2019 Overwatch League (OWL) MVP and former Sentinels VALORANT player Jay “Sinatraa” Won’s 6-month suspension from VALORANT has ended. The suspension was applied following allegations of sexual assault levied against Won by one of his former partners. An investigation was launched by law enforcement and, subsequently, Riot Games who issued the suspension following Won’s refusal to “cooperate with the investigation in a way expected of a professional VALORANT esports player.”
While the exact details aren’t readily available, Riot Games stated that “on at least two occasions Sinatraa misrepresented certain facts [and] made false statements.” However, they did cite that Won failed to uphold his agreement to share a full audio and video clip referenced by his former partner in her social media post alleging his sexual assault.
This refusal to cooperate, in addition to the absence of a definite conclusion as to the validity of Won’s allegations, led Riot Games’s Competitive Operation Team and investigative team to suspend Won, citing the importance of cooperation in regards to allegations “as serious as sexual assault.” The suspension was officially issued on March 10th, and set to conclude on September 10th 2021. Won was also required to “complete professional conduct training” before he can return to professional play.
Sinatraa’s Future in Gaming
After Won’s suspension was incurred, Sentinels were forced to outsource a rented player from another team. At that time, Tyson “TenZ” Ngo had just left the Cloud 9 Blue roster and signed to Cloud 9 as a content creator and VALORANT streamer.
Realizing the potential of such a talented player, IGL (in-game leader) and head of the Sentinels VALORANT team, Shazheb “ShaZham” Khan agreed to sign a loan contract with Cloud 9 Blue with the inclusion of a buyout clause.
After Sentinel’s success in VCT Stage 1 and VCT Stage 2, Sentinels and Cloud 9 agreed to initiate the buyout clause, where Ngo reportedly landed a seven-figure deal with Sentinels. With no room on the roster for Won, ShaZham issued a statement after being questioned about the status of Won and Sentinels. While the response was short and simple, it sufficiently defined Won’s future with Sentinels moving forward: “No, this is our team now.”
More recently, Daniel “dafran” Francesca, a former OWL player for the Atlanta Reign and someone who was also suspended from competitive play (in Overwatch, not VALORANT), issued a statement on Twitter regarding the status of Won in the professional Overwatch space:
“Sinatraa is no longer banned and alot of teams are interested in him. Cle0h dropped the charges. I am incredibly dissapointed by all the streamers/organizations who immediatly judged him as guilty. We will never know what happend, its annoying as fuck but nothing was proven.”
Won’s ex-partner and alleger Cleo “Cle0h” Hernandez quickly responded to the post stating that she “didn’t drop the charges btw LOL,” referring to Francesca as being “off his rocker” in a follow-up tweet. Further investigation concluded that while Hernandez opted not to pursue an investigation, she can reopen the investigation with Riot Games at any time.
While this threat of legal action looming over Won’s head isn’t great for future prospects, Francesca’s comment did have some merit. Won was a prolific OWL player, claiming MVP in 2019. While his future in professional VALORANT is likely over, he still has potential in Overwatch, and specifically OWL due to his prowess as an elite contender in the space.
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