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Riot Games has banned semi-professional Valorant players “phox” and “weak” for cheating. The pair competed in tournaments with North American organization Echo 8, considered one of the best teams in its tier. When the news broke, the duo was in the process of training to compete in the upcoming $25,000 PAX Arena tournament.
While under Echo 8’s banner, Phox and Weak competed in the EsportsDoug x eUnited Charity Clash. The squad secured a third-place finish. Phox performed remarkably well with an overall kill-to-death (K/D) of 1.45 and Average Combat Score (ACS) of 286. His impressive online performance was making waves. Phox effortlessly climbed the North American ladder, reaching the Radiant rank with an astonishing 75% win rate. However, as he continued to do work in the server, others became suspicious over whether his gameplay was legitimate.
Valorant developer pulls the curtains on phox
Monday afternoon brought an unexpected TwitLonger from Phox. In his statement, he opened up about struggling with mental health issues and announced a break from competing. Soon after that, Matt Paoletti, a developer on Valorant‘s anti-cheat team, accused Phox of cheating. “If you come back, please don’t cheat next time,” Paoletti replied.
If you come back, please don't cheat next time.
— Matt Paoletti (@RiotK3o) July 20, 2020
Jumping to his defense, Weak took to social media insisting that he and Phox were “2 of the best players to touch this game.” Furthermore, he doubled down by saying: “[I’m] reinstalling the game to show I didn’t get banned.” However, this didn’t last long—both Phox and Weak eventually admitted to cheating. Weak stated that he was “sorry to the people I let down” and disclosed that their teammates were unaware of their cheating.
Likewise, Phox released a TwitLonger that “isn’t an apology” or “a request for forgiveness.” The player details a long-standing history of cheating in other games including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Modern Warfare 2. Despite clarifying that his letter isn’t an apology, he apologized to his supporters and fellow competitors.
At this time, Phox and Weak say they have no intention to return to Valorant‘s competitive or casual scene.
Stay tuned to Daily Esports for more Valorant news and updates.
Minna Adel Rubio is an esports journalist with an interest in first-person-shooter games. She specializes in class-based, arena, and tactical shooters like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valorant, Overwatch, and Team Fortress 2. Additionally, Minna is a senior CS:GO guides writer at Dignitas and a graduate student. Catch her on Twitter for memes and more content!