Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, nearly everything in life has changed. Countless industries, jobs and organizations took a deep wound because of it. Esports, on the other hand, managed to resume its continuity thanks to its special structure which lets people do their jobs online. However, being unable to hold an offline event causes certain problems to occur, like Ping. On March 23, Riot Games revealed that they fined 100 Thieves Valorant because of the incident during Masters 1, which occurred due to ping differences.
The event popped off quickly after the Valorant Champions Tour NA Twitter account posted a statement with the headline of “A competitive ruling has been made on 100 Thieves.” Then, even more drama started to come out.
In the statement, Riot Games mentioned the event, which occurred in Masters 1’s Upper Bracket Quarterfinals, the first match between 100 Thieves and Immortals. The tournament officials selected the game server that was close to even for both teams, but 100 Thieves disagreed with the officials on the chosen server and the team’s members entered the in-game shooting range to prevent the game from starting.
Then, 100 Thieves Valorant coach FrosT joined Discord to discuss the case with officials and started an argument about changing the selected server. Riot said, “During this time, FrosT refused to accept the decision from the Tournament Official and treated the Tournament Official in an unprofessional manner.” Riot also claimed that FrosT threatened to leverage players’ social media platforms against the organizer and Riot Games.
The game started with an hour delay because of the situation. Therefore, Riot Games decided to fine 100 Thieves $5,000 “for an extensive broadcast delay due to noncompliance with Tournament official decisions,” and put FrosT on competitive probation during Valorant Champions Tour 2021.
A few hours later, 100 Thieves published another statement on Twitter as the response to Riot’s ruling. “We strongly disagree with Riot’s public release and mischaracterization of the incident after we complied with their investigation around a minor competitive matter,” the org said.
The team mentioned that the tournament officials selected a server that favored their opponent in the previous match against TSM, and they again made a ruling on servers that weren’t in 100 Thieves favor, which was a contradiction with the rules the officials cited in the TSM match.
“As the situation escalated, FrosT told the tournament organizers ‘if you DC us, you are in a bigger shitstorm than we are’, but never threatened to leverage social media as was stated by Riot,” 100T added. After the statement, the team posted a four-minute-long video clip in which FrosT is arguing with the officials about server choosing.
If you thought this is the end of the story, you’re wrong. Riot Games updated its ruling statement to “provide additional context” following the explanation 100 Thieves made. “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.” Riot also added that 100 Thieves declined to provide the full video to them, although the team shared a clip which shows FrosT’s side of the conversation that doesn’t include the threat.
It was a long day for Valorant’s competitive scene, and still it might not be over since 100 Thieves haven’t made another comment after the latest statement from Riot Games.