League of Legends asserts that its new anti-cheat tech isn’t bricking player PCs


Earlier this week saw patch 14.9 roll out to League of Legends, which included the release of Vanguard, Riot’s bespoke kernel-level anti-cheat program. Unfortunately, its release has not gone over well, as some players report that the anti-cheat bricked their machines (and required some pretty deep tech knowledge to fix) or disallowed game streaming services like Nvidia NOW from running the MOBA wholesale if players aren’t running specific BIOS processes.

The reports and resultant uproar has caused Riot devs to step forward with statements, claiming that the problem isn’t nearly as widespread as some would lead gamers to believe.

“Since 14.9 went live, fewer than 0.03% of players have reported issues with Vanguard. In most cases, these are common error codes. […] At this point in time, we have not confirmed any instances of Vanguard bricking anyone’s hardware. […] We’ve individually resolved a few of the major threads you may have seen so far of users claiming this with their machines and have confirmed that Vanguard wasn’t the cause of the issues they were facing.”

The post then explains some of the ways in which Riot helped some players with their problems in some very specific edge cases, but otherwise urges players to contact support if they’re running into problems.

The studio also pushes back against the presumption that Vanguard is taking unauthorized screenshots of player’s monitors, though it does confirm that fullscreen pictures of players’ game clients and client region are taken in the case of suspicious ESP hack activity; Riot calls this “a very normal practice” that’s compliant with privacy laws.

sources: official site, Twitter (1, 2, 3, 4) and Reddit via VG247
Riot Games is considered a controversial company in the gaming world following a 2018 exposé of the sexual discrimination and harassment inherent in what workers described as its “bro culture.” The scandal brought forth accusations against multiple developers and high-ranking executives and ultimately led to a developer labor dispute and walk-out. Former workers and the state of California, which alleged that Riot was refusing to cooperate with its investigation, lodged lawsuits though Riot settled with one victims’ group at the end of 2021 for over $100M.
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