Valve Anti-Cheat’s permanent bans no longer apply to Valve events

Esports pros with old infractions will have the chance to participate in the company's tournaments.

Artem Peretiatko via Getty Images

Valve is making a single but significant exception to how it will enforce cheating bans moving forward. Ahead of Counter-Strike’s upcoming Regional Major Rankings (RMR) season, the company said in a blog post spotted by Ars Technica it would allow some esports professionals to participate in Valve-sanctioned events provided their ban is either older than five years or predates when they first participated in a first-party tournament.

The studio says it’s changing this aspect of how the Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) system works because it hasn’t revisited its event policy since CS:GO came out back in 2012. “These guidelines had not seen an update since the game was new and all CS:GO VAC bans were relatively recent,” the company writes in the post. “But VAC bans can now be more than eight years old. So we’ve decided to update them.”

If you know anything about VAC infractions, it’s that Valve takes them seriously. “VAC bans are permanent, non-negotiable, and cannot be removed by Steam support,” the company says at the top of the support page detailing the system. To make a carve-out like this is a significant change for the company, but what’s worth pointing out is that everything else an esports pro loses with a VAC ban, including access to their entire Steam library, will stay in place. It also doesn’t look like the company plans any other tweaks at the moment. “We are just making the changes noted — nothing else is in the works at this time," a spokesperson for the studio told Ars Technica.