The Valorant competitive scene is booming with events and more organizations are joining in, but we also saw the first two pro players get banned for cheating.
The Valorant anti-cheat, Vanguard has been a hot topic for months now. Some claim it’s too intrusive, others that it doesn’t manage to deal properly with cheaters. Well, the latter seems to be true, as Riot had to ban two professional players due to their suspicious activity in recent events.
The two players in question are phox and w3ak. Both of them played for team A.S.M.R. during the Nerd Street Gamers Valorant tournament. While they couldn’t quite get the first place, there were a couple of moments when many fans raised an eyebrow. The duo was about to take part in the PAX Arena Valorant Invitational but that’s a thing of the past now, as a result of the bans.
This clip was available even earlier, but many people defended phox by saying he was just guessing. An hour later phox himself announced that he’ll be taking a break from Valorant. There's no doubt it's a result of the ban, but he also mentions some other reasons as well.
The Riot anti-cheat developers Matt Paoletti called him out, which is not something every pro player can say. Phox’ teammate w3ak went a step further and just admitted the whole thing on his Twitter account.
In one of his Twitlonger posts, phox mentioned that he didn’t get any fulfillment out of the game and that he was in a bad mental state due to recent events. The two players are now effectively banned and it looks like we won’t be seeing them around for some time if ever. It’s unclear if they’ll switch to a different title.
This isn’t the first time pro players get in a cheating scandal in Valorant. The title might be only a few months old, but some pros already received accusations for cheating and match-fixing in the past. Those were debunked though so phox and w3ak are the first two professional players to get officially banned in Valorant. Perhaps the most interesting detail is that, Riot’s anti-cheat Vanguard never detected them. Maybe it’s time to think about an alternative? If the pros never get detected in tournaments, then we’ve gotta start asking questions.