People are saying Vanguard is ruining their PCs. Is it true?

Vanguard, Riot Games' proprietary anti-cheat system debuted on the League of Legends client today, but is this long-awaited solution to cheaters bricking players' PCs?

Vanguard is Riot Games' kernel-level anti-cheat program that has been implemented in VALORANT since its debut. This week, it was brought to League of Legends, but fans have suddenly begun to report huge technical issues with computers following Vanguard installation. What's going on, and is Vanguard actually ruining players' machines?

Is Vanguard crashing computers?

Right now, it's unclear if Vanguard is responsible for reports for PCs being inoperable. If you want to know more about the technical side about Vanguard, check out our guide here.

Reports began to emerge early after the patch introducing Vanguard was implemented about sudden crashes that were completely disabling machines. One of the early reports came from noted coach and content creator Nick "LS" DeCesare. Two separate computers suddenly became inoperable after installing Vanguard, and it took removing and resetting the CMOS battery to repair even one PC. According to LS, the salvageable computer needed to have both EUFI and TPM2.0 enabled in the computer's BIOS with Vanguard running in order to access the League of Legends client. Riot's anti-cheat is notoriously kernel-level, the effective highest level of authorization for software.

It's unclear if the issue is related directly to the anti-cheat, but other players on social media reported similar issues. Vanguard's kernel-level access diseases many in the know of cybersecurity, and for good reason. Offensive cybersecurity specialist, streamer, and game developer Jason "Thor" Hall of Pirate Software is one of many to have voiced serious doubts about Riot's new solution to cheaters.

"Kernel-level anti-cheat gets full access to your machine, hardware, and software. I don't like that. I'm a hacker, I've been a hacker for 20 years. [...] I've banned over two million players and I've never liked kernel-level anti-cheat."

- Jason "Thor" Hall

Given the unparalleled access the program has to a machine, technical issues abound seems sure to worsen community sentiment. For now, however, there's no conclusive evidence that Vanguard is the culprit in these situations, but the facts are still developing.

Is it ruining replays?

It's not just technical problems being caused by the program, either. Some coaches are being blocked from accessing replay files. This makes pulling replays for any purpose impossible, an unsolvable roadblock for doing gameplay reviews. Content creator Virkayu noted that anything on the current patch was suddenly unusable.

With both these issues staining Vanguard's launch to League of Legends, the anti-cheat is certainly off to a rocky start.

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