Despite winning their match against TSM this past weekend, T1 was forced to forfeit its VCT qualification match against TSM from this past weekend due to "unauthorized communication" during a match. The ruling, which was published on Saturday, came in response to evidence that a T1 coach communicated with players during the match, which is prohibited outside tactical and technical pauses.
"T1 will forfeit their January 29th match against TSM in the North American VALORANT Champions Tour Open Qualifier 1 due to violating rules regarding unauthorized communication during a match," Riot stated in the ruling. "The Competitive Operations team was made aware of evidence of a T1 coach providing instruction to T1 players while their match against TSM was in progress. . . T1 Has violated section 7.2.11 of the VALORANT Global Competition Policy."
As a result of the ruling T1 was eliminated from the VCT 2022: NA Stage 1 Challengers event, while TSM advanced. However, TSM did not make the most of their second chance, losing to Akrew the next day.
The issue of unauthorized coaching communication is a sore spot for tactical shooters, after the massive CS:GO coaching scandal that took place last year, in which it was revealed that dozens of coaches had been abusing a bug to gain unauthorized intelligence against enemy teams. That scandal rocked CS:GO to its core, bringing into question the results of over five years of competition. Riot is not interested in a similar scandal occurring and has banned coach communication entirely outside timeouts as a result.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.