Game developers are in a nonstop battle with cheaters, and now some developers are getting an extra hand from an anti-cheat vigilante frustrated with people who give themselves an unfair advantage.
Motherboard staff writer Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai profiled Mohamed “GamerDoc” Al-Sharifi, a 24-year-old who has spent a significant amount of time and energy hunting down cheaters in both Overwatch and Valorant. Al-Sharifi says he despises cheaters and feels games are “ruined” by people who unfairly want an upper hand. He’s become infamous in the cheating community as “an asshole who sends cheat loaders to Riot,” one cheat developer told Motherboard. At one point, Vice mentions that someone even created a GoFundMe page to hire an assassin to kill Al-Sharifi, though we discovered it’s a fake — most of the “contributors” were copy / pasted from this unrelated memorial fund.
Within the last two years of doing this, Al-Sharifi estimates that between 50,000 to 70,000 cheaters across Overwatch and Valorant have been banned as a result of his anti-cheat investigations. Cheating has been a problem in competitive gaming for years, and in 2020, developers of some of the most popular PC games are still fighting a wave of cheaters and hackers.
As described by Motherboard, here’s Al-Sharifi’s process for tracking and finding cheats and the cheaters who make them:
In order to find cheats and cheaters, GamerDoc also lurks on cheaters’ forums and Discord channels, “gathering intelligence,” as he put it. Sometimes, that means socially engineering the cheat developers or sellers into providing him the cheat so he can pass the cheating app on to the anti-cheat teams at Riot Games, Blizzard, and other game studios. Other times, GamerDoc said that cheat developers get in touch with him to expose other cheats made by competitors in what is a big business where the best cheats can go for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
But Al-Sharifi is not alone in his quest. He currently runs two servers on Discord, amassing thousands of volunteers who help him spot new exploits in Overwatch and Valorant. Motherboard’s article goes into great detail about how anti-cheat volunteers tip off Al-Sharifi to alleged cheaters, in addition to his plans to launch a website in the future. I strongly encourage you to read the full report.