Riot Games Upsets Valorant Community After Allowing Male Player to Compete in VCT Game Changers
The Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) Game Changers North America qualifiers were marred in controversy earlier this week. In a game between Team X and Complexity GX3, the latter competed with its male coach Johnny “boms” Boms subbing in during the women’s only event to avoid a forfeit since one of its players, Annie “Aniemal” Lee overslept during the first map. Riot’s decision to allow Boms to compete did not sit well with the community as the publisher’s own rules dictate that all competitors need to be women.
Complexity coach broke Riot Games’ tournament guidelines
With Complexity players failing to wake up team member Lee for the first map, the match was automatically forfeited in Team X’s favor. Complexity was unable to find a player in time to fill in for Lee and coach Boms decided to step in. Despite it being against the competitive guidelines, Riot officials allowed Boms to participate which was an “oversight” according to .
The publisher stated in a report, “In an effort to avoid competition delays, we made oversights regarding match continuation and emergency substitutions for Game Changers. We are evaluating our processes surrounding these scenarios. Furthermore, we will work more closely with participating teams to ensure there is no confusion about respective player eligibility.”
Riot Games’ for VCT Game Changers state under section 4.4 (Emergency Substitutions) that in case of emergencies, teams are to be given up to ten minutes to produce an eligible substitute. If a team is unable to get a substitute in time, tournament officials can call for a forfeit. Coaches substituting players during such emergencies is completely normal but when it comes to Game Changers events, there are further restrictions.
With the competitive circuit for Game Changers being limited to women only, male participants are not allowed in any team. Section 3.1 of the guidelines under Team Member Eligibility states “all players on a team’s roster must be women players.” When the Game Changers event was first announced, Riot Games revealed that it sees the future of esports as one where players of all genders compete together.
The publisher intends to have a single circuit in the future but we are not there yet. Until Game Changers and the standard Valorant Champions Tour circuit are united, male players will likely continue to be restricted from participating in Game Changers events, even in case of emergencies.