Yesterday when I logged into CS:GO I got shown a big yellow disclaimer saying something like "In one of your recent games there was a hacker in your team, and you are getting punished for this".

It made me unranked again.

Recently I have only been playing about one competitive match per day, so I was able to check my recent games back to ~April 1st. None of my recent teammates had ever had a VAC ban. The funny thing is: during this period, I had three different opponents who had received a VAC ban within the last 3 days.

So why was I penalized? Even if one of my teammates was hacking (which would mean that he got caught but not banned; my research indicates that none of my recent teammates had received a VAC ban), why would they completely remove my rank for it (especially when I lost every other match to hackers over the last few days)?

Am I really getting it right that this is the way Steam is treating the hacking problem?

They immediately unrank someone who has played alongside a hacker, even when my level of involvement was pretty much just losing two games to a hacker (and winning one!) ?

Also, not informing me about the meaning of my "punishment", nor who it was whose hacking caused this in the first place?

Please don't see this as a rant. I'm just interested in how their punishment system works exactly.

As I see it right now, it would me just cost 10€ and I could make 4 friends make lose their rank by hacking and they would never know it was me since Steam seems to just punish without a detailed explanation.

Is that how it is?

  • On a side note, as far as I know, there is some sort of temporary ban which will upgrade to a VAC after some time. I can't find the page currently, but maybe the ban wasn't yet fully enforced and therefore not visible on their profile
    – Sebb
    Apr 6, 2016 at 17:07
  • 1
    @Sebb Are you thinking of an overwatch ban?
    – lightfires
    Apr 6, 2016 at 19:43
  • @lightfires I'm with you on this one. It seems to be the most logical choice as a VAC is a permanent ban that appears to be listed on their profile, while an overwatch or cooldown does not. Overwatch bans last about 6 months, and it depends on the reason for the ban (cheating is longer than griefing for example). I have one VAC ban on steam for modding MW2 (trust me, even though you could mod cod 4/5, you just dont mod the ones after that!) and its a permanent mark on my steam profile. over 1000 days later. Jun 20, 2016 at 11:54

1 Answer 1


Steam would tend to revert back the hidden score points determining a rank, when a hacker is caught. This is so, because many people used to pay a hacker, or play with a friend with hack, to rank themselves up. There has been instances of 4 legit (no hacks) people playing together with a hacker (and paying them) to rank up.

So, for quite some time now, If you have been playing with a hacker (regardless of you knowing him or not) and they were caught cheating, the points received would be reverted. If you had ranked up, you'd be deranked to your rank before that game.

Similarly if you had played against a hacker and lost, and then they got banned, you'll get your game loss erased and not count towards your rank.

Basically it would be as if the game with the hacker never happened, nothing more.

I'm sure you'll agree the above is quite fair to both sides. If you had lost against a hacker, its fair that the loss doesn't count, and you don't lose rank because of this. If you had played with a hacker, unwillingly you had an advantage and the win shouldn't really count.

My best guess is the system got confused as the game in question, in your case may have been played a while back or it were more than one game, or something like this (like you lose your rank when you haven't played for a long time) But fear not, I'm pretty sure once you get a victory you'll get your old rank back, with no repercussion to you, whatsoever.

  • Yeah, I aggree, it beeing fair. But actually it looks different to me what happened, than what you described. Especially a friend of mine who am I playing with (and just know for some days) has gotten the disclaimer the same time. we played all the matches together. So it HAD to be happened in the last days. By the way: Do they also revert games you won, when a opponent hacked? And what could be the reason I get a rankscore revertation, while the hacker himself doesn't get banned? One had a private profil but said friend said even if private you see his bans, was he wrong, and that guy hacked?
    – Zaibis
    Apr 6, 2016 at 12:20
  • Yes, win or lose against a caught hacker, ranks and scores are reverted. THey may have been banned, but it not being VAC ban, but cooldown ... It may have been griefing the entire time or something similar. Apr 6, 2016 at 12:24
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    It may have been bHop script, or something similar, that would be severe enough for game reverting, but not that severe to cause permanent Vac Ban. ALSO now to think of it VAC is the automated system, and their bans may be different to those of overwatch bans ... Apr 6, 2016 at 12:29
  • griefing the entire team wouldn't make that much sense. This actually makes me more sad then what I expected. I mean.. considering what I figured out by checking steam profiles of participatens of my recent games, I can conclude ~50% of my games a hacker was involved. I don't like facing the fact that in average 50% of my gaming progress won't be recognized...
    – Zaibis
    Apr 6, 2016 at 12:29

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