Pro Valorant coach fired following accusations of sexual misconduct with a minor

Jeremy Gan

A newly signed VCT Game Changers coach for Japanese team FENNEL Female has been dismissed after being accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. 

When Riot started VCT Game Changers, it was meant to herald a space for women and other marginalized genders to compete. However, there have been a number of scandals in the Game Changers circuit involving men.

There was an instance when a male player faked being non-binary to play in the NA Game Changers tournament. More recently, Rising Hope suddenly dropped their Game Changers roster, with accusations of the team owner sexually exposing himself to the female players in the middle of scrims.

And once again, it appears another man has overshadowed what is supposed to be a celebration of female esports. 

Japanese org FENNEL announced on March 17 that they had picked up two coaches for their female team, Rader and hanpipe. Shortly after the reveal, however, the latter was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.

According to Gareso Takizawa, the reporter claims hanpipe recently had sexual relations with a 16-year-old high schooler at her parents’ place and had attempted to cover it up. While no further proof was provided, they claim to have evidence to support the accusations.

FENNEL fire hanpipe after investigation

FENNEL promptly replied to Takizawa’s accusations, saying that the organization was looking into the matter and would report once they had finished their internal investigation. 

And on March 20, the Japanese organization announced that the coach had been dismissed from the team.

“When we checked the facts, we found that hanpipe himself had admitted to the facts and that the matter had been reported to a third party,” FENNEL said in a statement. “This was not revealed to us until the facts were discovered.

“We have decided that it is difficult for us to continue our support as a company and we have no choice but to make this decision.”

FENNEL Female most recently made a run through the Game Changers East Asia qualifiers to reach the 2022 VCT Game Changers Championship. Meanwhile, their men’s team just won the Japan Challengers Split 1. 

Hanpipe has not responded to the allegations, with his last tweet being his announcement of joining the roster.

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