T1 has suspended Valorant head coach David Denis for his role in getting his team disqualified from the NA Challengers Open qualifier.

T1 has suspended their Valorant coach, David Denis, for his role in the disqualification of their team from the Valorant Challengers North America over this past weekend.

Why did T1 suspend their coach?

“T1 has completed a thorough review of the actions that took place this weekend during the Valorant Champions Tour Open Qualifier competition and would like to express our regret for violating the rules and communicating outside of pauses,” T1 said in a statement on Twitter. “In response to this violation, T1 has proactively suspended head coach, David Denis, for this weekend’s open qualifier.”

They say “proactively” here, likely referring to the fact that Riot has not issued any further sanctions against T1. It’s possible that this is a sign of good faith from the team to Riot that this will not be an issue moving forward. This does, however, leave them without a coach for this weekend’s competition which will put them at a disadvantage.

“As a company, T1 takes pride in fostering a culture of integrity in both our players and coaches. Riot Games has permitted us to compete in Open Qualifiers 2 and we look forward to competing this weekend.”

T1’s Last Chance to Qualify

This is T1’s last chance to qualifier for the upcoming NA Challengers 1. Should they qualifier, they’ll join the invited Sentinels, Team Envy, 100 Thieves, and Cloud9. They also join the folks who qualified from the event they were DQ’d from: Version1, XSET, The Guard, and NRG. As a refresher, NA Challengers 1 will seed the upcoming Masters, which will be the first international test in 2022 for Valorant teams. A miss at that level could mean serious setbacks and roster reshuffles for teams that don’t qualify.

Aside from being benched from this weekend’s competition, there’s currently no word on if further punishments are coming for David Denis from either his team or Riot Games. It seems that the team itself will not face further punishment as they are being allowed to compete in this event.

The community has mostly reacted well to this news that T1 will be allowed to compete, though some question whether Denis was a fall guy for his team. While there has been some issues with the rules not being enforced evenly across regions, the players on the team ultimately are responsible for knowing the rules as well.

Some have also expressed their surprise that the team is only suspending their coach for one week, despite his actions costing the team their match against Team SoloMid. Regardless, it seems T1 wants to be at full strength should they come out in the top 4 this weekend.

Who will replace T1’s coach this weekend?

It seems that T1 does have an assistant coach ready to step into the role, one Dakota “Exko” MacLeod. Exko’s past is not ideal, however, as he himself was banned from competitive PUBG for use of an unauthorized program.

While this does not disqualify him from participating in Valorant esports, some may question whether or not he has the competitive integrity necessary.


For all the latest on Valorant Esports and the upcoming NA Challengers, keep it locked here to Esports.gg.

Dustin Steiner - Americas Editor

Dustin Steiner

Americas Editor | Twitter: @GetSteinered

Americas Editor for Esports.gg, Dustin Steiner brings a decade of esports newsroom experience to bring fans what they need to know, helping them keep their finger on the pulse of esports as it happens. When he's not helping run the newsroom, you can find him grinding it out on Smash Ultimate, Final Fantasy 14, or probably binge watching Gundam.