The players and coach for VCT Game Changers competitor Team Besties have been banned from participating in any Riot-sanctioned VALORANT events for 18 months after the team brought in a ringer at the VCT Game Changers NA Series 2 in June and refused to cooperate with Riot's investigation into the matter.
The practice of using an unregistered player, also referred to as "ringing," typically involves one player using the account of another player to gain a strategic advantage during an event. It is a violation of rule 7.2.7 of the VALORANT Global Competition Policy.
Team Besties registered the following competitors for the NA VCT Game Changers qualifer, all of whom are now banned:
- Jenna “koi” Tang,
- Katie “kateuuu” Tran,
- Mia “kei” Leong,
- Jasmine “memrice” Huynh
- Jennifer “wetboosy” Li
- Bella “soju” Rierad (coach)
According to Riot, Kei was experiencing a stable 52ms ping firing their first five games of the tournament. She played Sova and accumulated -39 kill/death differential across those games. In the following three games against Invicta and 100emoji, Kei's ping was 68ms, she played Jett and Reyna instead of Sova, and her kill/death differential swung the other way to +44.
The sudden changes in her ping, agent selection, and k/d sparked suspicion from Tournament Officials, who had also noticed a player named "arentikawaii" in the pre game lobby in their match against 100emoji. Voice recordings later confirmed that Team Besties communicated with an unregistered player and switched that player to uses kei's account, in violation of the rules.
Making matters worse for themselves, Team Besties denied the account sharing incident to Riot. Nonetheless, Riot was able to confirm that Kei's account had multiple log ins, leading to the team's disqualification and subsequent 18-month bans from competition for violation rule 7.2.7 against account sharing and for violating Riot's rule 8.1 by refusing to cooperate with a tournament organizer's investigation.
The ruling is quite unfortunate for wetboosy, in particular. She was an up-and-coming VALORANT star who many were hoping would be picked up by a top-tier team for Masters 3 Berlin. Now, unless something changes, we won't see her compete again until December of 2022 at the earliest.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.