Valve banned over 40,000 cheating accounts right after this year's Steam Summer Sale ended, marking the biggest ever ban wave on Steam in a single day. It appears that a ton of people were caught up in this as thousands of accounts were just banned.
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It seems as though cheaters love a Steam Sale as much as the rest of us. This looks like it could be the case, since nearly every day after the mass ban, the numbers of people removed from the service has been less than 1,000 a day - normally, it's around 3,000 a day. The figure was a record high, significantly surpassing the previous record of 15,227 bans that took place on October 12, 2016, according to the Steam Database.
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Cheating in an online game can result in account ban and this fate was experienced by over 40,000 users on Steam last week. Already on 7 July, the ban received a total of 954 user on Steam, and today - and at 788. So what many banned users end up doing is waiting for a sale to create a new account, and then restock their catalog at a discount. Once an account on Valve's digital distribution platform and service has been banned by VAC, the decision is permanent, and supposedly non negotiable, though Valve does note on its Support page that if it finds you've been incorrectly flagged the decision will be reversed.
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An additional 5,000 users received game bans on 6 July, which ban an account from playing a certain game online. This information comes from Steamdb, where you can see a steady graph of bans each day - and the graph for July 6 shows a massive spike.