A VAC ban wave is a reason for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players to celebrate, and Valve appears to be in a very festive mood.
CSGO ban database ConVars has revealed a second wave of VAC bans less than a month after the last major spike. On October 14, 2022, Valve handed out 2,284 game bans along with a few hundred VAC violations. That’s about ten times the normal rate of ban distribution. This push brings the total number of CSGO accounts banned in 2022 to over 150,000.
The ban does not seem related to a specific cheating program, which indicates that Valve has detected multiple new cheats and chose to ban all of their users at roughly the same time. This is standard procedure for Valve, though it does leave cheaters in the matchmaking pool for a little longer than strictly necessary.
These stats come from ConVars, a CSGO database that focuses on VAC and game ban waves. The website also broke the news of the September 2022 ban wave, which took out an estimated 300,000 accounts in one fell swoop.
What does a VAC ban wave mean for CSGO?
Based on the timing of previous VAC ban waves, Valve could be planning a future event for CSGO.
Valve often signals upcoming operations and events with a VAC ban wave. Players are often required to play on VAC-protected servers for operation missions, so CSGO developers want to remove as many bad actors as possible. As an example, the previously-mentioned 300,000 wave directly preceded the release of Operation Riptide.
Then again, Valve could just be clearing space for the upcoming Rio Major access pass. Shortly before the $1.25 million event, Valve will entice players back to the game with new autograph stickers and team capsules. It would certainly fit the pattern of large ban waves before periods of expected activity. If Valve is planning a new operation, expect it to come out well after the Rio Major ends on November 13.