Also known as the "Epic prank of 10/01/09", the "Steam Ban Prank" was a devious scheme formulated by forum members Yannick and DarkDragon on the 10th of January, 2009. Using a website (a link to which will not be posted due to the current editor's fear of it's malicious power) that can send out e-mails disgised as being from any sender. Using this tool, DarkDragon first sent the following e-mail to Yannick, with the intent of fooling him into thinking his Steam account had been banned.
“Please do not reply to this email. This email has been sent by a machine, replies will not be read.
Hello, Steam Support regrets to inform you that our VAC2 System has detected external cheating software running while you were playing the Valve game: Left4Dead.We are therefore obliged to give you a 1 week prior warning after which your account will be VAC2 banned from all Valve games permanently.
We have no way of detecting if the use of the software in question was intentional or not. If it was not intentional, we are deeply sorry. Best Regards,The Valve VAC2 Division”
After a few minutes, DarkDragon let Yannick in on the joke, and the two then turned their attention to the rest of the forum and sent similar e-mails to a number of people including Martyk, Skyward, Snork, Brandonazz, and Krakow Sam, although not everyone read it before the truth was let out. One of the first people to react was Martyk, who posted about it in the Left 4 Dead topic on the forums. People quickly replied and things escalated from there. After much flipping out, making Steam customer service tickets, and talking with both Yannick and DarkDragon, who were some of the first to also say they got the e-mail, they let Martyk in on the secret. Now in on the joke, he could find the humor in it, but insisted that they put a stop to it before someone did something rash. And so, after two pages and half an hour of worrying, DarkDragon came clean and the prank was brought to an end, although discussion of it continued for quite some time.
As punishment for their dark yet hilarious deeds agains forum-kind, Neoadept fashioned a pair of signatures for Yannick and DarkDragon, stating that they were each a “horrible person”. And so ended one of the greatest pranks in GamingSteve history.
The signatures made for DarkDragon and Yannick by Neoadept