Aspiring VALORANT pro Phox banned for cheating

Top VALORANT amateur player "Phox" has been permanently banned from the game following confirmation of cheating allegations, according to statement from the player Monday.

The aspiring pro went to social media this morning to announce his break from the professional scene, citing his mental health, before Matt Paoletti, an anti-cheating developer at VALORANT responded that the player had been banned for cheating earlier in the day.

More: League of Legends global power rankings through July 20 | Gaming inspiration during coronavirus: ESPN's picks for video games to try | G2 Esports VALORANT star Ardiis wins the weekend

Phox and teammate "weak" had been training together on one of the best amateur teams in North America, Echo 8, in preparation for the upcoming $25,000 PAX Arena tournament this week. Weak went to social media to defend Phox from the cheating allegations to only soon thereafter confirm that both they and Phox had been banned from the game for playing with cheats enabled.

"Not gonna try to prolong this anymore," Weak posted. "None of our teammates knew we were cheating. I got a message from [P]hox this morning saying he got banned, so I checked if I was too. I have now logged in to being banned, thought I could play it off."

As part of Echo 8, Phox recently competed in a charity tournament, EsportsDoug x eUnited Charity Clash, where his team finished in third place. Phox was one of the top performers of the entire event, finishing with a phenomenal kill-to-death ratio of 1.45 and an Average Combat Score of 286. In online play, Phox has been one of the most successful players on the North American ladder, achieving the highest rank of Radiant with a 75% win rate in his competitive games while routinely putting up big numbers and winning against popular pros such as 100 Thieves captain Spencer "Hiko" Martin or T1's Victor "Food" Wong.

Echo 8 are still slated to compete in the upcoming PAX Arena Invitational, an Ignition Series event in partnership with Riot Games, as no one else on the team is suspected of cheating.