Riot Games have penalized Guild Esports for using an illegal boost exploit in the EU Valorant First Strike qualifiers. The UK-based org forfeited their win against G2 as a result.
The decision means that Guild loses their spot in the First Strike EU Playoffs, and G2 will slot into the Best-of-Three match against Ninjas in Pyjamas. The team is allowed another chance to compete in First Strike through next week’s open qualifiers.
According to the game developers, Guild’s strat that utilized a Killjoy Turret as a base for Sage’s Barrier to boost a player was a violation against Rule 7.2.6 of the Global Competition Policy that outlines what constitutes an exploit.
“Europe RIOT officials have discovered that during their game on 11/13, Guild Esports used an exploit against G2 Esports. Exploits are prohibited under Rule 7.2.6 of the Global Competition Policy and as such Guild have been handed a forfeit loss,” Riot said.
This was the boost in question (this clip is not from the Guild vs G2 match).pic.twitter.com/2uvgEmQmW7
— Valorant News (@ValorantUpdates) November 14, 2020
While the rule’s definition leaves ample room for interpretation, it also gives a team the ability to privately discuss with referees, before a match begins, if a specific strategy would be considered a violation of section 7.2.6.
Riot used their discretionary powers outlined in the ‘Exploiting’ subsection of the Competitive Integrity chapter that lets them make “an ex-post-facto determination of whether an exploit has occurred,” meaning they could reverse the result of the single-elimination play-in match after the fact.
In the Disciplinary Action and Sanctions rulesets for Final Determinations (section 8.5), Riot says that all violations of the Global Policy will be enforced “whether or not they were committed intentionally.”
The TO opted to review the play and found that Guild was guilty of using the exploit to give a Defender an illegal early-round boost over Ascent’s B-Main wall.
Guild responded to the decision and maintained that they employed an “innovative use of abilities that was permitted.” They are now asking Riot to remove the now-identified exploit from Valorant.
“The team is devastated by this decision, and we believe we deployed an innovative use of abilities that was permitted. We request that now this tactic has been identified as an unintentional exploit, this is communicated to all teams and removed from the game,” Guild wrote.