Jay "sinatraa" Won might have to fight for his spot on Sentinels' VALORANT team if he is cleared of sexual assault allegations.
sinatraa was recently accused of sexual assault and abuse by his ex-girlfriend. After she shared a TwitLonger with audio evidence, sinatraa was suspended from the Sentinels' VALORANT team while the organization continues to conduct an investigation into the claims. Riot has also banned him from competing during this time.
It seemed like Sentinels may be in trouble, since VALORANT Champions Tour North America Stage 1 Masters was just around the corner. But then the team quickly signed Tyson "TenZ" Ngo, a seasoned Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player who beat a lot of North American records in VALORANT while streaming Riot's tactical shooter.
In a recent interview with InvenGlobal, TenZ noted that the team was definitely not falling apart in sinatraa's absence. After beating Luminosity in a 2-0 sweep, TenZ said: "They were definitely making the most out of a bad situation. Nobody was really down about what happened. We just have to play our game and just do the best we possibly can."
During the interview, TenZ also stated that he loved streaming because it was "chill," but also very much enjoyed playing professionally. But it soon came to light that TenZ was just a temporary replacement, meaning the Sentinels were possibly planning to bring sinatraa back on if he was cleared of domestic violence and sexual assault.
And then Sentinels won the Valorant Champions Tour Stage 1 NA Masters event. The team crushed FaZe Clan 3-0, proving that TenZ and the rest of the Sentinels squad was doing better than ever sans sinatraa.
In a recent stream, Michael "dapr" Gulino leaked that TenZ privately stated that he wanted to continue playing with the Sentinels VALORANT squad.
"TenZ does want to play with us and he likes playing with us. But who the fuck wouldn't? We just won the biggest event in NA. So obviously he's going to say he wants to play with us," dapr joked after winning the VCT event. "I don't think my ego could take it if we just won the biggest event and this guy said, 'Nah, I'm good. I don't really like playing with you guys.'"
Jokes aside, it's possible that TenZ doesn't want to be a short-term stand-in while Sentinels waits to hear about sinatraa's future. The former Overwatch League MVP hasn't made any further statements about the situation after claiming his innocence in a TwitLonger. But it might not be so simple to return now that TenZ has proven himself a valuable asset to the team.
VALORANT's esports scene is relatively new, so Riot, Sentinels, and Cloud9 (where TenZ formerly streamed) will have to figure out how to handle this kind of situation once it arises. Can TenZ be officially signed at this time in the tournament? Can sinatraa be brought back mid-season? Will Riot unban him? Rumor has it that Cloud9's buyout cost for TenZ is mighty high as well. Is Sentinels willing to pay it now that the team has won such an important tournament?
It's unclear what's going on behind the scenes right now as the investigation into sinatraa's past relationship continues.
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