The makers of the popular games League of Legends and Valorant have hired an online vigilante who hunts video game cheaters.
On Monday, Mohamed Al-Sharifi, who's better known as GamerDoc, announced that he had been hired to be part of Riot Games' anti-cheat team, which develops an anti-cheat engine called Vanguard.
"The entire Vanguard team are filled with the same passion as me," GamerDoc said in a statement he posted on Twitter. "I really love their work and fight against cheaters, and I am honoured to be part of that team. I will work extremely hard to make sure I protect all the players and make sure we protect the competitive integrity of riots titles."
Riot Games did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Two Riot Games employees, who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak to the press, confirmed the hire.
For the last couple of years, this 24-year-old from London has been hunting cheaters in Overwatch and Valorant, running and maintaining Discord channels where players can report cheaters and new cheat programs. GamerDoc and a group of volunteer hunters would then verify the report and send it to Riot Games and Blizzard. As Motherboard reported last month, gaming companies took GamerDoc's reports extremely seriously, and established an open communication channel with GamerDoc.
“The information people like GamerDoc provides helps us accelerate our anti-cheat development and ultimately gets cheaters out of the game faster,” Paul Chamberlain, the then anti-cheat lead for Riot’s Valorant, told Motherboard in an emailed statement last month.
Do you reverse engineer and develop cheats for games? Or do you work on anti-cheat engines? We’d love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai securely on Signal at +1 917 257 1382, lorenzofb on Wickr, OTR chat at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email email@example.com.
Other than collecting reports, GamerDoc also lurks and infiltrates cheating forums and Discord channels, gathering information or "intelligence"—as he put it—about cheat developers.
GamerDoc said he was very happy about his new job, especially because he was homeless at the end of last year and has had serious economic problems in the last few months.
"I am grateful to have been given a second chance in life; it was like almost four months ago; I almost went homeless again," he wrote in the statement. "Thanks to all of you guys and supporting my work, I got offered a job, and this is just my passion so I couldn't have asked for a better dream job; its everything I ever wanted, and I am eternally grateful for it."
GamerDoc's Discord channels for the Overwatch Police Department and the Valorant Police Department will keep running as usual, staff members said in the channels on Monday.