It seems that Riot Games is taking the stance of 'once a cheater, always a cheater' when it comes to handling Valorant's ban enforcement.
Players who were caught cheating during the beta testing phase of Riot's new shooter have remained banned even after public release of the game.
“All cheating account bans are permanent for the account. Most cheating account bans also come with a hardware ban, meaning we track their souls through time and space and ban them again when they try to re-enter the game with a fake mustache.”
- Paul Chamberlain, Valorant’s Anti-Cheat Lead
The statement made by Chamberlain to IGN confirms that hardware bans are being enforced, meaning that players can't simply create a new account on the same PC to start over with a clean slate.
In fact, Riot has placed so much importance on their anti-cheat system Vanguard that they have offered a whopping US$100,000 bounty for hackers to find loopholes and weaknesses in the system.
However, Chamberlain did reveal that while all bans are permanent by default, they do review bans on a case-by-case basis, and lift them from less serious offenders.
“I can’t reveal too much here, but I will say that not all of these bans are permanent, and we do periodically review them to lift specific ones. At release, we have reviewed all existing hardware bans and unbanned some of the less egregious offenders. We are not planning to remove any more hardware bans until our next periodic review.”
It's encouraging to see Riot take cheating very seriously, as hackers are arguably one of the most disruptive aspects of any competitive game.