Shortly after Jay "Sinatraa" Won announced his intention to revive his professional career as a Valorant player, the community split itself between those that celebrated the return of an undoubtedly skilled player, and those unwilling to let someone who tampered with an official investigation of sexual misconduct allegations return as if nothing had happened.
Sinatraa's original six-month suspension issued by Riot Games after the former Sentinels pro failed to cooperate with an internal investigation by misrepresenting facts and making false statements ended in September 2021. Days later, his ex-girlfriend Cleo "Cle0h" Hernandez debunked rumours of her dropping charges against Sinatraa that would have put an end to a police investigation into the accusations.
With no new information about the case, Sinatraa's return to competitive Valorant isn't favoured by many people within the scene. Despite this, a huge portion of the esports community has defended the 22-year-old, as they believe he has served his time and is due for a comeback.
Is Sinatraa returning to pro Valorant good?
The initial response to Sinatraa's announcement saw plenty of important Valorant community members and esports as a whole "welcome" Jay back into the fray.
The initial response to Sinatraa's announcement saw plenty of important Valorant community members and esports as a whole "welcome" Jay back into the fray. From Fortnite sensation Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf to former Sentinels teammates like Jared "zombs" Gitlin.
ight bet— zombs (@zombs) April 12, 2022
Wording on Sinatraa's initial tweet sparked some criticism as he implied that the investigation against sexual misconduct allegation, which as far as we know is yet unresolved, made his break from competitive Valorant an unnecessary one.
"Sinatraa says he was 'forced step back' from competitive play. When in reality he was suspended for not fully cooperating with Riot’s investigation," Valorant inside Max Katz tweeted out.
While not addressing the situation directly, other pros such as former Luminosity Gaming Alex "aproto" Protopapas weren't too keen on Sinatraa's announcement. "Holding people accountable for their mistakes is not cancel culture," he stated.
Cleo responds to Sinatraa's Valorant return
Sinatraa's ex-girlfriend Cleo Hernandez reacted to his public desire of trying to go pro again by simply stating that she has no interest in what his career looks like going forward.
"It’s been obvious for a long time that Valorant is a safe haven for abusers and edgy 17-year-olds who think saying offensive stuff is peak comedy!!"
Cleo later criticised content creators and streamers showing support for Sinatraa, calling them out for being "performative and embarrassing."
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"rly funny to me that content creators will pretend to be feminists and pretend to advocate for women when it benefits them socially but then refer to sexual assault as a 'mistake' and praise an abuser."
We've chosen not to share Cleo's social media account to respect her privacy. As for Sinatraa, it remains to be seen which organizations will be willing to endure the backlash in order to secure his services.
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Featured image courtesy of Sentinels.