Riot tells most toxic VALORANT players to get lost: ‘Play something else, we won’t miss you’

And don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Viper and Cypher on VALORANT promotional art.
Image via Riot Games

Riot Games is bolstering its efforts to combat toxicity and voice chat abuse in VALORANT, according to a recent update from studio head Anna Donlon. And if you somehow can’t stop yourself from being a hateful bigot, the message is clear: Go away.

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In today’s dev update, titled “Keeping Our Community Healthy,” Donlon admitted that the existing penalties are not doing enough to remove the most disruptive players from VALORANT efficiently and previewed some new changes. But to the most egregious offenders who intend on being hurtful, no matter what changes are made, Donlon and Riot firmly said they should go anywhere else.

“There’s no room in our community for the most egregious behaviors, and we’re not going to compromise,” Donlon said. “If you need to make truly evil statements under the guise of regular ‘shit talk’ to enjoy gaming, then please play something else. We won’t miss you.”

These changes include “stronger, faster penalties” for the most severe behavior, which should be fully finalized by the end of June. “Severe” offenders are players who use text or voice chat to spread hate speech, unwanted sexual content, and threats of violence. A new top level of punishment is also being added: hardware bans, but only “in the most extreme cases.”

In addition to these significant changes, Riot is “increasing support for manual reviews” to catch and penalize more offenders, as well as expanding the automated voice evaluation system to other regions later this year.

While in-game toxicity and voice chat abuse have been an ongoing issue, it was brought to the forefront of community discussion a few weeks ago when Twitch streamer Taylor Morgan shared a clip of her VALORANT teammates using vile language. Morgan later shared that she was the one in fact who was penalized for leaving the game after the disgusting comments were made.

This clip in particular sparked a necessary discussion about behavior in VALORANT and the lack of effectiveness of the report system at the time, leading to today’s update. Donlon even made a point to address the pitiful responses some players made to Morgan’s clip.

“We do believe a person should not be in a position to have to grow thicker skin, or whatever other unhelpful suggestions have been thrown out there, just to avoid threats of violence or literal hate speech,” Donlon said.

Donlon noted in today’s update that most of the new solutions primarily deal with offenders after the fact but said Riot is working on more “proactive” solutions to the most toxic players.

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Scott Robertson
VALORANT lead staff writer, also covering CS:GO, FPS games, other titles, and the wider esports industry. Watching and writing esports since 2014. Previously wrote for Dexerto, Upcomer, Splyce, and somehow MySpace. Jack of all games, master of none.