Valorant Pro Jay “Sinatraa” Won Is Being Investigated For Sexual Abuse

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Valorant Pro Jay “Sinatraa” Won Is Being Investigated For Sexual Abuse

Jay “Sinatraa” Won has been suspended by the Sentinels and Riot Games during sexual abuse investigations.

The 20-year-old pro Valorant player, Jay “Sinatraa” Won has been accused of sexual and emotional abuse by his ex-girlfriend, Cleo “cle0h” Hernandez. Cle0h released a nine-page document via Twitter on March 9, detailing her experiences with Sinatraa during their nine-month-long relationship. The pair dated back in 2019. According to cle0h’s statement, she experienced sexual abuse from early on in the relationship.

Allegations made against Sinatraa

In the document that cle0h released, she details instances where Sinatraa continued to pressure her into unwanted situations. She has supplemented her allegations with screenshots of text conversations with Sinatraa. Along with conversations she had with friends during the relationship and an audio clip of the two. The texts shown between cle0h and Sinatraa show him being frustrated with tweets she posted and accusing her of cheating and lying about her location.

She shared screenshots of conversations with her friends and with Sinatraa’s close friends. In them, they discussed his tendency to refuse any and all accountability for his actions. Cle0h also included an audio clip of the two that was particularly worrying. To note, she discloses that the recordings made were originally video files and were made consensually. She also recounted how, on multiple occasions, Sinatraa willingly ignored her discomfort in their intimacy.

cle0h also shared conversations she had with a friend on Discord, confiding in his harmful behaviors and how she was afraid. She speaks on why it has been difficult to speak up on her experiences with Sinatraa. And how, all too often, sexual abuse victims are blamed. “He’s fantastic at making himself the victim in situations where he was not,” she wrote. Up until now, cle0h has been scared to speak out against Sinatraa because of his prominence and large platform.

“He’s not “reformed”. He didn’t stop being toxic, he just moved on from bullying kids in-game to putting down someone who loved and supported him,” says cle0h near the end of the document.

Sinatraa’s Response to cle0h

A day after cle0h tweeted her statement Sinatraa also responded on Twitter. Sinatraa claims innocence and chalks cle0h’s statement up to them having very different perspectives of the relationship. He continues to say that he “never insulted her in any way.”

Sinatraa also confirmed in his response to cle0h’s post that he is being fully cooperative with the investigations going on and is providing more evidence.

Cleo Hernandez has continued to respond to statements made by Sinatraa and Riot Games. “I would sincerely hope any investigation involving me would include actually speaking to me.” she tweeted in response to the statement made by Alex Francois.

She continued to respond to Sinatraa’s statement by saying that he “never apologized” and that, “Of course we “recall the relationship differently”. One of us was incredibly cruel and one of us was scared.”

The Sentinels' and Riot Games' Response

Sinatraa retired from playing Overwatch professionally last year and had since moved on to playing Valorant with the Sentinels since April of 2020. The Sentinels are known to be one of North America’s best teams since the initial phases of Valorant.

In response to the investigation that Sinatraa is now under, Riot Games has also launched its own. The Global Head of Competitive Operations of Valorant, Alex Francois, made a statement confirming the decision to suspend Sinatraa while investigations are underway. This suspension means that Sinatraa will not be participating in the Valorant Champions Tour Stage 1 Masters beginning this weekend.

The Sentinels are scheduled to play against Luminosity Gaming today, March 12, for their first game in the Masters. Soon after the statement released by Riot Games, the Sentinels also released a statement on Twitter, March 10 regarding Sinatraa. The Sentinels have begun their own internal investigation regarding the matter. During this time, Sinatraa will be suspended from the team.

The Public’s Response to Allegations

With Sinatraa’s large following of 540K on his Twitch alone, it is not surprising that there have been countless responses from fans on Twitter. Fans and other players appear to be divided across the board in whether or not Sinatraa is guilty of sexual abuse and causing emotional distress.

Some believe that the evidence cle0h has provided is enough to hold Sinatraa accountable for the allegations placed against him. Others believe that he is innocent until proven guilty. Ultimately, they are waiting for the result of the investigations before picking sides. There is also a string of distrubing tweets that have been posted accusing cle0h of “clout chasing” and making up stories out of jealousy for Sinatraa’s fame.

Former professional Overwatch player, Daniel “dafran” Francesca tweeted his response to abuse allegations against Sinatraa. He claimed that, “People have been waiting for something to cancel Sinatraa over”. Fans and pros have responded to dafran’s tweet defending former teammate Sinatraa with a lot of backlash. Meanwhile, others defend him and chalk his words up to poor delivery.

Sinatraa’s Substitute

The Sentinels announced yesterday, March 11, that Tyson “TenZ” Ngo will be playing as Sinatraa’s stand in this weekend. Up until now, TenZ was signed to Cloud9. However, Riot Games confirmed that his contract is now owned by the Sentinels since players are not allowed to play for two organizations simultaneously. Riot Games also made a statement clarifying that an adjustment to roster lock-in rules was made due to the circumstance involving Sinatraa’s suspension.

TenZ was the first-ever player to reach Radiant, the highest ranking in Valorant, when the game first launched which earned him a spot on the Cloud9 team. In January of this year TenZ had stopped playing competitively for Cloud9 due to their poor performance. He has been creating content/streaming for the organization since. Despite Cloud9’s lack of success in competition, TenZ continued to make a name for himself in Valorant by consistently outshining his teammates.

Sinatraa’s Track Record

During the time of their relationship, Sinatraa was playing Overwatch professionally. He was the highest-ranked Overwatch player in North America at the age of 16. This earned him a spot on San Francisco Shock’s roster where he was paid $150K per year. He then continued to earn the title of Most Valuable Player in 2019 in the Overwatch League. For a long time, his skills overshadowed his toxicity in his professional career. Sinatraa was known to use slurs, throw games and be dehumanizing towards other players in the past. Many esports fans have taken the perspective that Sinatraa has since reformed from these harmful behaviors.TheScore Esports even posted a video titled “The Redemption of Overwatch’s Toxic Superstar”. It is important to note that there are videos on YouTube as recent as this year where Sinatraa can be heard acting out.

This news has clearly shaken up the esports world. It has caused fans and pros alike to be very divided regarding Sinatraa’s innocence.

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Jaishil Mistry
Jaishil "Drifter" Mistry is a Dota 2 analyst, esports journalist and a professional coach. He has high proficiency in draft and game analysis of Dota 2 matches. Connect with him on Twitter @DrifterDota