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Valve has been striking back against cheaters in their landmark multiplayer game, Team Fortress 2. The cheaters in question were using a very popular hack to the game, named LMAOBOX. The hack itself has been available for the past five years, both in free and in a paid premium package, and featured numerous hacks for TF2, including aimbots for automatic Spy backstabs and Sniper headshots, projectile prediction for missiles and bows, and automatic airblasting for the Pyro class.

The hack, according to PCGamesN, was added to Valve’s anti-cheat system, or VAC, in the latest update by Valve. In the wake, hundreds of players have been caught and summarily banned for using LMAOBOX, including over 160 ranked online players, some of which were on teams and participating in league championships throughout the world. 

PCGamesN was able to find a forum post by a supposed professional player, simply known as “Vladimew” who was caught by the VAC ban. Vladimew claims that during Season 17 of TF2 league play, he was shown LMAOBOX and began using it to get better at the game quickly. Vladimew claims he did not use LMAOBOX since then, including Season 18 of league play, but was surprised by how far back the VAC would go in uncovering the hack software.

Several pro players, named in the list linked above, were part of the largest Team Fortress 2 League in existence, the UGC. The list names players, including several platinum ranked players from North America, Australia, and New Zealand, who have been banned by the VAC. 

The creator of LMAOBOX has also issued a statement, saying that “Since this cheat is having some vac problems, i’m going to release it to the public. This marks the end of the LMAOBOX project; I hope everyone enjoyed it.”

It is unclear how the bans will affect league play for TF2 this year for UGC, as it enters its 19th season. What is clear, is that for players to participate in league play, the field has been leveled a bit thanks to Valve.

So what are your thoughts on the story? Is it a good thing that Valve mopped up this hack? Leave your comments below. 

Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.