A Guide on Game Bans and Anti-Cheat Practices

Let’s be real, no one likes a toxic player disturbing the fun of playing a game online. While it’s likely collectively agreed upon that cheating, disrespectful behavior, and toxic habits surrounding the gaming ecosystem is a bad thing, it’s still a pervasive issue that requires a variety of measures to mitigate it in the long term, including banning practices. With a community as large as the one surrounding online gaming, it’s inevitable that you’ll have a few rotten apples to spoil things for other players.

To add to the mix, some players also engage in cheating or unfair playing practices. Again, like cyber-bullying, this is a pervasive issue that developers and other competitive gaming organizations must work diligently to solve over time. If you’ve read the news lately, you’ve likely seen that Valve has been actively blacklisting and banning accounts for 19-or-20-year time periods in an effort to combat cheaating and poor gamer conduct.

At Gamercraft, we believe it’s important for players, whether playing online or in an eSports competition, to understand banning practices surrounding their chosen games. Read on for a comprehensive guide on banning practices and a fuerther explanation of what’s happening at Valve.

Gamercraft guide on eSports banning practices.

Banning Practices Explained

In light of pervasive online verbal abuse and rule violations many developers have implemented various banning practices aimed to decrease the frequency of bullying and cheating. Some developers have adopted the practice with more conviction than others, especially Valve with Dota 2.

Dota 2 is arguably one of the most popular eSports titles right now with hundreds of thousands of players logging hour after hour daily. Valve’s top-down MOBA game has also developed a dedicated eSports following, and competition prize pools climb into the tens of millions. It’s also a game that’s recently instituted rigorous banning practices that some players are calling harsh.

Dota 2’s banning practices a predicated on a behavioral scale. This is a number-based system with a 10,000-point scale. Players lose “behavioral points” as they commit certain negative acts during gameplay, like abandoning matches, refusing to play with a similar mentality, or engaging in toxic behavior. Cheaeting and other forms of player exploitation will also cause a player to lose points. Once the player falls below a certain threshold, banning practices start to come into play.

Recently, players have been encountering bans of up to 20 years. While this doesn’t actually constitute a 20-year ban (the server can only handle that much time for a banning period), it’s actually a blacklisting. This essentially places players’ phone numbers on a list and prevents them from creating an account with the assoceiated number in the future.

A Broad Look at Other Banning Practices

While Valve’s banning practices have drawn criticism, they certainly are proving to be some of the most stringent in the industry right now. Other popular games have also continued to use different banning and punishment techniques to keep help create a safer and inclusive environment for their player bases at large. Here are some of the practices currently in place by other eSports and popular competitive titles:

League of Legends (Riot Games)

League of Legends uses an offense count based scale. Their “Summoner’s Code” offers guidelines as to how players should conduct themselves while in-game. The punishments range from chat room restrictions to permanent banning. Riot Games does provide a redemption system for players who actively correct their behavior, allowing them to reverse some of the bans.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

CS:GO banning practices.

Another popular eSports title, CS:GO uses a “competitive cooldown” system for its banning practices. Essentially, this means that players who engage in things like team-killing, kick system abuse, game abandonment, etc. will have their play time-restricted. The “cooldown” time can range from 30 minutes to an entire week. Theere is a redemption process in which players are encouraged to repair their player reputations to reduce the cooldown time.

Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch (Blizzard)

Various Blizzard titles like World of Warcraft (WoW), Overwatch, and Hearthstone are immensely popular eSports titles and take their banning practices very seriously. A quick look at their banning practices and policies reveal that they rely on player reporting to gather information on violations. Poor conduct results in restrictions (we can only assume play time as it isn’t clearly stated) and cheating incurs other penalties. Blizzard reserves the right to determine the punishment that befits the infringement and it varies depending on the offense.

You Should Always be Aware of Banning Policies

Game bans are put in place for a reason and players are expected to follow them to continue playing and to help preserve the playing environment for other players. While other eSports titles haven’t issued as harsh of punishments as Valve has with Dota 2, restrictions can be pretty severe depending on the offense you commiet.

Case-and-point always be aware of banning policies that developers have created around games and play respectfully. Keep up the good behavior and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

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