Sinatraa’s 6 Month Riot Ban From Valorant Pro Play Expires
Former Overwatch and Valorant pro Jay ‘Sinatraa’ Won was the subject of an investigation by Riot a few months ago due to sexual assault allegations from his ex-girlfriend. The investigation concluded with Riot banning Sinatraa from competitive Valorant for six months as they deemed Sinatraa’s representation of events unreliable as he “misrepresented certain facts, made false statements, and did not cooperate with the investigation in a way expected of a professional VALORANT esports player.”
Now, six months have lapsed since Riot’s suspension and Sinatraa is now eligible to continue participating in competitive Valorant events, but the question now is whether that may be feasible at this point.
Challenges After Sinatraa’s Valorant Ban
Sinatraa’s case drew a lot of attention to the player and left the Valorant and Overwatch community in disarray, with pros and personalities making statements on both sides of the issue. Due to the public scrutiny of Sinatraa’s accusation and subsequent behavior, it makes it challenging for teams to pursue him as a viable option for their rosters. This line of thinking is expressed in one of our recent videos, where Jake, Hunter, and Peter discuss Sinatraa’s Valorant ban and speculate on the nature and duration of the investigation and how it could easily raise its head sometime during Sinatraa’s reinstatement into professional Valorant competition. “You could be paying 200k a year to Sinatraa, and all of a sudden he’s gone again,” says Peter.
Peter’s statement about the nature of the investigation touches on a grim reality for sexual assault cases. According to a resource shared by the Office of Justice Programs’ National Criminal Justice Reference Service, most cases reported to the police do not end up in court. In a sample of 3269 complaints made to law enforcement, only 45 (1.6% of cases) were tried in court. When charges were filed in these cases, 152 of 189 cases (81%) yielded a guilty verdict as a result of a plea bargain. It’s possible that the criminal case Sinatraa may have been involved in never made it to court, and if it did, it’s difficult to say whether or not we would know if a plea bargain was accepted as different jurisdictions have different options for offenders.
According to the American Bar Association, diversion programs may be offered to the defendant should the charges be considered a “less serious criminal offense” in order to avoid trial and to prevent the matter from being listed on the defendant’s criminal record. This option is troubling, especially for something as severe as sexual assault, but it’s not unheard of as probation rulings in cases of sexual assault are sadly common.
The matter of any criminal case against Sinatraa is unknown, so most of what’s being discussed is mere speculation. Organizations that want to gamble against these speculations and sign Sinatraa perhaps have a better understanding of any ongoing investigations or legal matters surrounding Sinatraa at this time. Sinatraa’s history in pro Overwatch shows he’s a serious talent in the FPS scene and his brief excursion in pro Valorant shows phenomenal results. However, there’s no certainty that Riot will not ban Sinatraa again should new information come to light, which makes the likelihood of Sinatraa on another pro Valorant roster unlikely.
As usual, we will update you if any new information surfaces.