We have recently covered the VCT: NA Open Qualifier 1 where T1 was eliminated due to unauthorized communication between their coaching staff and the players during the game with TSM. This forced T1 to compete in the second VCT: NA Open Qualifier and put their journey to VCT Challengers in danger.
As a direct result, T1 ended up suspending their head coach, David Denis, for this week’s open qualifier.
T1’s Official Statement
After Riot Games found out T1’s coach violated their rules, they were swift and immediately forced the team to forfeit their match, which resulted in them getting eliminated from the tournament.
This was highly unprofessional and T1 realised their mistake immediately and decided to suspend David Denis for the next VCT Open Qualifier 2. They released an official statement on Twitter where they said the following:
T1 has completed a thorough review of the actions that took place this weekend during the VALORANT Champions Tour Open Qualifier competition and would like to express our regret for violating the rules and communicating outside of pauses. In response to this violation, T1 has proactively suspended head coach David Denis for this weekend’s open qualifier.
T1 also added:
As a company, T1 takes pride in fostering a culture of integrity in both our players and coaches. Riot Games has permitted us to compete in Open Qualifiers 2 and we look forward to competing this weekend.
We’ve all seen how harsh Riot can be when dishing out punishment in Valorant. In this case, T1 got away with a simple slap on the wrist. If Riot wanted, they could have made an example of T1, but they didn’t.
Also, T1’s coach will only be suspended for the next qualifier, after which he’ll return to his position. At least that’s what can be assumed from the statement. This was more of a PR move for the organisation to save face.
And there’s also the question of players who essentially participated in the conversation with the coach during the match with TSM. They got away scot-free. Some fans wonder whether this was fair, and whether they should’ve shouldered a portion of the blame.
Surviving Until Challengers
While T1 managed to get away without a more severe punishment, they still have to survive the second open qualifier in order to qualify for the VCT: NA Challengers 1. With tensions already high and the coach being suspended, the team could easily make a mistake that will cost them the run.
If this ends up being the case, the team could crash and burn before it even competes properly.
But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. Having more competition in VCT: NA Challengers will make things interesting for everyone, both fans and the players competing. We don’t want to see another year of Sentinels dominance in the NA.
In any case, we’ll follow T1’s progress in Valorant esports and keep you updated.