Several VALORANT coaches have come forward to expose a coaching bug that has been in the game since the start of the year and has occurred during the VALORANT Champions Tour, multiple sources told Dot Esports.
There are several different variations of the bug. But in the most egregious instances, coaches in the spectator slot are given small colored dots of the enemy’s position on the mini-map, essentially allowing the coach to see the enemy team’s movements live.
In the most recent North American VCT playoffs, which concluded on June 27, NRG coach Josh “JoshRT” Lee experienced a variation of the bug during their match against FaZe on June 25 and immediately notified a referee for Nerd Street Gamers, the hosts of the tournament employed by Riot Games to run the event, he told Dot Esports.
Although it resulted in a long technical pause, Josh was told to restart his game and the match continued.
To maintain competitive integrity in the VCT, Nerd Street employs referees to watch the screens of coaches and listen to communication to ensure coaches are not communicating with their players during the match to relay information, multiple coaches told Dot Esports.
Other coaches from Europe and North America have told Dot Esports that they have experienced the bug in practice and reported it to Riot. Josh was also told that Riot is working on a hotfix for the bug.
Some coaches, like TSM’s Academy head coach Theodor “in0X” Bjornsson, made their experience with the bug public. He reported the bug on Twitter after he experienced the coaching bug during practice. “Every circle on the enemy team is around the area where the other players are. 10 seconds before they planted, I knew they were ending A,” he said.
Fellow coach for North American team Version1 Ian “Immi” Harding said he experienced the bug during the team’s run in the VALORANT Champions Tour but it was a less offensive version of the bug since the position of the enemies didn’t update in real-time.
One of the first instances of the bug was publicly reported by Akrew coach Salah “Salah” Barakat. “Idk what this bug is from the coach spec. Happend during both maps during official. First time I pressed leave game as soon as I noticed( shat myself at the idea of becoming next hunden) second game I restarted game and it fixed,” he said on Twitter.
On Jan. 14, game designer “penguin” said the bug had been reported internally at Riot.
The first two days of competition in the VCT qualifiers do not have any monitoring from a referee likely due to the number of teams competing, according to one coach. Similarly, this bug could affect lower-tier tournaments that do not have the financial resources to employ referees for each team, which could result in teams being given an unfair advantage if they encounter the bug.
Unlike other major FPS titles, VALORANT does not have a replay system, so it’s difficult to find out if this bug, which has gone under the radar for months, has been used in lower tiers of competition.