when we do eventually see it. Here’s why: 

  1. FACEIT already asked us to sign restrictive NDAs which would limit our ability to communicate about this issue with our users.
  2. If a third party is footing the bill, FACEIT has much less incentive to work to lower the cost of providing demos. 
  3. It’s unclear how they plan to track and report the number of demos they are charging us for (and how to guarantee transparency in this process).
  4. The data FACEIT reported for our initial price estimate does not align with Leetify’s own data on how many FACEIT demos we used.
  5. FACEIT has been unresponsive to our feedback on this issue and dismissive about the impact of this change on their users.

FACEIT told us that these fees are designed to cover their own costs, not to generate profit. We understand that FACEIT is looking at every opportunity to cut costs right now, but we think FACEIT is being short-sighted in only seeing this as a cost and not acknowledging the value created for their users. Every download request is on behalf of someone that is actively using both Leetify and FACEIT. We don’t download demos for people who are inactive on Leetify, so we aren’t racking up unnecessary costs. FACEIT has told us that they think Leetify is beneficial to them, since our match pages help FACEIT players enjoy their matches more. But FACEIT’s recent actions seem to contradict this stance.

How’s Leetify trying to solve this?

FACEIT’s short timeline has really tied our hands here, and none of the options we’ve come up with are things we feel confident in.

Option 1: Provide an “at cost” paid plan

One option is to only import FACEIT matches for Leetify users who are paying to cover the cost of those imports. We hate passing on the cost to you in the same way FACEIT is passing the cost on to us, but the reality is that FACEIT are the only ones with any control over this cost (by changing how they store and provide demos). Leetify has absolutely no control over costs that are generated by FACEIT’s infrastructure choices. If they are passing the costs along to us, then Leetify’s only way to lower costs is by limiting the number matches our users can import. If someone doesn’t want their FACEIT match pages restricted by this limit, then we have to find a way to let that person cover the cost. 

We strongly dislike this solution and don’t like the thought of our users having to pay for this basic functionality, but this seems like the only solution that retains automatic match imports for within FACEIT’s current proposal.

We would set the price based on what FACEIT is charging us, and we would only offer this option if we could price it significantly cheaper than Leetify Pro. Importing FACEIT matches is likely a benefit we would add to the Pro plan if you’re already paying for that. FACEIT matches would be imported if anyone in the match was paying for this plan, since we only need to get the demo once from FACEIT to import it for all 10 players in the match. 

The biggest remaining hurdle: we still haven’t gotten key pricing details finalized with FACEIT. This could threaten this entire idea, since we’d need to feel confident that FACEIT was charging a consistent, transparent, and fair price for the demos we request. It has been difficult to get straight answers from FACEIT so far, so it’s not out of the question that this idea could fall apart. 

Option 2: Cut the FACEIT integration from Leetify

FACEIT simply isn’t the same company that they were years ago when we introduced this integration. We understand that they have a new set of objectives, and right now one of those is cutting costs. But a lot of the areas they are looking to cut costs are very concerning for us, and we fear that the direction they are headed in may mean that we are continuously solving roadblocks that threaten our integration with them. We have had some serious discussions about whether it’s still smart to spend a lot of time, money, and effort on an integration that may be diverging from Leetify’s direction as a company. We want to spend our time innovating and providing creative new ways to enjoy your matches, not limping along continuously patching issues that arise out of our control.

We want to avoid cutting this integration, because we have users who get a lot of value from tracking their FACEIT matches on Leetify. But we also want to be transparent about the fact that this is something we have to consider. 

Another (Worse) Option: Manual Uploads

Leetify has a manual upload feature, and there is a "download match" button in FACEIT match rooms. If you’re really curious to get your demos during the outage, it’s possible today to download the demo from your match room and upload it to Leetify. Manual uploads are a Leetify Pro feature, so we apologize that it’s not a solution for everyone. 

We could consider moving manual uploads to the free plan, but we strongly believe that “automatic match pages” is a huge benefit of Leetify, so we would much prefer not to base a solution on manual uploads. We’d rather focus our efforts on a more permanent fix. If we can’t find a way to pursue any other options, we will likely revisit this one.

What’s Next?

FACEIT explicitly told us that their users don’t think this is an issue, because they aren’t getting any complaints. But they haven’t announced this change publicly, so there’s no way for anyone to give feedback. We expect the changes FACEIT has implemented will cause you a hassle if you value having automatic match pages on Leetify. Please let them know if this is the case for you. They have a feedback forum in their Discord server, a Twitter/X account, or you can try their standard support ticket.

We are happy to work with FACEIT to find ways to reduce the costs of an integration with Leetify, but we strongly disagree with their view that this cost isn’t adding value for FACEIT users. Their approach is overlooking the fact that we have many shared users who are affected negatively by this change.

If FACEIT doesn’t change their approach, Leetify will do everything we can to make this transition work. But they’ve dealt us an extremely tough hand on this one. There’s going to be significant issues importing FACEIT matches to Leetify for now.

As always, thanks for tracking your accomplishments with Leetify! We know this article is a bit of a downer, but things have been going strong for us since CS2 came online. We’re still confident that we will deliver awesome additions to Leetify in 2024!

Endnote: Our communications with FACEIT about this change

We didn’t want to bore you with the details, but just to be clear about why we felt blindsided by this, here’s an account of all of our discussions with FACEIT on this topic:

In July 2023, FACEIT notified us that they were considering changing to a paid API and that pricing info would be coming within weeks. We expressed that this was extremely worrying, and asked for pricing info ASAP. They walked back their stance, listening to our feedback and explaining that these API changes are designed to limit misuse. They explained that they value the partnership with Leetify and our integration would be fine. They said they would keep us informed about pricing and added functionality to the API, and we followed up on this thread twice (Oct 2023 and Jan 2024) with no additional info provided by FACEIT.

We want to make it clear that this discussion was nowhere near an appropriate warning for the actions they’ve taken this month. They didn’t provide any timetable, pricing info, or any other indication that they were going to rate limit us. On the contrary, they both told us this was just an evaluation, and in calls with people at FACEIT, we were told that we shouldn’t be affected by any price changes on demo downloads. Our feedback seemed well received, we didn’t get any pricing info “within weeks” as promised, and didn’t hear anything else about this change for 9 months, even though we checked in multiple times. So we assumed FACEIT decided not to proceed with this change. Then we suddenly got rate limited in February. 

We recognize that adjustments must be made if FACEIT are unable to cover the cost of providing these demos. But by surprising us with this massive change and being unwilling to provide a transition period, FACEIT has guaranteed that our users will experience wide-scale outages while we scramble to solve this problem.