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Away From Keyboard (AFK)

Away From Keyboard (AFK) – The concept of AFK comes from the acronym “Away from Keyboard”, a fundamental notion in competitive gaming and used to describe a player who is not actively participating in the game because he is temporarily absent or inactive, which can have significant repercussions on the course. and result of a game.

Declaring a player AFK can have various consequences over the course of the game. Depending on the moment and type of game, its absence can weaken the team, compromise key objectives, and even lead to defeat. Clear communication about absence can help the team minimize negative effects and remain competitive during the game.

In AFK situations, teams often implement strategies to effectively manage a player’s absence. These strategies include assigning backup roles; maintain constant communication to anticipate absences; and take steps to mitigate the impact of a missing player on the team, such as adjusting team strategy, reorganizing roles, or adapting tactics based on the situation. Planning and coordination are essential to maintain team cohesion and performance.

It is essential to distinguish the concept of AFK from other expressions in esports. While AFK refers to a temporary absence, terms like RageQuit imply a more permanent disconnection motivated by frustration; and BRB (acronym for “Be Right Back”) indicates a brief pause in the player’s participation. Clarity in the communication of these terms is essential to avoid misunderstandings and maintain harmony in the team. In the competitive field of esports, where strategy and timing are essential, communication between team members is necessary. Using appropriate terms allows players to inform teammates of their absence, making it easier to adapt team strategy and make informed decisions.

AFK and consequences

Being AFK in a game can have multiple consequences, from being kicked out of the game due to inactivity or banned temporarily or permanently. This will all depend on the game and its policies, as this behavior can negatively affect the gaming experience of other participants and unbalance the competition. Therefore, players are recommended to avoid being AFK on a regularly and reserve this action for exceptional situations where it is unavoidable to be temporarily absent from the game. Communicating or informing the team about the absence and the estimated duration can help minimize the risk of being penalized for being AFK during the game.


Games like Valorant (Riot Games) and Warframe (Digital Extremes) have implemented systems to detect and mitigate AFK behavior, which can result in penalties proportional to the frequency of a player’s absence. These measures may include reporting and disciplinary actions that prompt them to participate more actively in future matches before facing potential permanent bans.

In the competitive sphere, the case of xQc from the Dallas Fuel in 2017 has been documented as a notable example. This player was suspended for 7 matches due to various behaviors deemed unsportsmanlike, including repeated AFK instances, which negatively impacted the team’s performance. This incident clearly illustrates that AFK behavior can have significant legal consequences, even in highly competitive environments.

In summary, in esports, the concept of AFK represents the communication and coordination between players during online matches. Its proper use is crucial to maintaining competitiveness, team cohesion and optimal performance in an environment where strategy and timing are essential to success. Understanding and effectively managing AFK situations emerge as key elements in maximizing the gaming experience and maintaining team harmony.


  • David Santiváñez

    David Santiváñez is the inspirational founder and chief leader of GameMetron Law Firm, a pioneering firm providing legal services to the creative industry and esports in LATAM. Passionate about gaming culture, his profound knowledge and extensive experience have led him to collaborate with prominent indie gaming companies and creative entities in the region, as well as with various esports teams and personalities in Latin America. His expertise extends beyond the legal realm; he also stands out as a mentor in movements and non profit organizations such as the IGDA Foundation, Global Game Jam, and GameJamPlus, among others, always seeking to foster entrepreneurship, creativity, and disseminate legal knowledge in a dynamic and understandable way. In addition to his outstanding performance as a lawyer, David has shared his experience through teaching. He has been invited as a professor in various programs related to esports, such as ISDE Law & Business School in Spain in 2019 the Saudi Esports Academy in Saudi Arabia in 2022 and the Sports Law Diploma of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in 2019 and 2020. He has also taught classes in institutions related to law and traditional education, such as Universidad Nueva Galicia (from 2021 to 2023) and the Universidad Contemporanea de las Américas (UNICLA) in Mexico in Outside of his role at GameMetron Law Firm, from 2018 to 2020, he served as Senior Legal Counsel at DEVHR, the international forum for gaming professionals. In March 2020, he founded the Esports Directorate of the Cámara de Comercio de México (CANACO), currently under the direction of Hugo Sánchez, a prominent figure in esports in Mexico and the region. Additionally, he has collaborated with the Instituto Nacional de Transparencia, Acceso a la Información y Protección de Datos Personales (INAI) as an advocate for the protection of personal data for children and adolescents in accessing video games as well as with the Secretaría de Seguridad y Protección Ciudadana of Mexico (during Cybersecurity Week), evangelizing and promoting cybersecurity for parents and youth in the gaming and cyberspace environment. David is a prominent member of organizations such as the Video Games Bar Association (the Esports Bar Association (EBA) and the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). He is also recognized as a legal expert in intellectual property matters on the Safe Creative platform and is part of the select group of professionals endorsing arbitration as a method of conflict resolution called WIPO ADR Young, belonging to the World Intellectual Property Organization. Currently, David is pursuing an MBA at ThePower Business School and continues to lead GameMetron Law Firm while overseeing the firm’s expansion throughout Latin America, directing strategies from the offices in Peru.

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