Riot Games are not giving cheaters an inch in Valorant and they proved that public shaming is not something they will avoid by calling out a cheater who aspired to be a pro, days after his last tournament.
Valorant is the fresh game on the esports market and many people are trying to make a name for themselves. Such was the case with Phox, who wanted to make it to the upper echelons of Valorant's ranked ladder, although it became apparent that the person was not willing to do the things the old fashioned way as he was found to be using cheats.
He was on Echo 8's roster during recent Charity Clash tournament, organised by EsportDoug and eUnited, where the team secured the 3rd/4th place as there was no tiebreaker match between them. Phox was supposed to be on the team's roster for the upcoming PAX Arena Invitational, which is organised by Riot Games and is part of the Ignition Series.
That plan was cut short when Phox announced on Twitter that he's retiring , citing depression as a reason for taking a break from Valorant. The excuse was not meant to last as Matt Paoletti, one of the devs working on Valorant's anti-cheat, replied to the announcement by simply stating " If you come back, don't cheat next time ".
Paoletti's had a mixed reception, with some fans cheering after the public shaming of a cheater while others were concerned that the dev possibly insulted a vulnerable individual with no concrete evidence. It would be odd to see Riot Games risking a blunder just like that and it was pretty obvious to some that the devs had definitive proof of cheating.
Roughly 12 hours after Phox's announcement, his teammate admitted to cheating and that both of them were in fact banned, despite previous claims that they are "taking a break" from Valorant.
This eventually led to Phox also admitting to cheating , with a new statement where he admitted to being a long-time compulsive cheater which was born from being a sore loser.
While there are mentions of suicidal thoughts in the new statement, he doesn't reference depression at all anymore. While that doesn't necessarily mean he was lying about his state of mind, it became obvious that Phox tried to play his absence off as something that had to do with his mental health instead of admitting to being banned for cheating.