sinatraa banned from competitive Valorant for 6 months

By Olivia Richman


May 17, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

Update: sinatraa has issued a response to Riot Games’ suspension. Details can be found here.

Jay “sinatraa” Won has been suspended from competitive Valorant for six months. 

It’s been a couple months since sinatraa was initially suspended following abuse allegations from his ex-girlfriend, Cleo. sinatraa was benched from Sentinels and barred from official Valorant tournaments until the investigation into the claims was complete. Cleo claimed she had been subjected to mentally and sexually abused by sinatraa, and included purported audio recordings and screenshots of conversations with sinatraa. 

sinatraa recently denied the allegations on Twitter but stated that the couple had a toxic relationship.

sinatraa and Sentinels fans had anxiously awaited the results of the investigation, wondering if sinatraa would return to competitive Valorant. Though the door hasn’t been closed on a return at some point, he’s out of the game for an extended period of time after being banned by Riot Games for six months. 

According to an official competitive ruling on the matter, Riot says sinatraa violated Rule 8.1 of the Valorant Global Competition Policy for “failing to fully cooperate with the Tournament Operator’s investigation.” 

Why is sinatraa banned from Valorant esports?

The Valorant Competitive Operations Team immediately conducted an investigation when they heard of the sexual assault allegations against sinatraa due to the seriousness of the accusations. The team partnered with Riot’s investigative team for an “objective and neutral fact-gathering exercise” in an attempt to evaluate if sinatraa’s behavior conflicted with their policies. 

The Competitive Operations then learned that the matter had been referred to law enforcement by Cleo. That led them to halt the investigation and defer to official authorities. Even though the team didn’t complete a full investigation, it was sinatraa’s behavior during the investigation that has led to this ban. 

“The Competitive Operations team had serious concerns with sinatraa’s conduct during the course of the investigation. 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,” the Operations Team stated. 

One example was sinatraa’s TwitLonger, which promised to provide a full video clip of his interaction with Cleo. This was never posted. Without proof and by continuing to not cooperate fully, sinatraa’s behavior was “not tolerated” by Valorant Esports. The Competitive Operations team stated that they reserve the right to reopen the investigation and take further action but have made a decision for now. 

Why is sinatraa banned from Valorant esports?

sinatraa’s ban officially stems from not cooperating with Riot Games’ investigation into sexual assault allegations. The Operations Team stated that sinatraa’s behavior violated Rule 8.1 of the Valorant Global Competition Policy. This policy is titled “investigations by the Tournament Operator.” This rule states that team members must agree to cooperate during an investigation and have a “duty to tell the truth.” They should also not obstruct the investigation, mislead investigators, or withhold evidence. 

When will sinatraa return? 

It’s unclear when or if sinatraa will return to competitive play since his case was brought to the police. Within the esports community, the Valorant Global Competition Policy has suspended him for six months. Since his suspension originally began March 10, he will be out through September 10 of this year. That means he will be eligible to return for Last Chance Qualifiers and Champions. 

Meanwhile, sinatraa has been seen streaming Valorant with friends on Twitch. He has waffled on whether he is interested in a return to competitive Valorant or may pivot to streaming full-time.