T1’s Valorant team has been disqualified from the North American VCT Open Qualifier 1, putting an end to the new roster’s first attempt at qualifying for the main VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers event.

In the ruling by Riot Games, T1 forfeited their January 29 game against TSM in the VCT NA Open Qualifier 1 because they violated rules regarding “unauthorized communication during a match”.

T1 disqualified from the first VCT NA open qualifier

The Competitive Operations team was “made aware of evidence of a T1 coach providing instruction to players while their match against TSM was in progress”, which is strictly against match rules.

During a match, players are only allowed to speak to other players on the team. Any communication between players and non-players, including coaches, is not allowed outside of designated tactical and technical pauses.

T1 Valorant disqualified from VCT NA open qualifier 1
Credit: Riot Games

T1 Head Coach David “dd8” Denis, who was first signed to the organization in February 2021, was alleged to have instructed the players during the match, accidentally typing in All Chat on Map 1.

This effectively violates the competitive integrity of the game.

TSM’s Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik took to Twitter to complain, calling the situation effectively a “6v5”.

Valorant TSM subroza on T1's disqualification from VCT NA open qualifiers
Screenshot by Koh Wanzi/ONE Esports

T1 took the first map, Split, convincingly at 13-7. However, on the next map, Icebox, a tech pause was called when T1 was up 8-4, during which time TSM players tweeted about communication between the coach and players and ongoing ping issues.

Riot Games eventually issued an official competitive ruling, where T1 was disqualified, and the series given to TSM.

Various North American Valorant pros have expressed their opinions on Twitter. Some, like Nathan “leaf” Orf, have called for more context to be given on the severity of the offense, while Team Envy’s Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker made fun of the entire affair by calling TSM’s in-game leader Daniel “Rossy” Abedrabbo a “tactical genius”.

Joshua “steel” Nissan and his team will have another shot at qualifying at the next VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers Open Qualifier, which runs from February 4 to 7.

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