Riot Games will soon begin monitoring voice chat in Valorant in an effort to curb toxicity in the popular competitive FPS. This will be accomplished by recording voice communications during Valorant’s online competition, which will then be assessed for reports of some form of toxic behavior.
This was first hinted at in an official blog post on the topic of toxicity back in February, in a section devoted to ongoing future steps. Fast forward to today and we’re pretty much the first phase of the beta implementation later this year. On July 13, the background launch of the Voice Assessment System will be deployed in North America.
In its first implementation, according to the system’s official statement, the system will not initially be used for banning. Instead, this will be used to “train our language models and get the technology in a good enough position to launch in beta later this year”. This appears to be to address issues like false positives before the actual punishment begins.
The implementation of the system will be “with the goal of launching this feature in Valorant first” – a strong hint that once this voice evaluation is working, it is expected to spread to current and future Riot Games games.
Whether this will actually suppress toxicity remains to be seen. Those leaning in competitive games are nothing without creativity, and may resort to other forms of grief and sandbags if faced with a real threat of punishment from a voice-based communication system. We can point to League of Legends, a game that has struggled with toxicity and AFK penalties over the past few years and remains a hotbed for sociopathic players.
What are your thoughts on this new system? Let us know below if you approve of it, or if you don’t think it will make much of a difference. For more Valorant content, check out our articles on our hands-on experience with the new map – PEARL, as well as our coverage of recent cosmic crossover events.