Riot Games will soon start monitoring voice chat in Valorant, as part of an attempt to curb toxicity in the popular competitive FPS. This will be achieved through recording voice comms in online matches of Valorant, which will then be evaluated if a report indicating some form of toxic behaviour comes through.
This was first hinted at in an official blog post on the subject of toxicity back in February, inside a section dedicated to future steps that were in the works. Fast forward to today and we’re nearly the first stage of beta implementation later this year. On July 13, a background launch for the voice evaluation system will be deployed in North America.
In its first implementation, the system will not initially be used for banning according to official statements on the system. Instead, this will be used to “train our language models and get the tech in a good enough place for a beta launch later this year”. This is seemingly to get ahead of issues such as false positives before actual punishments start to be dished out.
This system will be implemented with “the goal of kicking this off in Valorant first” - heavily implying that there’s a desire to spread this out across current and future Riot Games titles once this voice evaluation is working correctly.
Whether or not this will actually curb toxicity remains to be seen. Those on tilt in competitive games are nothing if not creative, and if faced with a genuine threat of punishment from voice-communication-based systems will likely resort to other forms of griefing and sandbagging. We can point to League of Legends, a game which has seen strives in toxicity and AFK punishments over the past few years and remains a hotbed for antisocial players.
What are your thoughts on this new system? Let us know below if you’re in favour of it, or whether you think it won’t make much of a dent. For more Valorant content, check out our pieces on our hands-on impressions on the new map - PEARL, as well as our coverage on the recent cosmic crossover event.