On 19th November 2022, Rob "Robwiz" Kennedy was suspended from the Valorant Game Changers Championship after flicking off an opposing team. The incident happened during the lower-bracket Semifinals, where immediately after Shopify Rebellion GC triumphed over Cloud9 White, Robwiz showed the middle finger toward them on stage.
Robwiz, the coach for Shopify Rebellion GC, was subsequently suspended from the Game Changers Championship and any further match participation. This suspension means Shopify Rebellion GC will play without a coach during their last match in the tournament against G2 Gozen in the Grand Finals later today.
In addition, Robwiz "was fined and has been warned that any subsequent violations of this policy will result in "increased penalties."
According to Riot Games' VCT officials, Robwiz violated and breached ruling 7.1.2 of the Global Competition Policy, wherein "coaches must observe the highest standards of personal integrity and good sportsmanship at all times. Behavior that disrespects and insults the players of the opposing team is a violation of the standards expected of coaches participating in Valorant Game Changers Championship."
That said, this latest violation is surprising coming from a prominent esports team coach. Still, the punishment Robwiz received has caused disparate opinions about Riot Games' rulings on the matter and whether they were too rash to make decisions in a "grey area" of competitive gaming.
One of the more reoccurring takes on the situation is Robwiz being suspended from participating in the Grand Finals match and coaching Shopify Rebellion GC. Most agree that Riot Games' decision to suspend the coach puts the team at a disadvantage, especially during the Game Changers Championship's most crucially important match.
Idk man, just because its a Grand Final doesnt mean they can get away with it.— Popeye (@PopeyeeVAL) November 20, 2022
Rules will be in this awkward gray area if it keeps having exceptions.
It would be understandable if Robwiz were suspended afterward or fined with a higher penalty considering it's their "first offense"; however, since the coach has been taken out of the tournament, it leaves the team facing G2 Gozen at a severe tactical disadvantage in terms of game planning, coaching, etc.
So far, it's uncertain if the suspension will be lifted, but considering Riot Games' official statement on Twitter, it's safe to assume Robwiz won't be coaching for Shopify Rebellion GC during the Valorant Game Changers Championsh Grand Finals on 20th November 2022. At the same time, though, Riot Games included the clip of Robwiz flicking off Cloud9 in their official highlights reel on YouTube (see below), which is a bit bizarre.
Mobile users: The related segment starts around the 1:35 timestamp.
For more on the game, check our section dedicated to Valorant news, updates, guides, interviews, and more.
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All featured images are courtesy of YouTube via Riot Games.