Valorant bans don’t discriminate: but are they always fair?

Fans of Valorant and those who have kept up with its development are no doubt aware that Valorant’s anti-cheat software, Vanguard, received a mixed reception at best when it was unveiled. Fans rightly took umbrage at the way the software was constructed, and even more so when the first tales of troubles hit the net. Valorant bans players, and some for no good reason.

Valorant bans don't discriminate: but are they always fair?

© Valorant

Worse, not better

The Valorant team defended their system and left things as they are (for the most part). Naturally, things only got worse from there. Even pro players found themselves suffering from issues with Vanguard. Lets take Japanese pro Zepher example .

The system simply thought he was too good. In the middle of a ranked match, he was kicked off and banned. While in most cases there isn’t anything that can be done, Zepher appealed and got the decision overturned, and his account was re-instated. Apparently they determined that the ban was an error. An error that seems to affect multiple people. Several accounts that had received Valorant bans were apparently reinstated following this decision.

Zepher wasn’t the only one to find himself banned. Former CS:GO and current G2 Valorant leader Mixwell was also banned. Not for being too good, but for owning a smartphone.

He was playing a match when he plugged his phone in… and subsequently got flagged and banned by Vanguard. Mixwell also mentioned that the same thing happened to another player – G2 streamer Lothar.

As of two months ago, Valorant had already banned over 10.000 accounts – the question is, how many of the banned players were actual cheaters? Fans are betting on Valorant not being as transparent as it needs to be on the subject – especially when it’s even happening to in the pro scene.

$20 Free At DraftKings. Claim Now!
$20 Free
On First Deposit
$20 Free Play On First Deposit
CS:GO, LoL, Rocket League and Call of Duty contests
Win big cash prizes in public tournaments
No Code Needed - Use our links

Valorant Bans positives

That isn’t to say that the bans are never fair. As a matter of fact, some high-profile banned players have admitted to their cheating. Phox and weak, two players on amateur team Echo 8 – one of the top Valorant teams in the amateur circle – both announced they were ‘taking a break’ from the game, only to later admit that they had been banned by the system. They also admitted their guilt.

Phox had been one of the highest-ranked players across the Valorant ranks – though much of that has now been called into question. Some fans, however are arguing that despite the failed and unfair bans, Vanguard is still a good thing. It beats the option of having no anti-cheat at all.

Not all developers actively combat cheating, and similar games like CS:GO have long since suffered from excessive cheating issues that went largely unresolved – despite systems like Valve’s VAC in place. We are yet to see what Trusted Mode does for cheating in CS:GO.

Some players are grateful Riot are trying, while others are critical of the way Vanguard is currently set up. Especially given the numerous vulnerabilities and problems it has already caused. Furthermore, the Valorant rootkit access makes it an evidently blunt and sometimes overactive banning tool.

What do you think about Valorant’s Vanguard?

Read next: G2 Valorant Wins Again, Growing Esports Calendar & Leaked Agents