100 Thieves fires back at Riot after Valorant team is fined

Olivia Richman • March 24, 02:59

100 Thieves has not taken kindly to Riot Games’ decision to fine its Valorant team $5,000 and suspend coach Hector “FrosT” Rosario for non-compliance and delaying a game during the Valorant Champions Tour NA tournament.  

The organization posted an official statement replying to Riot’s competitive ruling, stating that they “strongly disagree” with Riot’s “mischaracterization” of the entire incident. 100T stated that the tournament organizer made a ruling regarding ping that favored the opponents, Immortals. After feeling “reasonably shut down” by the TO, FrosT allegedly told them they were in for a “big shitstorm.” 

While 100 Thieves said they complied throughout the process and accepted the fine, the organization felt the handling of the issue thereafter was “blown out of proportion” and voiced frustration over it not being kept as a private matter. 

“We feel our coach was fighting for our players and advocating for competitive integrity,” the statement concluded. 

100 Thieves then shared a video with proof of the discussion FrosT had with the TO while the players stalled in the background. One player pointed out that Immortals had an insane ping advantage of eight versus 40-plus. The video won over a lot of Valorant fans, who appreciated FrosT passionately standing up for his players and explaining the importance of the ping difference to Riot. 

But Riot was unmoved by the video. After 100 Thieves made the public statement and shared the video of FrosT’s interaction with the company, the VCT NA organizers updated the competitive ruling by simply stating that the “matter is closed.” 

100 Thieves fined $5,000 for delaying a game during Valorant Champions Tour NA

In Riot’s account of the incident, 100 Thieves and Immortals joined the lobby to prepare for the first game of the VCT Masters tournament. Officials chose a server for the two teams to compete in that they felt had a similar ping for both teams. At that point, both teams were told to start the game, but 100 Thieves refused. 

Instead of joining the game, players from 100 Thieves entered the in-game shooting range to purposely delay the start of the match as FrosT argued with officials about the server. FrosT joined a Discord server with the TO to continue arguing about the server but a Riot employee joined the chat and stated that the decision was final. 

An hour after the argument ensued, 100 Thieves joined the match. 

According to Riot’s report, FrosT “threatened to leverage players’ social media platforms against the Tournament Organizer and Riot Games as a response.” Riot deemed his behavior “unprofessional” and repeated that he “threatened retaliation,” violating Riot’s tournament rules. 100 Thieves’ posted a video to dispute these claims against FrosT but Riot hasn’t budged on their decision to suspend him for the remainder of the season. 100 Thieves was also fined $5,000, which the team agreed to. 

100 Thieves’ response to Riot is a rare example of an organization pushing back against the publisher. Throughout League of Legends’ history, Riot has been willing to throw its weight around and wield its power over organizations, forcing team owners to liquidate their ownership or shoving them out of LoL entirely. That has largely cowed esports organizations to the point where Riot is rarely challenged publicly.

100 Thieves’ willingness to clap back is surprising because of that. Because the organization is a franchise owner in North America’s top LoL league, the LCS, Riot and 100 Thieves will ultimately be forced to work together for the foreseeable future.

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