Riot Games and 100 Thieves have been trading statements and evidence over the past couple of days, all related to the competitive ruling Riot released on Monday, in which they issued penalties to 100 Thieves and their coach over an incident that took place this past weekend at the NA VCT Champions Tour: Masters one tournament.
Here is a full timeline of the drama between Riot and 100 Thieves.
Riot Issues $5000 fine and places FrosT on Probation
In a competitive ruling issued on Monday, The VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) issued a $5000 fine to 100 Thieves and placed their coach Hector "FrosT" Rosario on competitive probation. Both penalties were related to the team's behavior in the lead-up to their match against Immortals at this past weekend's NA VCT Champions Tour: Masters one tournament.
"100 Thieves prevented the start of the series despite the explicit instructions of the tournament operator to begin the series," VCT explained in the ruling. "Furthermore, 100 Head Coach Hector “FrosT” Rosario demonstrated unprofessional behavior towards a Tournament Official. We are fining 100 Thieves $5,000 for an extensive broadcast delay due to noncompliance with Tournament Official decisions and are placing FrosT on competitive probation for the duration of the 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour."
According to the VCT's findings, 100 Thieves' actions were related to a dispute regarding player ping. Tournament officials determined the most equidistant servers for teams to use, however, 100 Thieves argued against the Tournament Official's selections, saying that the ruling contradicted a ruling from their earlier match against TSM. In order to carry out a challenge, 100 Thieves players gathered in the in-game shooting range to prevent the initiation of the match, while FrosT argued with tournament officials about the server selection.
According to VCT officials, FrosT not only refused to comply with tournament rules but also addressed officials unprofessionally, including threatening to put tournament officials on blast using 100 Thieves' social media reach. This all resulted in a full hour delay to the start of the match.
The VCT's investigation determined that 100 Thieves violated the following rules:
- 9.1.4 Between Matches - if all players are not ready to play and in their seats at the time designated to them by Referees or Tournament Officials, the Team can be sanctioned for delay of Game
- 7.1.2 High Standards - All Teams and Team Members must observe the highest standards of personal integrity and good sportsmanship at all times. Team Members must behave in a professional and sportsmanlike manner in their interactions with other competitors, Tournament Officials, the Tournament Operator, the media, sponsors and fans
- 7.2.11 Non-Compliance - No Team Member may refuse to comply with the instructions or decisions of the Tournament Operator or the Tournament Officials.
The team received a $5,000 fine for violating rules 7.2.11 and rules 9.1.4, while FrosT has been placed on probation for the time being for violating rule 7.1.2.
100 Thieves releases statement standing by their coach and team
On Tuesday evening, 100 Thieves released a statement in response to the competitive ruling on Monday evening, in which they stated their disagreement with Riot's decision and defended their team and coach. According to 100 Thieves, the delay was necessary for their team to dispute a competitive ruling by the VCT TO.
"We disagree with Riot's competitive ruling against our VALORANT head coach FrosT and strongly disagree with Riot's public release and mischaracterization of the incident after we compiled with their investigation around a minor competitive matter," 100 Thieves stated. "In our previous match vs TSM, the tournament organizer made a ruling regarding ping and servers that favored our opponent. In our subsequent match vs IMT, the TO again made a ruling around ping and servers that was not in our favor, and which was in direct contradiction with the rules they cited previously in the TSM match."
They characterized their delay of the game as justified because they were challenging what they saw as a double standard in the competitive rulings. They also clarified that FrosT told the TO, "If you DC us, you are in a bigger shitstorm than we are", which according to 100 Thieves was not meant to be a threat against Riot, and was instead meant to be a reference to how DCing 100T would harm the competitive integrity and reputation of the tournament.
"We were blindsided by the characterization of this issue and feel as if it has been blown out of proportion," 100 Thieves concluded. "We would have preferred for such a small issue to have been kept private. We plan to pay our fine and move on from this matter. We feel our coach was fighting for our players and fans in advocating for competitive integrity."
100 Thieves releases video evidence to back up its statement
Soon after posting their initial statement on Tuesday, 100 Thieves also released a video showing their side of the encounter between FrosT and tournament officials. The video shows the team waiting in their training room, while FrosT makes his case with VCT officials on a Discord call. 100 Thieves argued that this video evidence proves that FrosT did not threaten the TO.
In the video, FrosT argues about the merits of different ping ratios. He can be heard explaining why the difference in ping between 8 and 44 is a big deal in a game with peeker's advantage. Peeker's advantage, for those who are unfamiliar, is an artifact of online gaming where the person who peeks a corner has a slight advantage due to the travel time of data packets. The bigger the disparity in ping, the more advantage the team with low ping will have.
"There is a huge difference between 8 ping and 44 ping, on every game," FrosT stated. "The peekers advantage is a thing and Riot has also said its a thing, and are aware its a thing, and they have publicly stated this. So if you are going to say 70 ping is a big deal, you should also acknowledge that 8 ping is also a huge deal."
He goes on to claim that VCT TO's were using a double standard for their decisions regarding pings, saying, "You made a decision [in our previous match against TSM] because the math skewed one way, and now you are changing that."
Riot updates their competitive ruling with new evidence
At 6:30 PM Tuesday Evening Riot updated their competitive ruling to address the claims and evidence presented by 100 Thieves.
"Three independent witnesses provided testimony that FrosT made a statement to this effect," Riot explained in the newly added section. "When asked directly about it in an interview by Riot League Operations personnel, FrosT admitted that he made this statement. Although 100 Thieves provided Riot with a clip showing FrosT’s side of the conversation that does not include this statement, they declined to provide the full video to Riot."
Riot did not address the claims that their TO used inconsistent standards to make competitive rulings.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.