The other week, we held our longest Valorant tournament ever! Over 60 teams competed. We had $2,000 up for grabs. All over the course of two days.
It was also free to boot.
I even got some time in as an observer and manning one of the in-game cameras to try to catch all the action.
You can see the clip here
Right around the 14 second mark of the clip, you can see the crosshair immediately lock on to the player behind the door instead of the other player that was in front!
After one of our observers caught the footage, it was immediately flagged by our staff as suspicious. Our replay crew saved it (though Twitch chat clipped it just as fast as we did even though they were on a delay).
One of the questions that came up during chat is why didn’t we pause the game for review. The game was already in overtime and we simply let the teams play out to the game’s conclusion. The win ended up going to the team that didn’t cheat anyway. I can only imagine the uproar that would’ve happened if it went the other way.
I can’t go into details about our anti-cheat procedures or policy too much, but I wanted to offer a bit of insight as to why we don’t simply stop the game right there and then to review a play. As much as we’d like to be the NHL, we can’t pause a game after every suspected action or accusation. It would just drag games on for too long and add an unnecessary backlog. Two day events are long enough as is and there are legitimate reasons enough for matches to go on for extended amounts of time (like last year when a match went to five overtimes and the teams ended up splitting).
If the team didn’t cheat
Let’s say a team was accused of cheating and it turns out it was a legitimate play. Maybe the received valid, in-game information from one of their team members as to where a victim was. Had we paused the game, we trigger a delay, and it throws off the momentum of both teams which could unfairly impact subsequent rounds.
If the team did cheat
Then the score and the match results would get overturned at the end no matter what. We can always change the score and issue a disqualification if we determine that there is a confirmed cheating violation.
That’s why we’re better off just letting things finish while we investigate in between games. There is no real drawback to waiting.
In the end, another cheater gets eliminated from the game. But this is the reality with competition is that as prize pools get larger, more measures need to be taken to maintain competitive integrity. Anti-cheat is always going to be playing defense because it responds to new programs and new methods by cheat developers. It’s easier (and tempting) to cheat in an online event as opposed to a live one where are much more eyes on players.
All in all, it was definitely an exciting weekend but I hate having to deal with cheaters.