Following accusations of sexual misconduct against him in 2021, Jay "Sinatraa" Won has announced his desire to return as a Valorant competitor starting next week.
The accusations made by his ex-girlfriend Cleo "Cle0h" Hernandez in March 2021 saw Sinatraa step back from Sentinels as a pro player. In May, Riot issued a six-month suspension after an ongoing investigation was resolved in which the former Overwatch League pro was found making "false statements."
Pending a "professional conduct training," Sinatraa would be allowed to return to compete in September 2021, however, Sentinels at no point announced their intention to bring him back into the fold, despite remaining under contract, now as a content creator.
Mere days after his six-month suspension was lifted, a new controversy arose as media outlets like Esports Talk reported that Cle0h had dropped charges, putting an end to a police investigation into the sexual abuse allegations, which according to her, was not true.
Sinatraa returns to competitive Valorant
Still, with no new information regarding the accusations, Sinatraa is ready to move on.
"It’s been a year since I was forced to step back from competitive play. In that time, I have learned a lot about myself and grown as a person. I am now ready for a return to competitive play and will be starting tryouts this week," Sinatraa stated via social media.
Will Sinatraa return to Sentinels?
Despite being under contract with Sentinels, it remains to be seen if Sinatraa will return with his former squad. Performance-wise, the once known as Kings of Valorant have massively disappointed fans in 2022, failing to qualify for Masters Reykjavik this time around.
After a follower asked him what his preferred option was for an impending return to competitive Valorant, Sinatraa gave a clear answer: "First choice would be to return to Sentinels."
The former OWL MVP maintains undeniable quality and has grown as a competitor over the years. From a toxic, meanspirited Overwatch pro, to a leader, capable of remaining calm and collected under pressure.
Sentinels would be hesitant to make a move and try to incorporate Sinatraa at this point. Their signing of Tyson "TenZ" Ngo, which according to reports, reached the "seven-figure mark," means the organisation has to stick with the Canadian filling the duelist spot.
Sure, Sinatraa was never the solo duelist for the team, playing Raze when needed and filling as Sova to let Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan shine as Jett, but as it stands, trying to cram such an explosive player would mean three things.
They either have to put Sinatraa in an off-role, let someone else become IGL to bench SahZaM, with Won taking over Sova/Breach duties since Khan no longer plays duelist for the team, or somehow, decide to retrain TenZ's Agent pool to make Sinatraa the duelist specialist.
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If he can make peace with his past and truly learn from previous mistakes and the Valorant competitive community embraces his return (which by the looks of things and reactions on Twitter it seems they are), Sinatraa will no doubt be a key asset to any tier 1 organisation in North America.
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Featured image courtesy of Riot Games.