Conference 1 Valorant may be one of the newer brackets on the block but they still deal with one of the oldest issues in esports, toxicity. And today, Penn State Valorant found themselves on the wrong end of bans due to misogynistic comments during a match. CF1 swiftly suspended two players for a week and one for the remainder of the season. It’s one of the first times in CF1 we’ve seen such a punishment handed down.
During a streamed match on March 29, Penn State played a regular-season round-robin match against Virginia Tech. While the lobby for the second map got set up, Penn State player, TiTan0s, made a comment about being “erect and ready”. Looking to have a laugh about it, Virginia Tech player, Dnos, replied: “Nice, me too”. Due to Dnos having a feminine voice, TiTan0s replied mockingly “Is that a female?”. Later in the stream other Penn State players insinuated that Dnos was given advantages for being a female Valorant player.
This continues a trend in esports/gaming where female players are constantly singled out for no reason other than being female. However, in a semi-pro setting where players are representing institutions of higher learning, the standard should be higher. And even though expletives or violent language was not used, the behavior was still immature and toxic. And even before TiTan0s’ comments, the Penn State stream was filled with swearing, toxicity, and sophomoric humor. Needless to say, CF1 was not happy and they responded quickly.
UPDATE (4-1-2021): CheckpointXP reached out to Dnos for comment on April 1, 2021. Here was her reply.
Within a matter of hours, Conference 1 put out a statement outlining punishments for both Penn State as a team and individual players. As of right now, the team is banned from streaming any of their CF1 matches. They are also on a probationary period which will turn into a year-long ban upon another infraction. And if such a ban is handed down, a hold on any prize money they win gets withheld.
Lastly, Penn State Valorant players, A3ro and Fozzybear, got handed one-week suspensions. Fozzybear is currently the team lead for Penn State Valorant and was responsible for the stream in question as well as captaining the team.
The heftiest penalty went to TiTan0s who is suspended for the remainder of the season. CheckpointXP reached out to TiTan0s and has yet to receive a reply.
We reached out to CF1 President, Kiernan Ensor, and he hopes the major message is one of safety.
“I really hope other teams know that this [TiTan0s’] behavior and these issues will be taken under review quickly and seriously,” Ensor said via Discord. “We reviewed the video and reached out to the player [Dnos] and asked her how public she wanted it to be. She said she wanted it out there and to tell her story so we supported her in that.”
Ensor also said that A3ro and Fozzybear were only guilty of minor infractions and showed remorse during CF1’s internal investigation. However, due to their conduct both during and after the initial incident TiTan0s would remain banned for the rest of the season.
He says that CF1 has reported the incident to both Virginia Tech and Penn State.
UPDATE (4-1-2021): CheckpointXP reached out to TiTan0s for comment on April 1, 2021. Here was their reply.
Editor’s Note: Additional comments gathered by Checkpoint On Campus Intern, Dane Simpkins.