reacts to the Vivo Keyd vs Acend ruling, which has proven to already be controversial. Has Riot made a critical error for their young esport?

Riot's decision to reverse their previous ruling on Vivo Keyd's use of a Cypher exploit has been controversial, to say the least. Confusing is also a word that many would use to describe the situation.

For those not in the know, Vivo Keyd was initially penalized seven rounds for using a Cypher glitch that caused his camera to be immortal and invisible - one that also provided more information than was intended by glitching through textures. This move was previously punished by Riot with a map loss at an earlier event, but was penalized differently at Champions.

The penalty originally overturned the Vivo Keyd victory in Group A, and caused Acend to move on to the Winner's Match. However, Riot paused play and delayed the winner's match to deliberate their decision further.

Now, the match is being replayed. A variety of contributors from different games who have been watching and cheering alongside fans during Valorant Champions reacted to the ruling in the early hours of December 5, shortly after the decision was reached.

Spirit of the Rules Americas Editor Dustin Steiner thinks that the spirit of the rules, perhaps not the letter, should have been stuck to by Riot in this case.

"This move reeks of trying to please all parties involved when a penalty shouldn’t be about that. Players violated the rules and even if the specific exploit wasn’t on a document (even that’s been thrown into question), Vivo Keyd certainly violated the spirit of the rules. It's unclear if this move was brought about by outrage from VK fans and some players at the event, but it certainly appears that way.

I've been covering esports for over a decade now, and I've rarely seen a situation like this, let alone handled so poorly.

Riot tried to be too smart for their own good by only doing round forfeits, when this should have been a map forfeit, and moved on from. Instead, they’ve stained their credibility and their first World Championship event. Do better."

Jhow has plenty to smile about after this ruling. Photo by Michal Konkol/Riot Games
Jhow has plenty to smile about after this ruling. Photo by Michal Konkol/Riot Games

Baby got their bottle in the end

Valorant contributor Brittany "Briggsycake" Gonzales has been on top of interviewing players at the event, and she thinks Riot's capitulating in this instance.

"The whole point of a punishment is to prevent the perpetrator and others from committing the same illegal actions again. This ruling is a cop out. Riot simply don’t have the stones to fully punish Vivo Keyd because they were intimidated by the backlash. Riot knew this exploit should have been patchedand instead of admitting they screwed up, they instead capitulated like a parent unwilling to discipline their misbehaving child.

The fact remains: Vivo Keyd cheated. The map should have been forfeited, Acend should have won, and both Riot and Vivo Keyd should have taken it as a lesson learned. Instead, Riot looks incompetent, Vivo Keyd look like cheaters, and this is a complete and utter waste of everyone’s time. Point blank, period."

Vivo Keyd ruling causes confusion, not clarity

Eurasia editor Rohan Samal reacts with mostly confusion at Riot's insistence on using round counts at all, and thinks that Vivo Keyd should have been DQ'd outright from the event.

"Intentional use of a known exploit, one that Riot has punished before, should have been terms for disqualification. The rules accommodate such a ruling and Riot has punished a team for the exact exploit before.

Going back on the original ruling is more confusing as Riot is now trying to justify each round of penalties. This incident overshadows the first World Championship event in Valorant. Not a good look."

POTSDAM, GERMANY - DECEMBER 3: Team Acend walks offstage after a loss at the VALORANT Champions Groups Stage on December 3, 2021 in Potsdam, Germany. (Photo by Michal Konkol/Riot Games)
POTSDAM, GERMANY - DECEMBER 3: Team Acend walks offstage after a loss at the VALORANT Champions Groups Stage on December 3, 2021 in Potsdam, Germany. (Photo by Michal Konkol/Riot Games)

A loss of trust after Vivo Keyd Champions ruling

CS:GO contributor Arnav "XL" Shukla has lost all trust in Riot following this decision in their first World Championship event.

"This match should never be replayed, the only decision that should have been made was a map forfeit win for Acend. This decision is a disgrace and harms competitive integrity more than protecting it. Going round by round in such a nuanced game is impossible and any penalties for economic impact cease to be relevant the minute a match is replayed.

This shows that Riot can not be trusted to run a competitive FPS esport and if the teams replay this game instead of boycotting it, they show they hold no cards in a Riot-controlled esports."

Backtracking is spineless

Call of Duty writer James "Maverick" Bassett called the move from Riot "spineless," and thinks that the first ruling on VK should have stood.

"When Riot made their initial ruling to award Map 3 to Acend, it was a bit of a shock but I think it was something people could accept given time. Vivo KeyD clearly exploited a game-breaking glitch in their favor and nobody likes to see that happen.

But this latest decision shows that when the chips are down, Riot don't have the spine to go through with their punishments. Because asking Riot to make a competent decision is like asking a toddler to list the first 20 digits of Pi. They do a lot of thinking, but in the end, it amounts to absolutely nothing."

Regardless of our thoughts on the issue, Valorant Champions marches on. Be sure to check out all of our interviews, features, breaking news and more from the event on our Coverage hub.