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Is Vanguard really bricking LoL players’ PCs? Riot responds

Riot games personified with Vanguard as casting an evil spell

Vanguard just went live for League of Legends and players immediately started to report technical issues, up to and including claims that the anti-cheat engine bricked their PC.

League of Legends has always had problems with cheaters and bots. In 2017, Riot Games even won a high-profile lawsuit against LeagueSharp, a “subscription cheating service” that allowed players to pay bots to win games for them. Unfortunately, bots and cheaters remain a consistent issue for League of Legends, especially in public matchmaking.

The proverbial straw that broke Riot’s back was a security breach in early 2023. A hacker group stole League of Legends’ source code in a ransomware attack, leaving the game even more susceptible to hackers. In response, Riot Games announced its Vanguard anti-cheat engine, originally made for Valorant, would be added to League of Legends. Finally, Vanguard went live on May 2024, and it’s already caused controversy.

Will Vanguard brick PCs?

League of Legends players on social media claim Vanguard bricked their machines, but Riot Games denies that this is the case.

After Vanguard went live, many players booted up League of Legends to see what Vanguard brings to the table. Several players took to social media to post about their negative experiences. These players allege that Vanguard bricked their machines, or otherwise caused issues with their Windows installation. 

Some League of Legends content creators also claim Vanguard prevents them from recording gameplay. In other cases, it would allegedly take screenshots of their desktop without consent. Notably, other players reported only minor or no issues on their machines.

Some expressed skepticism at the controversy, claiming many of the complaints came from cheaters. Amidst all this controversy, Riot Games has finally given a response.

Riot defends adding Vanguard to League of Legends

Riot has not confirmed any instances of Vanguard bricking player hardware.

The anti-cheat team responded to the various claims of bricked hardware and privacy invasion. According to Riot’s internal data, less than 0.03% of players have reported issues with Vanguard. They stated that most issues can be remedied by contacting player support. 

Riot also found no evidence of Vanguard bricking people’s machines. However, the team does acknowledge a recent Windows 11 update that changed the BIOS may have affected Vanguard’s effectiveness. However, they reiterate the issue lies with Windows, not Vanguard. 

Finally, the team claims Vanguard does not take screenshots of the whole computer or multiple monitors, only the game client. They emphasize that Vanguard remains compliant with regional privacy laws.

Even before its original release in Valorant, Vanguard was met with criticism due to privacy concerns. Vanguard gives Riot Games, a company that has developed surveillance technology for the Chinese government, full access to players’ PCs.

The post ends with the Anti-Cheat team promising a full report of Vanguard’s rollout in League of Legends in the coming weeks.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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