Olivia R. October 27, 2020
While Valorant's new map has shined a light on toxic behavior, it seems like no map is safe from the overwhelming amount of trolls in Riot's tactical first-person shooter.
Valorant players have started openly complaining about constantly running into toxic players. There are a lot of people who just scream into their headset. Some players who continuously berate their team, even after their death, telling them how to play and what they were doing wrong. It's led many players to wonder if these loud players should even be allowed to play the game.
Other players have noticed teammates not buying weapons during the buy phase. There seems to be an uptick in sabotage, some Valorant fans noticed. Even worse, it feels like nothing is being done to dissuade these players from messing with their teammates, even in ranked matches. There's an abundance of players who go AFK mid-match, and others who purposely grief in yet more ways.
One Valorant player said on social media that these toxic players can do "whatever the fuck they want with no penalties." It's even led some players to quit the game. They realized that if they don't have a five-stack to compete with, they could end up with players who do whatever it takes to make their own team lose a match.
Riot responds to increase in toxic Valorant players
As more Valorant players came forward, the game's community started to wonder if there should be a solution involving Vanguard. They started to wonder if a player who is intentionally ruining or sabotaging games could be banned through Valroant's successful anti-cheat program. This, they noted, would hopefully slow down the amount of people who are screwing up games with no consequence.
Riot game producer Sara "Necrotix" Dadafshar saw the growing number of similar stories in the Valorant community and decided to address the concern.
"We've noticed a huge uptick in this type of behavior and it's actually at the top of our list of stuff we're trying to deal with right now. We just spun up a new team (mine!) on Valorant and one of our is missions dealing with behavioral issues you just described," Necrotix said.
According to Necrotix, Valorant is in agreement that toxic players need harsher penalties. The team is currently looking into ways of detecting players who are friendly firing, stepping away from the keyboard, not participating in combat, and engaging in other similarly frustrating behaviors. Necrotix said that she and the team were open to any feedback or ideas.
A Valorant player asked her if developers planned to deal with smurfs.
"Going to have to link up with the competitive team on that one and see what kind of solution we can come up with together," Necrotix responded.
For now, Valorant players will have to keep dealing with the growing number of toxic players. This is something that unfortunately plagues a lot of free-to-play games, including Valorant competitor Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. CSGO saw an increase in cheaters when Valve decided to make it a free game on Steam.