Riot Ruling Suspends Sinatraa for 6 Months Over Failure to Comply
Jay “Sinatraa” Won has been suspended from professional Valorant play for six months. This is due to his attitude and non-compliance with a Riot investigation into allegations levied against him by his ex-girlfriend of sexual assault. While the investigation was incomplete, at this point, local law enforcement is involved, and Riot has deferred their investigation to them.
Sinatraa Misrepresented Testimony During Investigation
In Riot’s ruling, Sinatraa is said to have not released the full audio and video from the incident referenced by his ex-girlfriend and has also “misrepresented” some situations as fact when they were not on a few occasions, giving the disciplinary team working on Valorant some “serious concerns.”
“While the investigation did not come to a definitive conclusion on the underlying allegations, the Competitive Operations team had serious concerns with Sinatraa’s conduct during the course of the investigation,” Riot said in their release. “It was determined that on at least two occasions, Sinatraa misrepresented certain facts, made false statements, and did not cooperate with the investigation in a way expected of a professional VALORANT esports player. Of note, Sinatraa’s public commitment on social media to provide the full audio and video clip referenced in the original post was never fulfilled. Cooperation in these investigations is of the utmost importance, especially when the nature of the allegations is as serious as sexual assault. This behavior will not be tolerated by VALORANT Esports.”
As a result, Riot says that he will be cleared to play in September, though it’s unclear if Sentinels will be bringing him back as an active player or if he will be released to another team at that time. This means he will be out through the end of the Stage 3 Challenger season and the final Master’s event. He will, however, be available for the Last Chance Qualifiers and Champions in December, Riot’s worlds event for Valorant. He will have to clear professional conduct training prior to returning to play on September 10 – but since he’s got the next four months off, he should be able to get this handled.
Sinatraa Responds to His Suspension and Says He “Does Not Have the Video”
“I’ve spent the last 2 months reflecting on how I can be better as a person,” Sinatraa said in a Twitlonger statement after the news broke early this afternoon. “I’ve been a pro player for basically all of my adult life and still have a lot to improve on. I’ve been reflecting a ton during the downtime and know how much I hurt Cleo emotionally and I’m truly sorry about it. I will learn from my mistakes and keep on trying to improve myself as a person. I now have an additional 4 months away from competitive play to spend time trying to develop a better set of interpersonal skills and to earn back the trust of this community. Again, I am truly sorry to everyone I let down or hurt.”
He went on to mention the video in question from Cleo, claiming that he deleted it, but said that he was expecting to get it as part of discovery in the investigation.
“I want to preface this by saying I do not have the video/audio that she used in her statement,” Sinatraa explained. “After our relationship ended, she had asked me to delete the video, and I honored that. I’ve never even imagined a situation like this, so when it all happened, I didn’t know whether to just spill out my side or not. I had no clue what to do so I seeked legal help immediately. As we were drafting up an update with the legal PR team, we had added that I would provide the video because we genuinely thought that the video would have to be shared in full since it’s a key part in the investigation. However, that did not happen, and I should not have promised something I could not personally deliver. This entire experience has been humbling and an opportunity for me to come out the other side a better person.”‘
Regardless, this scandal has been a stain on what’s otherwise been an extremely promising career in Valorant after an already all-star career in Overwatch. It remains to be seen how Sinatraa will bounce back following Riot’s ruling, or even if the community will ever let him (or any team that fields him) forget the incident. Indeed, if the police find anything incriminating, it’s possible that this will not be the end of the investigation, as Riot said they reserve the right to re-open it.