The T1 Valorant team was eliminated from VCT Open Qualifier 1 after Riot forced them to forfeit their match against TSM due to “unauthorized communication” during the match.
According to Riot Games, there was evidence of T1 coaches communicating with T1 players during the match. Of course, Riot does not allow this in the official Valorant Champions Tour matches, as is clearly stated in the 7.2.11 – Unauthorized Communications rule.
T1 missed their chance to get into VCT Challengers 1, but they’ll have a second shot in the Open Qualifiers 2. Hopefully they’ve learned their lesson and will be more careful in the future.
The Risk Didn’t Pay Off
Whether T1 intentionally broke the rules or they were genuinely unaware is completely irrelevant at this point. At the end of the day, it was their responsibility to know the rules and abide by them.
The more pressing matter right now is to fix the damage done. They have already missed their first chance to qualify for VCT Challengers 1, so they have to win in VCT Open Qualifiers 2.
What’s even worse is that T1 won the first map with 13-7 and they secured a solid lead in the second map against TSM, which would’ve probably guaranteed a clean 2-0 win. They certainly had some advantage due to said communication between the players and the coaches, but it’s unclear just how much it actually impacted the match.
This is one of the more hyped Valorant rosters in NA who recently acquired seven and pwny, two very promising young talents. Their in-game leader is none other than the legendary steel, so seeing them resorting to cheating is a real shame.
Riot is Quick To Act
Riot Games doesn’t mess around when it comes to rule breaking. Whether you’re the best team in the world or at the bottom of the barrel, it matters not. Time and time again we’ve seen them act swiftly and decisively when it came to these matters.
Such was the case with T1. Once Riot discovered sufficient evidence, they immediately issued the punishment.
Riot’s official ruling:
T1 has violated section 7.2.11 of the VALORANT Global Competition Policy and will forfeit their January 29th match against TSM in the North American VALORANT Champions Tour Open Qualifier 1, resulting in their elimination.
The Pressure is High
T1 has a lot to think about now, and it will certainly impact their performance in one way or another. Having VCT Challengers 1 slip through their fingers due to a silly mistake will weigh heavily on their minds.
Consequently, they’ll have more pressure to perform in the second VCT Open Qualifiers as they can’t really afford any mistakes this time as that would result in them missing VCT Challengers 1. Not to mention that this would also diminish their odds of making it to the VCT Stage 1 Masters.
VCT Challengers Competitive Ruling: T1 pic.twitter.com/GTkHsSTB4I
— VALORANT Champions Tour NA (@valesports_na) January 30, 2022
Being in such a vulnerable state will either make or break the team. At least they’ll see if they’re the type of squad that thrives under pressure or not.
However, the real consequences might appear later. If the team doesn’t make it to the VCT Challengers 1, there’s no doubt that heads will roll. But if they pull it together and make it out of this alive, then the organisation might let this mistake slide.
In any case, this was a good lesson for any Valorant team out there, especially T1. Perhaps this experience makes them stronger as a team, and we hope we’ll see more of them in Valorant esports.