As the new-born competitive Valorant scene is looking for its first big stars, a lot of players are hard at work trying to distinguish themselves for the rest. Others, sadly, decided to take the easy route and look to cheat their way to the top.
(Picture: Riot Games)
"Phox" and "W3ak", two promising rising young stars in the tactical shooter have been banned after reports of the pair using cheats turned out to be true, according to ESPN's Tyler "Fionn" Erzberger.
Aspiring @PlayVALORANT pros Phox and Weak have been outed for cheating, the latter confirming in recent Tweets. Phox has stood-in for top amateur teams and achieved Radiant through his cheating. Both have been banned permanently from the game— The Esports Writer (@FionnOnFire) July 20, 2020
“Aspiring VALORANT pros Phox and W3ak have been outed for cheating, the latter confirming in recent Tweets. Phox has stood-in for top amateur teams and achieved Radiant through his cheating. Both have been banned permanently from the game.”
Initially, Phox had cited mental health issues as the reason he'd be stepping away from competing, and after Matt Paoletti, anti-cheat developer at Riot, called him out, Weak stepped in confirming they were both hacking.
If you come back, please don't cheat next time.— Matt Paoletti (@RiotK3o) July 20, 2020
"If you come back, please don't cheat next time," Paoletti said on Twitter. Weak would later claim: "Not gonna try to prolong this anymore, none of our teammates knew we were cheating. I got a message from Phox this morning saying he got banned, so I checked if I was too. I have now logged in to being banned, thought I could play it off."
Phox had previously participated in a charity tournament his team (Echo 8) would end up winning and was scheduled to take part alongside W3ak in the PAX Arena Invitational, the biggest tournament of the Ignition series thus far.
This isn't the first instance of pro players being accused of cheating. G2's Ardis "ardiis" Svarenieks' was accused of both cheating and match-fixing, however, the allegations were quickly debunked.
In the Asian region, Japanese fragger Zepher was wrongly banned by the Vanguard anti-cheat system, putting his reputation on the line. Valorant Japan would later revert the decision.
Echo 8 is still set to participate in the PAX Invitational despite losing two of their players.