‘Let’s ban the cheaters’: Valve calls on CS2 players to combat hacking with return of Overwatch

Counter-Strike 2’s latest update delighted the community, with Valve finally adding a highly missed anti-cheat feature back to the tac shooter. 

The On The Other Hand (April 25) patch notes for CS2 mention the return of the Overwatch system, enabling “trusted partners” to review match demos to help Valve in a seemingly never-ending war against cheaters. Considering it’ll work in tandem with VAC, the community is hopeful about Overwatch notably improving the game’s destructive cheating problem.

Nuke on CS2 with a player holding an AK-47
Overwatch is back. Image via Valve

For those unaware, Overwatch is a player-driven anti-cheat system (not the game developed by Blizzard Entertainment). Players selected for it can review gameplay demos of suspected cheaters reported by the community and offer their verdict on whether it’s a violation. The suspect gets scrutinized based on the following factors:

  1. Aim Assistance
  2. Vision Assistance
  3. Other External Assistance
  4. Griefing

Similar to CS:GO, only CS2 players who meet certain requirements and a high trust score are eligible to join as Overwatch’s Investigators. While Valve hasn’t announced the requirements, here’s what it was like in CS:GO:

  • At least 300 hours played in Counter-Strike
  • 150 wins in competitive mode
  • A rank not lower than Gold Nova I
  • A minimum of violations
  • No VAC bans

While Overwatch’s return should help in the battle against cheaters, it’s naturally not as reliable as VAC. To top it off, Valve has to ensure it moderates Overwatch well to filter careless reviews, as is the problem with any manual process. 

As one player pointed out, CS:GO’s iteration of the system fueled a lot of “botted” judgments right before it got removed altogether. Furthermore, there were no significant rewards for reviewing cases, making it seem like a waste of time. We hope Valve can address these issues with CS2’s version.

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