Pro VALORANT player for Version1 Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro has been suspended for the first Challenger Open Qualifier and the first Challenger Main Event for VCT Masters Stage 3. According to Riot's official ruling, the suspension is related to remarks that Zellsis made about a tournament official at the VCT Reyjkavik tournament, in violation of VCT Global Competition Policy rule 7.1.2.
"On May 28th, during the team’s player check in and rule review session, Zellsis made a categorically offensive and discriminatory remark about a tournament official," Riot explained in their ruling. "Offensive comments made on the basis of gender or race are in direct violation of the standards expected of players participating in the VALORANT Champions Tour. Accordingly, Zellsis is suspended for the first Challenger Open Qualifier and first Challenger Main Event of Stage 3."
Additionally, any subsequent violations of rule 7.1.2 could result in the further suspension of the player, forfeiture of prize money, or even Version1 facing forfeiture of circuit points.
Riot's rule 7.1.2. states, "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."
Version1 acknowledged the ruling on Friday, and apologized for their player's inappropriate comment, saying, "Version1 and Zellsis regret the incident and apologize to Riot staff. We accept Riot’s decision and will be playing with a sub for the first open and closed qualifiers of stage 3 of VCT."
Zellsis also offered his own apology on Twitter on Friday, saying: "I want to apologize to Riot staff for making an inappropriate remark in Iceland. I take responsibility for my actions and will learn from this mistake. I’m sorry to my teammates for putting them in this position. Will be taking a few days off social media. I will be better."
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.