Riot has released an official statement fining 100 Thieves $5,000 for match delays at VCT NA Masters Quarterfinals.
Riot Cracks Down
The Valorant Champions Tour’s first Masters event in North America has just concluded and is already causing waves. In the Upper Quarter Finals on March 12, 100 Thieves, by Riot’s definition, purposefully delayed their match against Immortals for over an hour due to ping. Only two days after the explosive final, Riot released their official ruling to fine 100 Thieves $5,000 and place Hector ‘FrosT’ Rosario on probation for “unprofessional behavior”. The TL;DR of the situation is that Riot chose a server for the match and 100 Thieves believed the ping advantage was too great in favor of Immortals. Head coach FrosT argued the decision with Valorant tournament organizers in a way that Riot deemed inappropriate.
Riot’s official rulings were that “100 Thieves refused to play on the server selected by Masters Tournament Officials and failed to comply with official directives to start the game at the designated time, resulting in an hour-long delay of Game. These are violations of rule 9.1.4 of the 2021 NA VALORANT Champions Tour: Masters Rule Set and rule 7.2.11 of the VALORANT Global Competition Policy.” In regards to 100 Thieves’ head coach, “FrosT displayed unprofessional behavior in interaction with a Tournament Official. FrosT used unprofessional language and threatened to retaliate through 100 Thieves’ social media presence if forced into a disqualification due to noncompliance. These are violations of rule 7.1.2 of the VALORANT Global Competition Policy.”
A video regarding the VALORANT competitive ruling: pic.twitter.com/yM0cldwv8s
— 100 Thieves Esports (@100T_Esports) March 23, 2021
100 Thieves Fights Back
This ruling went live on March 23, and within hours, 100 Thieves responded with the above video to show proof of the discussions had between FrosT and a tournament organizer. The issue raised by Riot and one that caused the most controversy was FrosT’s threat to leverage 100 Thieves social media once he was told that the team would be disqualified if they didn’t play. In the video provided by 100 Thieves, this threat appears more as a vague warning and he brings into question the competitive integrity of online Valorant competitions. Following this video being posted on Twitter, Riot revised their official ruling claiming, “[Edit 6:30pm Three independent witnesses provided testimony that FrosT made a statement to this effect. When asked directly about it in an interview by Riot League Operations personnel, FrosT admitted that he made this statement. Although 100 Thieves provided Riot with a clip showing FrosT’s side of the conversation that does not include this statement, they declined to provide the full video to Riot.]”
As history will show, 100 Thieves conceded and played, still coming out on top against Immortals. Anyone who plays Valorant and knows how networks operate, 40 ping and 8 ping are massive differences that can sway the results of a round. The current restrictions of the world force esports tournaments to be hosted online, but organizers still struggle to set an even playing field at times. Going forward, Masters will be LAN events, but in the Challengers series, you can expect more issues like this to arise, but with less publicity.
Stay tuned to ESTNN as we cover all of the news as it unfolds surrounding the controversy this week.