Amidst the release of the ranked mode in Valorant, Riot Games developer Paul “Riot Arkem” Chamberlain has revealed the security team didn’t implement “real bans” until recently. Rather, while migrating to a new ban system, a temporary solution of just removing cheaters’ beta access had been enabled.
What sparked the cheating conversation in Valorant
Since Valorant‘s reveal, Riot has boasted a state-of-the-art anti-cheat system, Vanguard. It is an immensely invasive program, supposedly capable of warding off highly developed cheaters. However, players are realizing Vanguard is more bark than bite. After being stream-sniped repeatedly by a group of cheaters, former Overwatch League player Daniel “dafran” Francesca called for help from Riot Games on Twitter, essentially saying cheating was making the game unplayable.
Mayday Mayday @PlayVALORANT I am getting stream sniped by 2 well known cheaters, who have been cheating since day 1 of beta in HIGH MMR UNRATED. Now they snipe me in HIGH MMR RANKED. I need help, I cant play. S O S NEED ASSISTANCE. HIGH RANKED EU IS FUCKED
— dafran (@dafran) May 1, 2020
Dafran received messages from the cheaters saying they received a “cheater detected” alert but weren’t banned. The group was free to queue again with no repercussions.
Riot Games’ approach to bans
This story found its way to the Valorant Reddit page, where users asked if anything could be done about it. In response, Riot Arkem explained Riot’s security team made a grave mistake, as Valorant‘s anti-cheat has been undergoing a migration to a new and improved ban system. The beta system didn’t ban players. Instead, Riot revoked beta access to the cheater’s account. In theory, this means that cheaters could log in to another account with beta access and still cheat.
Arkem assured, however, that the team is implementing “real” bans now. Furthermore, the new ban system allows Riot to explore more “sophisticated” options such as hardware bans.
Fans are taking this news relatively well. Of course, there are critics who condemn Valorant for making it seem like the team was genuinely banning players. On the other hand, the vast majority of feedback to Arkem has been thanking him for his follow-up and honesty. Moving forward, hopefully the ranked players can rest easy and enjoy the gameplay cheater-free.