On Friday, John Needham, president of esports at Riot Games, posted an update on Twitter via the VALORANT Champions Tour account clarifying the situation around former Sentinels player Jay “sinatraa” Won after the player announced his intention to return to professional competition.
An update from John Needham – President, Esports, Riot Games pic.twitter.com/q8WtbVzE23
— VALORANT Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports) April 15, 2022
Sinatraa was suspended from competitive VALORANT play for six months by Riot in May of 2021 because he failed to cooperate with an investigation into allegations that he had sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend, Cleo Hernandez. He previously played with the Sentinels roster and reports surfaced that he might take the place of Jared “zombs” Gitlin.
However, according to Needham, sinatraa must complete training ordered by Riot’s competitive ruling before that can happen. This corrects the screenshot of a previous email sent by a Riot Games employee which sinatraa shared in an attempt to clarify his situation. As Needham and sinatraa indicated, the email stated that he was eligible to return to play and that they felt he “would already know most of the information covered in the training,” which was about “cooperating with investigations.”
Sinatraa can’t return to VALORANT quite yet
“On Thursday, April 14, the Competitive Operations Team became aware of an email sent by a member of our team that stated incorrectly that a mandatory component of a competitive ruling issued to Jay ‘sinatraa’ Won was not necessary,” Needham said in the statement. “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. We have begun working with Mr. Won to complete his training. The training will focus on (1) conducting oneself as a professional, (2) complying with rules and regulations, and (3) complying with investigations.
The allegations made in this matter are among the most significant that can be levvied against an individual and we take all such claims extremely seriously. We would like to apologize to the VALORANT community for our mistake. We have initiated an internal investigation with the individuals at Riot Games who were involved and are reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure competitive rulings are followed through correctly in the future.”
This update came after sinatraa took to Twitter on Thursday with a TwitLonger that read:
“- I was a shitty boyfriend, I emotionally hurt Cleo, I never sexually assaulted her
– There was an investigation that found no conclusive evidence that any crime was committed
– I served a 6 month suspension
– I was never charged with any crime
– in January Riot games confirmed to me in writing that I was fully cleared to return to competitive play and I am now ready to do so
If you are my fan please don’t harass Cleo, please be supportive of her as well through this process.”
Though sinatraa is working on completing the training, according to Needham’s statement, he will not be returning to VALORANT until he has done so.