Valorant pro player Shogo "takej" Takemori has been suspended by Zeta Division for three months without pay for boosting an undisclosed acquaintance with an alternative account, the Japanese organization announced Friday.
Following an in-house investigation, Zeta Division concluded that takej had played several competitive matches with another acquaintance who did not belong to the team using a "smurf" account owned by fellow organization streamer Takaaki Natsushiro. Natsushiro also received a 3-month suspension from Zeta Division.
"Based on the found circumstances and information from Riot," Zeta Division released in a statement as translated by u/Pretenderrr on Reddit, "it was found that Takaaki Natsushiro and takej both violated the terms of service established by Riot, and further, were found to have been involved in game behavior that compromised the fairness of the game for other players.
"Although we acknowledge that takej did not take the [initiative] in this act, takej has an important responsibility to be a front figure on the competitive scene and ensure fairness in Valorant. This duty is something that we consider very important. Therefore, even in light of his sincere remorse, we have decided that we should take strict measures against such acts."
Initial reactions from those in the Valorant community have been interesting to say the least.
While some felt that Zeta Division should be applauded for showing respect to the rules as much as they did, others pointed out that the act in question could have been something much more casual with little ill intent involved.
Nevertheless, Natsushiro and takej will also both remain prohibited from participating in any activities as a player (e.g. streaming, events, competing in tournaments) for the next three months.
As it stands, it appears tekej won't be missing any official pro Valorant matches in that timeframe as Zeta Division announced on Sept. 24 that although they entered Masters Berlin as Japan's No. 1 seed, they will be withdrawing from the APAC LCQ. Rather than fighting for a spot at Valorant Champions, the VCT circuit's largest and annual culminating event, the organization hopes to focus on rebuilding for 2022.
Breaking Riot Games' Global Competition Policy via boosting has been filling up the Valorant headlines in recent days, with Japan's Crazy Racoon reportedly suspending two of their own streamers, and North America's Sophie "Slaze" Ramirez being suspended from VCT Game Changers for similar charges as well.