Version1 player Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro has been suspended from Valorant’s upcoming Challenger Open Qualifier and Challenger Main Event following offensive comments he made that were aimed at a tournament official.
Zellsis allegedly made discriminatory comments about a tournament official that went against Riot’s VCT Global Competition Policy. Rule 7.1.2 states that “offensive comments made on the basis of gender or race are in direct violation of the standards expected of players participating in the Valorant Champions Tour.”
As a result, Zellsis has been suspended from the first Challenger Open Qualifier and first Challenger Main Event of Stage 3, according to Riot’s official ruling.
— VALORANT Champions Tour NA (@valesports_na) June 11, 2021
Head of competitive operations for Valorant Esports Alex Francois also wrote that “all teams and team members must observe the highest standards of personal integrity and good sportsmanship at all times.” 7.1.2 goes on to say that players must have a professional manner during interactions with competitors, tournament officials, tournament operators, the media, sponsors, and fans.
It’s currently unclear what exactly Zellsis said about the tournament official. But if Zellsis makes any further comments that violate rule 7.1.2, he could be suspended for a longer duration of time. His team, Version1, may also be forced to forfeit prize money. The team could even lose circuit points.
In response to Riot’s decision, Version1 apologized to Riot staff on Zellsis’ behalf. The organization said that it has accepted Riot’s suspension of Zellsis. The North American Valorant team will use a substitute for the first open qualifier and closed qualifiers of Stage 3.
Riot has suspended Zellsis for an inappropriate comment at Masters in Iceland. Version1 and Zellsis regret the incident and apologize to Riot staff. We accept Riot’s decision and will be playing with a sub for the first open and closed qualifiers of stage 3 of VCT.
— Version1 (@version1gg) June 11, 2021
Zellsis decided to apologize to Riot staff himself. On Twitter, Zellsis said he takes responsibility from his actions, including “making an inappropriate remark in Iceland.” He wrote that he will learn from this mistake.
“I’m sorry to my teammates for putting them in this position,” Zellsis said. “Will be taking a few days off social media. I will be better.”
While playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professionally, Zellsis had developed a reputation for negative interactions with some players and fans. While Valve takes a loose approach to its pro players’ behaviors, Riot is much more strict. Zellsis will have to make some changes if he wants to avoid future suspensions.