American players phox and w3ak have both been banned by Riot Games' Anti-Cheat Vanguard, barring them from competing in Valorant indefinitely. Both players previously played for A.S.M.R., and were set to play with Echo 8 in the PAX Arena Invitational.

w3ak first announced his break in a Twitlonger, claiming that Echo 8 Echo 8 North America Rank #24 AYRIN Jordan He Brando Brandon Parker captain AYRIN wanted to have phox join Echo 8 and drop w3ak from the team in the process, despite it originally being stated that the two would return to A.S.M.R. at the end of the EsportsDoug x eUnited Charity Clash. Following the incident, w3ak stated he grew tired of Valorant, deciding to take a break from the game indefinitely.

Roughly ten hours later, phox also announced in a Twitlonger that he would be stepping down from playing Valorant. In his Twitlonger, phox cited personal issues conflicting with his dedication to the game, along with recent events in his life affecting him and his enjoyment of the game personally.

After another ten hours had passed, Riot Games' Senior Anti-Cheat Analyst Matt Paoletti sternly replied to phox's tweet, telling the American player "if [he comes] back, please don't cheat next time."

After the tweet from Matt Paoletti broke the news, w3ak was pressured by users on social media into proving that he wasn't banned along with phox. However, in a follow-up tweet, w3ak admitted to having used cheats alongside phox, stating also that none of their teammates were aware.

phox was one of the stand-out players in the EsportsDoug x eUnited Charity Clash, being the best performing player on Echo 8 during the event, and also recently played for A.S.M.R. in the Nerd Street Gamers Open #15 with w3ak.

Nerd Street Gamers has announced that A.S.M.R.'s winnings from the NSG Open #15 will be transferred to the fourth place team MIXUP MIXUP North America Rank #15 aproto Alex Protopapas Hoppin Charles Clapper fiziq Lucas Blow stellar Brenden McGrath thief Brady Dever instead, with both phox and w3ak banned from Nerd Street Gamers' events for two years.

Update: phox has released a final Twitlonger. You can read it here: