Riot Officer Caitlyn from League of Legends appears in front of a VALORANT Vanguard cheater detected warning with a doughnut in her hand.
Images via Riot Games / Remixed by Isaac McIntyre

Vanguard just went live and LoL players are already claiming it’s bricking their PCs

The anti-Vanguard uproar from the League community has been very swift and very loud.

Vanguard has finally arrived in League of Legends, and nearly immediately the online community has been awash with players claiming their computers have been “bricked” by the kernel-level program and its activity.

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The claims⁠, which were mainly shared on X (formerly Twitter) but also popped up across Reddit and Facebook, range from Vanguard preventing startup programs from firing correctly to other programs crashing when the anti-cheat software loads, and some have even suggested Riot’s kernel program has been “tampering with unrelated files.” Others simply dubbed it “malware” and declared they would be quitting League until the program stopped breaking PCs.

The League Vanguard software in action in-game
The Vanguard system has the power to shut down League matches. Image via Riot Games

One high-profile example came from famed League creator LS, who reported both his computers breaking after Vanguard was installed on May 1. He said he fixed one by taking out the CMOS battery and forcing BIOS access, but suggested his other computer is “still bricked.”

Several user posts on the purported Vanguard issues have also been shared to the main League subreddit but they have since been deleted.

While Riot has yet to address any of the early backlash directly, tech staff have been active in the “Patch 14.9 Bug Megathread” on /r/LeagueOfLegends. One Riot reply suggested some of today’s alleged issues “wouldn’t be related to Vanguard” and offered up a simpler solution⁠—restart impacted devices and run PC troubleshooting.

The same Riot staffer also suggested any aggrieved players could upload Riot Vanguard logs to the League support page to help “isolate what the issue is.” All the Reddit comments from that Rioter have since been removed.

Today’s Vanguard launch comes after the kernel program was originally delayed. The anti-cheat software, which has been running in VALORANT since the tactical shooter debuted in 2020, is designed to detect third-party programs running on a user’s PC and ban the offending player. The aim is to maintain competitive integrity, with the tradeoff being Vanguard is always running.

League (and VALORANT) are far from the only modern gaming titles to run kernel-level programs like this; Overwatch, Helldivers 2, and Call of Duty are just some other games that include similar programs.

Dot Esports has contacted Riot for a response to today’s claims.

Update May 2, 9:49pm CT: Riot has publicly responded to Vanguard complaints after Dot’s request for comment, suggesting in a lengthy Reddit post that just 0.3 percent of League players have reported issues⁠. None of those issues, the devs added, were related to PCs “bricking” after the update.


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Author
Isaac McIntyre
Isaac McIntyre is the Aussie Editor at Dot Esports. He previously worked in sports journalism at Fairfax Media in Mudgee and Newcastle for six years before falling in love with esports—an ever-evolving world he's been covering since 2018. Since joining Dot, he's twice been nominated for Best Gaming Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism Awards and continues to sink unholy hours into losing games as a barely-Platinum AD carry. When the League servers go down he'll sneak in a few quick hands of the One Piece card game. Got a tip for us? Email: isaac@dotesports.com.