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Riot suspends Valorant pro Jay ‘sinatraa’ Won following sexual assault investigation

Six-month ban is for not cooperating with Riot’s investigation

Overwatch player Jay “Sinatraa” Won at a desk wearing a headset Photo: Robert Paul/Blizzard Entertainment
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Valorant developer Riot Games has suspended Jay “sinatraa” Won for six months for his failure to cooperate with a sexual assault investigation. The former Overwatch pro player will also have to complete “professional conduct training,” Riot said in an announcement Monday. The investigation has been turned over to law enforcement, Riot said.

In March, a former partner accused Won of sexual assault during a nine-month relationship. She published a Google Doc outlining the alleged assault and emotional abuse.

“Sexual assault allegations are some of the most serious that can be levvied [sic] against an individual and the Competitive Operations Team treats all such claims with the gravity they deserve,” Alex Francois, Valorant’s esports competitive operations lead, said in a statement. While Riot’s investigation team “did not come to a definitive conclusion” during the process, Won’s suspension is due to the player’s non-compliance during the investigation.

Riot said Won “misrepresented certain facts, made false statements, and did not cooperate with the investigation in a way expected of a professional Valorant esports player.”

In a statement published on TwitLonger, Won apologized, stating that it’s been “an opportunity [for him] to come out the other side a better person.”

Sentinels, Won’s Valorant team, said in March that it was conducting its own investigation, during which Won remains suspended from team activity. Before joining Sentinels to play Valorant professionally, Won competed in the Overwatch League with the San Francisco Shock. He was named “most valuable player” in 2019, and awarded a commemorative Overwatch skin, Alien Zarya. Following the accusations against Won, Overwatch developer Blizzard Entertainment began offering refunds to players that purchased the Alien Zarya skin when it was released in 2020. Blizzard refunded interested players with 200 Overwatch League tokens.

Riot said Won may resume playing Valorant professionally on Sept. 10 — meaning he will be able to participate in Valorant’s Last Chance Qualifiers and Champions with Sentinels. But Won will have to complete conduct training before then, too.

“To the extend that additional material information comes to light, from law enforcement or otherwise, the Competitive Operations team reservers the right to reopen the investigation and take further appropriate action,” Francois said.

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