Team Besties Banned for 18 Months

Published: Jul 13, 2021 - Last Updated: Sep 18, 2021

It goes without saying that cheating in any competitive esports match is simply wrong. Cheating diminishes everyone else’s fun and all the effort they put in, but it almost always results in the offender getting sanctioned.

Riot Games have shown zero leniency when it comes to cheating or acting in an unsportsmanlike behaviour. They are quick to act, and the punishments they dish out certainly fits the crime.

Image Credits | Riot Games

Recently, during Valorant Game Changers – North America Series 2 Open Qualifier, Team Besties were found to be in violation of Riot’s Rule 7.2.7.

This rule clearly states that playing under unregistered accounts, or having other players play on your account, is strictly forbidden and punishable. Turns out that Team Besties conveniently ignored that rule, and when they got exposed, wouldn’t cooperate. Riot Games made a swift decision and Team Besties were banned for a total of 18 months – one year for breaking the rule and an additional 6 months for non-cooperation.

Overwhelming evidence

By now it should be clear that Riot doesn’t mess around. Valorant’s competitive scene has been great so far, and keeping it free of cheating is the way to go. Team Besties attempted to cheat their way through and got caught almost immediately.

Team Besties registered for the Valorant Game Changers – NA Series 2 with their five regular roster members and Bella “soju” Rierad as their manager. They agreed to the Valorant Global Competition Policy and the Valorant Champions Tour 2021 Rule Set without any objections.

Now this is where it gets interesting. Mia “kei” Leong, who was playing Sova in the first five matches that Team Besties played, suddenly swapped to Jett and Reyna in their next three matches. Not only was the ping difference immediately noticeable, and Riot Games caught multiple log-ins, but they went on to include kill/death stat difference on Kei’s account.

Image Credits | Riot Games

During the first 5 matches Kei played on Sova, Kei accumulated a -39 kill/death differential, and during the last 3 matches with Reyna and Jett, Kei accumulated a +44 kill/death differential. Riot already had enough proof to settle this case, but they decided to include the massive kill/death difference too, which the community found to be pretty hilarious.

Denial followed by non-cooperation

So, Team Besties were caught, and now had to face the consequences. What did they do? They denied everything. In fact, they denied until the evidence was so overwhelming that they had to admit.

Later on, during the course of investigation, Riot had conducted interviews with all the members of the Game Changers teams that played against Team Besties, and also with the Tournament Officials. However, Team Besties refused to schedule any interviews.

This was another bad move that would end up prolonging their ban by an additional 6 months.

If we look at how quickly Valorant has been moving in just a span of one year, it’s safe to say that Team Besties’ Valorant careers are essentially ruined. Eighteen months is a lot of time, certainly enough time for Team Besties to reflect on their actions, and hopefully to learn something from this whole ordeal.

It’s sad to see such a young team with so much promise squander this opportunity, but it’s also great that Riot Games are constantly vigilant and working tirelessly on preventing this kind of behaviour in their games.


Denis Alihodzic
Denis Alihodzic

Since: March 1, 2021

Freelance writer with a passion for gaming and esports. Loves a good old-school RPG, and enjoys spending time with his dogs.

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