The esports organization is not happy with Riot’s ruling.
Continuing the trend of inconsistent rulings across VCT regions, Latin American superstar Angelo "Keznit" Mori has been hit with sanctions after being cited for inappropriate comments towards Gamelanders Douglas "dgzin" Silva.
According to Riot Central, Keznit will be suspended for one game for breaking rule 7.1.2 of the VCT Global Competition Policy. The ruling comes with controversy as there's no punishment announced for the Brazilian side. Here's Riot's statements on the ruling:
"Keznit violated rule 7.1.2 of the VCT Global Competitions Policy, the rule requiring that requires players to observe the highest standards of personal integrity and good sportsmanship at all times. As punishment Keznit is suspended from playing 1 game of the next md3 that KRU will play and his personal account is now under full surveillance by Riot for 6 months, so any toxic act he commits in ranked will be liable to fines and even loss of circuit points for KRU.
In addition, Keznit will be required to take a professional work ethic course that will be supervised by Riot. Keznit will be given a communication channel from Riot that he can use if he suffers any kind of harassment to communicate with Riot's team."
Kru esports on Kreznit VCT Ruling: Partial and Unjust
In light of the ruling, KRU Esports released a response on their official Twitter. The twitlonger stated they considered all parties involved to be guilty, including Keznit.
"We consider all of the people involved guilty of not respecting the rule 7.1.2, High Standards, and the sanction was unfair, affecting our team in a crucial moment of the competition.
Our player suffered insults, threats, discrimination and was victim of media harassment. The final decision isn’t taking into account all these situations that an organization is supposed to be impartial, which is why we consider the final decision to be partial and unjust."
The organization feels Riot's decision was partial and unjust. The esports organization said Kreznit suffered insults, threats and called him a victim of media harassment.
Riot's lack of transparency
The KRU statement underlines the larger issues within VCT rulings and that's the lack of transparency and structure. Conversely, Keznit's history of toxicity certainly played a factor in this decision, stemming from issue back in 2020.
The problems arise with the lopsided punishment handed down that focuses solely on Keznit and not the discourse. Gamelanders head coach Ian "shaW" Jrdim and dgzin received no warning or sanction while committing the same infraction.
Furthermore, early reports of racism on the part of Keznit have since been debunked. The fact that both parties were hurling insults in chat and it resulted in the lone punishment of Keznit raises more questions in a year headlined by VCT inconsistency.
The rules were clearly broken, but the bias is apparent when there's well documented reports of both sides engaging in this behavior. On top of that, the one-game suspension feels arbitrary at best. It differs from the Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro ruling back in May of 2021, whose suspension was for multiple games for a discriminatory comment made towards an official. In Keznit's situation, there's no precedent with player to player toxicity to base a ruling on.
Riot sending a message
However, the harshness of the punishment shows Riot's commitment to shutting down the unprofessionalism in the scene. Vitriol toxicity is a massive problem in the higher levels of professional Valorant in the South American regions. Even if the punishment appears unjust, the message is that this type of behavior has no place in Valorant esports. Suspending a player of the caliber of Keznit in the midst of a qualifying run underlines this idea.
Whether further punishments are announced after the initial wave of backlash is yet to be seen. However, KRU Esports plans to proceed to the next match.
"Within this context of unfairness and without any other alternative, we will proceed to play the next series. We count with the support of the whole region."