CS2 cheaters are quaking in their boots.
Valve has finally banned the top CS2 player on the leaderboards as the flagship ban of a new VAC wave. CS2 ban tracker ConVars has already confirmed at least twice the normal average of bans with community reports claiming the numbers are much higher. This event marks the sixth big ban wave since the release of CS2 last September. It could also confirm a previously hidden update that changes how Valve detects suspicious play.
The biggest bust of the ban wave is the top-rated account in the entire game, which formerly held the record at 33,849 CS Rating. Valve appears to have entirely removed the account, intelligently named ♕greatest cheat♕, from the in-game leaderboard. Valve appears to have dealt with the notorious hacker, though their private account status prevents us from seeing if they had any juicy skins.
Aside from that high-profile ban, ConVars reports 210 bans so far on Jan. 4, 2023. It’s still early in the day, but that’s already close to double Valve’s daily average. Players on social media claim that multiple blatant cheaters they've played with are now banned, so expect numbers to rise. It may take weeks for third-party websites to register all of the bans.
New CS2 VAC ban wave could be related to a secret update
While not confirmed as the cause of the ban wave, the high-profile ban of the top CS2 player could be the result of a secret update added to the game last month.
According to prolific data miner Gabe Follower, CS2 added a new cheat detection system in Dec. 2023 meant to react to suspicious hits in real time. The strings, which start with the filename suspicious_hit, seem to detect unusual play and track the number of suspicious hits across matches. It’s not clear if it simply counts the number of incidents or actively reacts to prevent cheating, or if it is even active in the game at all. Regardless, this ban wave could be directly tied to the new system.
If true, Valve did not reveal this new anti-cheat update through any official media channels. That falls in line with the company’s secretive approach to all things anti-cheat. Secret updates like these are a way to catch cheaters by surprise, though data miners like Gabe Follower mean they don’t stay secret for long. Expect Valve to keep ramping up the arms race with cheaters as part of CS2’s continued development.