VALORANT AI cheating scandal busted in China following arrest of 10 perpetrators

Cheating in online games is considered a serious criminal offense in China.
Killjoy from VALORANT.
Image via Riot Games

Police in China have broken up a massive VALORANT cheating scandal, arresting 10 individuals connected to the development and distribution of programs that successfully bypassed Riot Games’ Vanguard anti-cheat system.

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An official statement provided by Yujiang Public Security was released on Weibo, detailing how Chinese officials successfully carried out raids across multiple provinces that resulted in the arrests of 10 perpetrators. In the statement, it was revealed that the police were tipped on the program in mid-August, and planned the operation for over a month with the cooperation and assistance of Tencent before they were able to track down the people responsible for developing the cheats. 

The raids resulted in the arrest of two program developers, as well as eight accomplices. Police ended up confiscating 17 computers that were used to breach VALORANT’s security measures, in addition to eight cell phones that were also used in the process. 

“This is not only the first criminal case in the country to crack down on the production and sales of ‘AI game plug-ins,’ but it is also a major achievement for [VALORANT] to protect players’ competitive experience,” the official VALORANT Weibo account followed up. 

The cheating software resulted in profits of over $4 million USD for the developers, according to a report from VALORANT coverage outlet Valo2Asia. Additionally, these arrests were connected to the banning of nearly 40,000 VALORANT accounts that were caught using cheating software. 

Cheating in online games is considered a heavy criminal offense in China, as well as other parts of Asia. In 2018, dozens of Chinese software developers were arrested for creating cheats specifically for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and in that same year, a group of South Korean Overwatch hackers received serious jail time.

It’s unclear at this time what sort of sentence the recent batch of VALORANT cheat developers will receive. 

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Author
Michael Kelly
Staff Writer covering World of Warcraft and League of Legends, among others. Mike's been with Dot since 2020, and has been covering esports since 2018.