A massive division has emerged within the Valorant esports scene following Jay “sinatraa” Won’s announcement that he intends to return to competition.
sinatraa’s lengthy suspension for refusing to cooperate with a Riot Games investigation into sexual assault allegations technically ended last year. He remained active by streaming online and indicated that he eventually wanted to return to professional competition, but remained on the sidelines until April 12.
On April 12, sinatraa stated that he is officially looking to get back into Valorant esports action with team tryouts. His first goal is a reunion with his former pro team at Sentinels. The reveal was made on Twitter:
The response was met with one of two dramatic reactions. Fans of sinatraa’s and various pro players including T1’s Braxton “brax” Pierce, 100 Thieves’ Ethan “Ethan” Arnold, and FaZe Clan’s Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty celebrated the news on social media. On the flipside, many others vented frustration with an apparent return to normalcy with no real consequences for sexual assault allegations that were backed by recordings that sinatraa acknowledged as legitimate.
What did sinatraa do?
In 2021, sinatraa was accused of sexual assault and abuse by his ex-girlfriend, Cleo “cle0h” Hernandez.
The two were in a relationship for a long while, during which cle0h claims sinatraa was sexually demanding, pressured her into intercourse against her will, and performed sexual acts with her that she hadn’t consented to. Included in the accusations, which were put into a Google document, was an apparent audio clip of two people having sex. A woman could be heard saying “no” within the clip while the man could be heard saying that he was “close” despite these apparent protestations. Alongside the audio clip were a number of text messages and discord chat logs of interactions between the two that seemed to support cle0h’s allegations.
Shortly after the claim was made, sinatraa was suspended by Sentinels and an official investigation was launched by Riot Games. sinatraa stated he would cooperate with Riot Games’ investigation, but this never happened, with sinatraa later saying that he would provide supporting video and audio clips before later saying that he had deleted the clips at cle0h’s behest.
cle0h filed a police report, but the investigation was eventually stopped. cle0h stated that the investigation was difficult on her mental health and had pushed her to a potential suicide attempt.
The dramatic nature of the allegations made and the lack of any real closure provides context for why the Valorant community is now sharply divided over sinatraa’s potential return to professional play in the Valorant esports scene.