They're using Steam not just because it provides DRM, but also because it provides a ready made multiplayer system, friends lists, achievements, content and patch distribution network which would be a MASSIVE task to build from scratch. You could argue that they'd be justified to us steamworks even without the DRM. No wonder they're using it, because they get all that great stuff AND a DRM system all in one. Well, they can't have the anti-cheat software enabled, so I'm not sure how you can say that it'll have the same cheating as the official servers. They can only be run by people willing to download illegal software and run illegal servers for free, so I don't see how you can say they won't have worse connection speeds than official servers run by large game server providers.