Valorant player falsely banned after ShahZaM reported him for hacking

By Fariha Bhatti


Apr 21, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

There are plenty of Valorant players who got banned on live stream, but this recent ban on Sentinels’ professional player Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan’s stream comes with a twist. 

Riot’s Vanguard system has caught dozens of hackers on live streams through a strict method that detects high-end third party software while the game is running. The ban system has made examples out of the likes of Xhade, Solista, ReFleck, and many more. ShahZaM’s recent stream busted another hacker but it turns out that he was just incredibly good at Valorant. 

ShahZaM had reported a suspicious player to admins, who later got banned during a live stream. However, the player was deemed clean after further inspection. 

During his live stream, ShahZaM was hit with insane headshot mid-air by a player named Gh0st. The pro player suspected that Gh0st wasn’t playing clean and insisted on admins scrutinizing his account. Even though the admins said that “he doesn’t seem sus,” ShahZaM was adamant that something was off. Consequently, the player was banned during the map Haven. 

However, soon after the ban, Riot developer K30 posted an update, revealing that Gh0st was falsely banned since his account activity is clear of any suspicious software.

“After review, gh0st has been unbanned. We routinely QA both our detections and accounts that have been banned, but unfortunately, this was a situation where we weren’t 100% precise, and gh0st was an unfair victim of rare circumstance,” the developer said. 

Gh0st also updated the fans about his ban removal and received a response from 100 Theives’ Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk, who vouched for Gh0st. 

Gh0st unban raises questions about ban process

The developer quickly fixed the damage but Valorant players are upset about this mishap that resulted after a pro player kicked up a fuss on Livestream. Players are furious that the admins only banned Gh0st after ShahZaM kept pestering them on stream without solid proof. 

Riot’s anti-cheat can easily detect a hacker, but bulk reports from players are also encouraged by the admins. In Gh0st’s case, it seems that both the causes were missing. His ban likely resulted from a manual inspection after ShahZaM’s report, even though the developer has explained “extremely rare unintended collision” as the primary cause. 

The unban has caused frenzy among the Valorant players who blindly trusted Riot’s vanguard system. While it’s just a software that can certainly make errors, players doubt that it was a technical slip-up in Vanguard. It’s unlikely that admins exercise power to restrict an account, but it’s highly suspicious Gh0st was flagged as hacker right after ShahZaM made a mention of it. 

Whatever the case, Gh0st is now free from the false ban and has received tons of support from the Valorant community. Many players are requesting esports organizations to sign him for his jumping headshot potential and exceptional gameplay. 


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