Riot Games has issued bans on two female Valorant players for alleged harassment and vulgar speech from all Riot-sanctioned competitions, including the Game Changers. The bans were issued by the company after comments from the Galorants’ Discord server comparing teabagging with sexual assault surfaced online and heated discussions started escalating.
Following the incident, two female Valorant players – ‘Dawn’ and ‘Risorah’ – were suspended from participating in all official events for three months and nine months respectively. (The names of the players have been withheld for privacy)
Through a competitive ruling issued on June 25th, Riot Games confirmed these bans were a result of ‘vulgar or hateful speech’ and ‘harassment’.
Why Were Dawn Valorant and Risorah Valorant Banned?
Recently, debates on whether or not teabagging in video games should be allowed have taken over social media platforms. In fact, teams being banned for teabagging in tournaments or TOs requesting players to not teabag are also not unheard of.
The recent controversies started when one of the members of the Galorants’ Discord, which is a community in the women’s esports space, posted a message on one of its text channels equating teabagging to sexual abuse, even though the topic is banned on the server.
“While Galorants moderators eventually stepped in to diffuse the situation, this did not happen as soon as it should have,” Galorants said in a statement. “This unfortunately allowed the hostility to escalate within our server and towards the conversation’s initiator.
This individual has since been issued punishment within the server for bringing a banned topic into discourse. We apologize for not taking action to protect our members sooner.”
As mentioned in the competitive ruling by Riot, Dawn and Risorah targeted the member of Galorants who started the teabagging discussion through a series of Twitter posts.
Riot’s statement reads, “Beginning June 24, a player (identified as “Player A” to protect their identity) engaged community members on the GALORANTS Discord server. On June 27, the discussion evolved into an argument spanning multiple Twitter posts. Dawn’s responses included a vulgar and targeted remark at Player A.”
“On June 27, Risorah created multiple Twitter posts specifically targeted at Player A, in which Risorah pasted GALORANTS Discord conversations between themselves and Player A. Risorah proceeded to post a video they edited, in which they amplified and personally added vulgar commentary around Player A. On June 28, Risorah directly tagged and targeted Player A as the subject of a vulgar post.”
Valorant: Dawn and Risorah Respond
Risorah has acknowledged her mistakes through a Twitlonger made shortly afterward.
“While I’m still having a ton of emotions right now, it’s worth noting that I will be taking this punishment with the responsibility of my actions that led to my situation,” she said in her statement.
Dawn, on the other hand, isn’t very happy about her ban and has disputed the ruling by Riot Games.
“I have watched SA happen in broad daylight. It is not something you can compare to crouching in a video game,” Dawn said in her own Twitlonger. “I was visibly upset by this, as were hundreds of thousands of people, and replied under her thread expressing my frustrations and concerns. I don’t think I need to say much more. I s**tposted on Twitter and apparently, it’s vulgar language.”
She further claimed that she was “literally told by Riot staff” prior to the ruling that what she said “was not vulgar.”
Dawn will be able to return to competitive play on September 27, 2022, while Risorah will have to wait till March 27, 2023, to have her suspension lifted.