The Valve Anti-Cheat program is working extra miles as it imposed a record breaking 900K bans in January, just a month after recording a 600 VAC ban for December alone.
The ban activities are mostly attributed to CounterStrike: Global Offensive which eventually became a free-to-play game earlier in December. Since announcing the F2P model, a huge influx of new accounts were recorded. This sums up to a record-breaking 20 million unique player count in December, doubling the shooter’s total prior to the change - unique players are defined as individual accounts logged in a specific period.
However, the rise of player count also meant the rise of the already rampant cheating activities within the game. As said earlier, there were already 600K banned accounts just a month after CS:GO went F2P.
“A huge majority of the bans are in 900mil+ steamid ranges, meaning the bans are on freshly registered accounts. There were always more bans of fresher accounts, but when CS:GO went free to play, this ratio just went through the roof (just like the VAC ban graph itself), so I think it's safe to say that a huge majority of the VAC bans are for CS:GO, specifically on fresh accounts.”
He also said that this current month may have lower ban numbers because SteamDB cannot check every single Steam profile every day for bans.
Daily VAC and game ban averages also range between 10-40K marks.
CS:GO today continues its healthy numbers at 400K averages and almost 700K peaks as per SteamCharts. CS enthusiast and insider Nors3 even shared on Twitter that CS:GO managed to surpass PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS in peak daily players for the first time since August 2017.
The community continues to have mixed opinions regarding this free to play system. But one thing is for sure, CounterStrike still has its numbers strong - since 1999.