Chinese Police bust VALORANT AI cheat providers, 10 arrested

Chinese authorities and Tencent, make their first-ever crackdown on VALORANT AI cheat providers, arresting 10 individuals involved in a... Shubh | 23. September 2023

Chinese authorities and Tencent, make their first-ever crackdown on VALORANT AI cheat providers, arresting 10 individuals involved in a $4.1 million scandal.

Chinese law enforcement, in collaboration with Tencent, has apprehended 10 individuals involved in the development and distribution of AI cheat tools for the popular game VALORANT.  It was a coordinated operation spanning multiple provinces, including Zhejiang and Chongqing, that resulted in the detention of these suspects on September 15, 2023.

The suspects, who were allegedly responsible for manufacturing and selling AI cheat tools, confessed to their illegal activities. This marks a historic move by Chinese authorities to combat cheating in the gaming community, as cheating has become a growing concern among players.

Of the 10 individuals detained, two were found to be directly responsible for developing the AI cheats, while the remaining eight acted as agents distributing the cheating tools to users. According to the Yijiang Public Security Bureau, the illegal transactions associated with these activities exceeded RMB 30 million (approximately $4.1 million) as of September 22, 2023.

Apart from the arrests, vital evidence was also seized during the operation including 17 computers, 11 mobile phones, source codes, and various hardware components. Among the arrested individuals, two were identified as the creators of the cheats, while the remaining eight acted as agents responsible for distributing them to users.

Tencent and Riot’s commitment to fair play:

Tencent’s VALORANT team in China issued an official statement on Weibo, emphasizing their commitment to fair play and a zero-tolerance policy toward cheating. They pledged to work closely with players to uphold a positive gaming environment. This recent operation mirrors similar actions taken against cheat developers, such as those involved in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Overwatch hacking cases.

Riot Games, the developer of VALORANT, had previously implemented anti-cheat measures, such as the Vanguard system, to detect and deter cheaters. However, these AI cheat tools operate outside the operating system and often evade detection by traditional anti-cheat methods, posing a significant challenge to maintaining fairness in the game.

Moreover, Riot has actively collaborated with Tencent’s security, technical, and legal teams to ensure a secure and fair gaming environment. The gaming giants are determined to enhance their defenses against evolving cheating methods and behaviors that compromise the integrity of the game. Over 39,000 accounts and over 10,000 machines were banned from VALORANT as a result of cheating activities between August 25 and September 18. Moreover, cheating in online games is considered a serious crime in China, so cracking down on AI cheat providers sends a strong message.

Header: Riot Games