Riot cracks down on tobacco products used at VCT Champions

By George Geddes


Aug 8, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

The tournament organizers of VCT Champions have issued penalties to teams found to be using tobacco products at the events, according to multiple participants. 

After allegedly using snus at the event—a product often employed as a tobacco substitute by placing it between the upper lip and gum—participants turned to social media after they were punished by Riot Games. During the Group D playoff match between DRX and Natus Vincere, the European team was penalized for one of the members supposedly utilizing the tobacco replacement during a match. 

It was noted by head coach Erik “d00mbr0s” Sandgren that the team lost a timeout because of the usage of the substance. 

VCT rules prohibit the usage of tobacco or nicotine products

The usage of tobacco products is strictly prohibited by Riot at VCT events for a multitude of reasons, including any impact it may have on player performance. However, the support team members have also been barred from using nicotine around the players. In the VCT 2023 ruleset, tobacco is listed as one of the products that is banned in the match area at tournaments. 

“Tobacco and other nicotine products are prohibited in the Match Area,” the rule states

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Members of the community were quick to note that other nicotine products had supposedly been used in the past, such as vapes. The head coach of Evil Geniuses, Christine “potter” Chi, was seen using a vape in the coaching booth during a match at VCT Masters Tokyo. But since the rules only prohibit tobacco and nicotine, this supposedly allows for vapes that do not contain either of these substances, which are easily purchasable. 

Team Liquid star player Saif “Sayf” Jibraeel noted that the usage of the substances can disqualify the team from the competition. He said that he will quit his addiction to snus moving forward.