If you haven't been playing CS:GO for 11 years, you might've struggled to see what all the fuss was about when Valve announced Counter-Strike 2 this week. Yes, the maps are prettier on Source 2 and apparently the smoke grenades are a lot smokier, but it is essentially the same game with a bunch of nice upgrades. Based on info datamined from the Counter-Strike 2 closed test happening now, one of those upgrades might be a new way to stop cheaters before they can ruin a whole match.
As noticed by Twitter user Aquarius, Counter-Strike 2's code mentions a feature called VAC Live that can cancel an in-progress match if a cheater is detected.
"This match has been cancelled by VAC Live," the code reads.
Looks like some sort of new anti-cheat measure is in the works for Counter-Strike 2 called "VAC Live".If a cheater gets detected during a match, the match will be cancelled! pic.twitter.com/PQY88sBlMlMarch 23, 2023
Cool. If you've ever encountered a blatant cheater in your favorite shooters, you know how demoralizing it can be to put up with one for an entire 30-minute match. You can't leave or you get punished, so you just have to play out the whole match and hope the anticheat sorts things out later. If accurate, VAC Live will deliver swifter justice and save everyone some time by cancelling the botched match.
It looks like VAC Live is taking a welcome cue from its most direct competition: Valorant. Riot's in-house anticheat Vanguard has featured in-progress match cancellations from day one. Watch it in action here and notice how relieved players are to feel instantly vindicated in their cheater suspicions and glad the match ended early.
Like Vanguard, VAC probably won't catch every cheater quickly enough to cancel an in-progress match. It helps to be a popular streamer that a developer watches specifically to watch out for cheaters, but I'd still expect to get some notifications of suspensions hours or days after an encounter.
I hope CS2's version of Valorant's bright red "CHEATER DETECTED" screen is just as dramatic and cold.