Following allegations of sexual abuse and a six month suspension from Valorant tournaments, Sentinels star player Jay ‘sinatraa’ Won’s intention to return to professional play has divided the community.
In early March, 2021, Sentinels star and former OWL poster child, Jay ‘sinatraa’ Won, was accused of sexually abusing his ex girlfriend, Cleo ‘cle0h’ Hernandez.
The pro player was suspended from participating in any Riot Games-led Valorant tournaments for six months for having “misrepresented certain facts, made false statements” and allegedly being uncooperative.
Sinatraa refuted the allegations, and also clarified that he had attempted to cooperate with Riot’s investigation, but was unable to deliver the video he had previously promised.
On April 12, sinatraa confirmed his plans to return to Valorant – possibly under the Sentinels banner – but his announcement has left the community split down the middle.
sinatraa’s Valorant return divides community
As expected, sinatraa’s proposed return to professional play has sundered both the game’s professional sphere, as well as the general fanbase.
In a lengthy tweet, Valorant Champions Tour EMEA caster, Matt ‘Twiggy’ Twigg, notes “while Sinatraa is not convicted, you are allowed to think for yourself. Sinatraa failed to co-operate with a Riot investigation into the matter after stating in a public announcement that he had evidence to prove himself innocent. Fewer than 1.7% of SA cases result in conviction.
“Now I can’t stop you from following him or teams from picking him up. But I do ask that you review the evidence provided by the victim yourself, rather than blindly defending him and repeating benign statements about his ‘legal innocence.'”
Now I can't stop you from following him or teams from picking him up. But I do ask that you review the evidence provided by the victim yourself, rather than blindly defending him and repeating benign statements about his "legal innocence". We owe that much to the community.
— Matt 'Twiggy' Twigg (@TwiggyCasts) April 12, 2022
Former League of Legends caster, Indiana ‘Froskurinn’ Black, echoed this, writing “a Valorant pro was accused of sexual assault with audio clips, texts, and personal account. Like most sexual assaults, there was no finalized criminal case. This is apparently completely fine for orgs to now sign him. Is it fine? The orgs are surly gauging PR perception.”
A Valo pro was accused of sexual assault with audio clips, texts, and personal account. Like most sexual assaults, there was no finalized criminal case. This is apparently completely fine for orgs to now sign him. Is it fine? The orgs are surly gauging PR perception.
— Frosk (@Froskurinn) April 12, 2022
Twitch streamer Michael ‘sonii’ Sherman countered both points, commenting “I firmly believe that youthful f**k-ups should not be held over one’s head for decades. We all did dumb shit when we were younger, some worse than others.”
Deleted tweet cause I don’t know enough about the topic to bring it up for discussion.
However. I firmly believe that youthful fuck-ups should not be held over one’s head for decades.
We all did dumb shit when we were younger, some worse than others.
Be open hearted.
— Michael / SONII (@sonii) April 12, 2022
However, Valorant coach m1cks argued that sinatraa had not shown “genuine remorse” or “willingness to improve themselves and learn.”
i’m all for 2nd chances and people being forgiven, but that’s only when someone shows genuine remorse and a willingness to improve themselves and learn
sinatraa has done literally none of that, saying you’ve “grown” after going back on your word about cooperating isn’t growth.
— m1cks (@joshm1cks) April 13, 2022
NRG content creator Chris ‘Flexinja’ Irvine also received backlash for responding to Sinatraa’s initial announcement with “love to hear it, best of luck.” He clarified “I do not support ANYTHING he’s done or has been accused of in the past. The only thing I support is that he’s growing & learning as a human being.”
clarifying what i said under @sinatraa's post:
i do not support ANYTHING he's done or has been accused of in the past. the only thing i support is that he's growing & learning as a human being. (1/3) https://t.co/zlu8SNv9UF
— NRG Flexinja (@flexinja) April 12, 2022
With VCT Masters Stage 1 well underway in Reykjavík, Sentinels failed to make the cut. There are already reports of possible roster reshuffle in the team, which could create an opening for sinatraa’s return.