Competitive gaming attracts cheaters, and Riot’s esportified FPS Valorant was always going to be a target for those who want to win at any cost. The solution is simple: you ban them and tell their mums. But cheating is often not just a solo activity. There is an interesting phenomenon where people who play in the same team with cheaters will benefit from the hacker’s unfair advantage. They’ll even recruit cheaters to help out. Riot’s solution? Boot them out the game for 90 days.
Valorant’s cheat czar Matt “K3o” Paoletti calls this whole meta of getting banned: “the cheat bus on the highway to hell.” So be wary of who you make friends with, because their downfall might leave you sitting on the sidelines for three months.
There’s more to Valorant’s efforts than punitive justice. They’re also attempting to undo the demoralising effects of encountering a cheater. Losing a game isn’t just a personal slight, but it could lose you a promotion or break a win streak. Paoletti’s team are looking at ways in which any effects of an encounter with a cheater and their team will be “recalibrated”, essentially fixing any stats and restoring any losses you encountered. You might have lost the battle, but not the war.
Riot have already cut some cheats off at the source by joining forces with Bungie to sue cheat makers, who seem to have got the message and closed down. That’s a big win in an ongoing fight against this tedious, childish shit.