Endemic cheating in CS:GO prompts record number of bans


In every competitive online game, there will always be people who are willing to cheat to get an advantage over other players and companies willing to develop those cheats for a profit. Developer Valve has waged a constant war against cheaters in its first person shooters since the days of Half-Life 1, using its regularly updated VAC (Valve Anti Cheat) system to detect hacks and ban those using them. A constant arms race has developed between the companies developing undetectable hacks and the efforts of Valve to detect them, and it seems that this war is seriously heating up right now in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Players are reporting that they’ve been running into cheaters at an alarming rate in recent months. Website VAC-Bans.com has reported a sharp rise in VAC bans over the period, with just over 9,000 players getting banned in December and almost 12,000 accounts already banned in January. As this number includes only cheaters who were detected by VAC and later banned and the website only tracks about 5% of players, the real number of people cheating in-game is likely much higher. The rise in cheating has been widely attributed to sales of the game during the Steam Winter Sale and to players attempting to gain back the ranks they lost when developers recently reduced player ranks across the board.

Players who are reported for hacking but aren’t detected by VAC can also be banned through the Overwatch system, which asks players to watch a replay of the suspect match and decide if they think he’s cheating or not. Other attempts to limit cheating in CS:GO have included blocking new accounts from being used in competitive games until they reach level 3, which helped temporarily but was quickly circumvented by the creation of a black market for pre-levelled accounts.

Source: VAC-Bans.com
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