Riot Game’s penalty system for countering the AFK and abandonment issues in Valorant has been long sought-after by the community.
Since the game’s inception, the shooter has seen a massive influx of players from different parts of the gaming community. However, due to the increase in the number of players, the Valorant community now faces a graver issue.
As days go by, the number of players going AFK or leaving the game out of spite is growing significantly. This has left the community frustrated as the very quality of life in Valorant is getting hampered.
The community has been begging for a solution to this issue for as long as they can remember. Riot finally introduced the AFK penalty system in a recent patch to tackle this issue efficiently.
This system sorts out those who go AFK or abandon the team before a game ends, eventually giving them a game’s ban if the attitude keeps recurring. But there can be an example of a player abandoning the game involuntarily.
There still are countries that do not have a good enough infrastructure to deliver stable internet connection and electricity, which hampers the player’s gameplay against their own will.
For them, these punishments dealt out by Riot stand to be much more strict than intended. Countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Thailand have fallen prey to such a severe penalty system.
Valorant’s AFK penalty system
Along with other features, Riot first introduced the AFK penalty system to Valorant in patch 2.02. This feature determines whether a player is AFK or not by studying their movement patterns. After one or two rounds of telegraphed movements, the system determines the player as AFK and disconnects them from the ongoing match until the player actively rejoins.
As for handing out punishment, disconnection is only the first step, as it is swiftly followed by warnings and XP deduction from each match.
With patch update 2.04, Riot revamped the already existing penalty system to make it even more severe on players who voluntarily go AFK or leave during an ongoing match. It starts with several warnings, which eventually translates into barring them from ranked matchmaking if they show the same pattern of behavior.
If, even after recurring matchmaking bans, the player carries on with such misconduct, the system hands out the ultimatum. As per the system’s guidelines, they are banned from playing the game for a prolonged time.
Consequences faced by the Indian Valorant community
India, among other countries, faces a grave issue of lack of infrastructure, resulting in unstable internet connection and electricity. For this exact reason, players in the nation end up paying a heavy price handed out by the AFK penalty system even when it isn’t their fault.
Loss of internet connection due to the local Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) blunder is common in the country. And to add to this problem, frequent power cuts also end up sabotaging the quality of life of a Valorant player.
For example, there have been instances where players lost their power several times during a short period. This ended up getting them banned by the AFK penalty system, even though it was not their fault per se.
Many in the community have raised their voice regarding the severeness of the AFK penalty system in India. There have been social media posts showing that players are banned from playing the game for an extended period.
From a developer’s perspective, it is impossible to maintain a system that deals out punishment differently based on specific scenarios. But their silence in this matter has raised some serious questions within the community.
The community has also been asking for a spot in the Valorant Champions Tour for a long time. And for Riot finally recognizing their voice, this growing issue is hindering that path.