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03/23/21Esports

COMPETITIVE RULING: 100 THIEVES IN VALORANT CHAMPIONS TOUR: STAGE 1 MASTERS

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TL;DR: A dispute over player ping delayed the start of the Upper Bracket Quarterfinals match between 100 Thieves and Immortals by one hour. 100 Thieves prevented the start of the series despite the explicit instructions of the tournament operator to begin the series. Furthermore, 100 Thieves Head Coach Hector “FrosT” Rosario demonstrated unprofessional behavior towards a Tournament Official. We are fining 100 Thieves $5,000 for an extensive broadcast delay due to noncompliance with Tournament Official decisions and are placing FrosT on competitive probation for the duration of the 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour.

Timeline

As the previous match came to a close, 100 Thieves and Immortals players entered a lobby to prepare for Game 1 of their Quarterfinals matchup in Masters 1. Teams and Tournament Officials work in tandem to choose a server agreeable to all parties. In this instance, two servers were identified as the most equidistant to both teams. Tournament Officials selected a server for play and communicated the decision and a time for the start of Game 1 to teams via lobby chat.

100 Thieves disagreed with the Tournament Official’s choice of servers. 100 Thieves members entered the in-game shooting range in order to prevent Tournament Officials from initiating game start in the VALORANT client. FrosT joined a Discord voice channel to speak with the Tournament Official and attempt to argue for a change to the server decision. During this time, FrosT refused to accept the decision from the Tournament Official and treated the Tournament Official in an unprofessional manner. Additionally, when reminded that failing to start the game pursuant to the Tournament Official’s decision can result in disqualification, FrosT threatened to leverage players’ social media platforms against the Tournament Organizer and Riot Games as a response. A Riot Games employee entered the channel and reiterated the server decision, the rationale behind the decision, and the finality of the decision. 100 Thieves players proceeded to leave the shooting range and allow Tournament Officials to begin the series, after a delay to the start of the game of approximately an hour. [Edit 6:30pm Three independent witnesses provided testimony that FrosT made a statement to this effect. When asked directly about it in an interview by Riot League Operations personnel, FrosT admitted that he made this statement. Although 100 Thieves provided Riot with a clip showing FrosT’s side of the conversation that does not include this statement, they declined to provide the full video to Riot.]

Because the broadcast delay was of an exceptional length, we wanted to understand the nature of the delay and the perspectives of all involved parties. During the course of investigation, we reviewed (i) screenshots of correspondence between the teams and Tournament Organizer, (ii) screenshots of official communications to teams regarding timelines, and (iii) audio evidence recorded of parts of the Discord conversation. Additionally, we conducted interviews with the coach and manager of Immortals, the head Tournament Official, the Riot Games employee who entered the channel, a 100 Thieves manager, and FrosT.

Findings

100 Thieves refused to play on the server selected by Masters Tournament Officials and failed to comply with official directives to start the game at the designated time, resulting in an hour-long delay of Game. These are violations of rule 9.1.4 of the 2021 NA VALORANT Champions Tour: Masters Rule Set and rule 7.2.11 of the VALORANT Global Competition Policy.

FrosT displayed unprofessional behavior in interaction with a Tournament Official. FrosT used unprofessional language and threatened to retaliate through 100 Thieves’s social media presence if forced into a disqualification due to noncompliance. These are violations of rule 7.1.2 of the VALORANT Global Competition Policy.

Relevant Rules

9.1.4 Between Matches

...If all the players are not ready to play and in their seats (if applicable) at the time designated to them by the Referees or Tournament Officials, the Team can be sanctioned for delay of Game.

7.1.2 High Standards

All Teams and Team Members must observe the highest standards of personal integrity and good sportsmanship at all times. Team Members must behave in a professional and sportsmanlike manner in their interactions with other competitors, Tournament Officials, the Tournament Operator, the media, sponsors and fans...

7.2.11 Non-Compliance

No Team Member may refuse to comply with the instructions or decisions of the Tournament Operator or the Tournament Officials.

Penalties

  • 100 Thieves is being fined $5,000 for non-compliance and delay of Game.
  • FrosT is being placed on probation for the duration of the 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour for unprofessional behavior towards a Tournament Official. Any violation of NA VALORANT Champions Tour rules during the probation period will draw an enhanced punishment as a second offense, which may include a ban from competitive play for a period to be determined at that time.
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