VCT NA – T1 forfeited against TSM

With the start of the new VCT season, teams from all over the world are looking to claim a spot in the first Challengers in their region. During the first NA Open Qualifier, T1's roster was forced to forfeit against TSM, following an unauthorised communication from the coach during the match.

A spectator mode for coaches

Since Patch Note 2.08, Riot Games has integrated tools to make life easier for coaches during tournaments. Until this update, coaches could not follow their team's matches during competitions, which was a problem to say the least.

Since then, custom games in tournament mode allow the 5 players and the coach to join the games. The idea was tooffer coaches the possibility to follow the games live, with access to their players' points of view. In addition, the tool dedicated to the sixth man integrates the use of the global chat. This is only to be used in case of a problem in order to reach a moderator, and in no way to communicate with his team.

T1 disqualified from Open Qualifier 1

The rules in force during competitions on Valorant, and in particular section 7.2.11 concerning 'Unauthorised Communications' states that:

At Live Events, all communication devices other than devices authorized by the Tournament Operator and Tournament Officials for use at that Live Event must be removed from the play area before any Official Game begins. Players may not text/email or use social media while in the match area. During the match, communication by a player shall be limited to the other players on the Team.

Outside of the authorised tactical breaks, it is therefore strictly forbidden for players to communicate with their coach and vice versa.

During the match between T1 and TSM, it turned out that T1's coach, David Denis aka dd8 did not respect this golden rule, as stated by Subroza, a TSM player, on Twitter. While no specific information was released about the content of the message from the coach, Riot considered the incident a breach of the rules and decided to suspend the match.

Due to this infringement, T1 could not qualify for the Phase 1 Challengers for the time being. No ban has been issued regarding participation in the second Qualifiers. The second qualification phase is the last chance for the team to join the Challengers, and at the same time possibly participate in the Masters 1.

This discovery also raises several questions : has the team used this practice before, without it being detected? Are other coaches using this chat to communicate with their players? In order to avoid further occurrences of this kind, it can be assumed that Riot Games will seek to improve the chat system.

If TSM went on to compete in the lower bracket, the roster was unable to overcome their next opponent, Akrew. Akrew then lost to The Guard, who qualified for the Challengers. For the time being, they are joined by Version1 and XSET, who dominated in the upper bracket, but also by NRG who were able to climb the lower bracket.

These 4 rosters will be joining the main event alongside Sentinels, Cloud9, 100 Thieves and Team Envy. The next North American Closed Qualifier will be held from 2nd-7th February and will feature four additional slots. Who will be the winners? Suspense!