Riot Games Reinstates Conduct Training for Sinatraa After Community Backlash

Riot apologizes to the community for its mistake

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
Updated On: 
Riot Games released a statement addressing the email posted by sinatraa on 14th April.
Riot Games stated that the email incorrectly stated that sinatraa was not required to do the professional conduct training and made it clear that he would need to undergo the same.
It has also begun an internal investigation with those involved in sending out the email and is reviewing its policies on following through with competitive rulings.

Riot Games issued a statement early on 16th April addressing the email reportedly sent by a Rioter to Jay “sinatraa” Won regarding his mandated professional conduct training. The email in question stated that Riot felt sinatraa “would already know most of the information covered in the training.” When sinatraa posted a screenshot of the email, the Valorant community questioned the company’s stance on accountability and rehabilitative actions. Following backlash from fans and esports personalities, Riot has backtracked and has reinstated the training.

Riot Games President of Esports John Needham acknowledged that the email “stated incorrectly that a mandatory component of a competitive ruling issued to sinatraa was not necessary.

He wrote, “We have informed Mr.Won that contrary to that communication, and in accordance with the competitive ruling, he is required to undergo professional conduct training.

The statement also mentioned that Riot has already started working with sinatraa to complete the training. It added that the training will focus on the following:

  1. Conducting oneself as a professional

  2. Complying with rules and regulations

  3. Complying with investigations

Needham issued an apology to the community for the mistake and said that Riot has initiated an internal investigation with the individuals at the company who were involved. Additionally, it is also reviewing its policies and procedures to ensure competitive rulings are enforced and followed through in the future.

Riot Games' statement

Riot Games' statement

What was Riot’s competitive ruling on sinatraa?

On 17th May 2021, Riot Games issued a competitive ruling on sinatraa stating that the esports player had violated Rule 8.1 of the VALORANT Global Competition Policy by failing to fully cooperate with the Tournament Operator’s investigation of the alleged sexual assault. Following this, it suspended sinatraa for six months and mandated professional conduct training.

It wrote, “It was determined that on at least two occasions Sinatraa misrepresented certain facts, made false statements, and did not cooperate with the investigation in a way expected of a professional VALORANT esports player.” He was suspended till September 2021 and the investigation was also deferred to the law enforcement authorities.

A Twitlonger on 15th April posted by sinatraa gave an update on the situation regarding the training. He said, “I was a s****y boyfriend, I emotionally hurt Cleo, I never sexually assaulted her.” He added that there was an investigation that “found no conclusive evidence that any crime was committed.

Additionally, he said that, in January, Riot confirmed to him in writing that he was fully cleared to return to pro play while attaching a screenshot of an official email from Riot that stated that the training was not necessary.

Riot's email to sinatraa

Riot's email to sinatraa

The Valorant community was shocked to see Riot not fully complete the components of its competitive ruling and sinatraa’s ex-girlfriend Cleo “cle0h” Hernandez expressed her disappointment. According to a tweet by esports personality Jake Lucky, she reportedly reached out to Riot via email regarding sinatraa’s training.

The lingering question that begs to be answered is: “Would Riot have let this training slide by if sinatraa had not posted the email publicly?” With his professional conduct training back in the main picture again, it is unclear how this will affect sinatraa’s return to Valorant pro play.

Published On: 
author profile picture

Sadakshi is the newest addition to AFK Gaming. As a passionate gamer and an ardent League of Legends fan, she brings her journalism experience to the esports scenes of LoL and Valorant