Members of the GALORANTS community have been banned from competitive Valorant over a teabagging dispute (Image via Sportskeeda)

A dispute originating from the GALORANTS server recently came to light, where an individual called Ripley Lawless equated teabagging in Valorant to s*xual assault. This caused a huge uproar, pushing many individuals to mock Lawless’ statements.

Though the moderators of the server stepped in to diffuse the situation, the damage was already done. The issue spilled over to social media and culminated in Riot handing out bans to Dawn “Dawn” Park and Vivian “Risorah” Dela Cruz for using vulgar language. Risorah was further found guilty of systematically targeting and harassing an individual.

Dawn was banned for three months, while Risorah received a nine-month ban. The community, however, was displeased with the bans because they felt it trivialized a serious issue like s*xual assault.

Sportskeeda reached out to Dawn to get to know her side of the story.

Trigger warning: References to s*xusal assault and tr*nsph*bia.

Note: This article is based on the opinions of the author and Dawn’s retelling of the situation.


Dawn opens up about her Valorant ban and issues in the GALORANTS server

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After the incident reached social media, Dawn and Ripley kept going back and forth with each other. Ripley pushed her case that teabagging in Valorant is indeed a form of s*xual assault, while Dawn kept mentioning that the two were not the same.

According to Dawn, their argument crossed over multiple Twitter threads. Following these exchanges, Ripley allegedly reported Dawn to the moderators of GALORANTS, who banned her for an indefinite period.

She said:

“Eventually, we kept exchanging messages via Twitter threads, and she would continue to defend her case of tbagging being SA and whatnot. I was repeatedly telling her that its NOT the same. Later that night, Ripley reported me to Galorants for “harassing” her and I was permanently banned from the server.”

When asked about the response times of the moderators on the GALORANTS server, Dawn mentioned that they were mostly slow to action. This is somewhat understandable because the server is run by volunteers.

heres why leaking my name is dangerous:1. if i had put my deadname (government name) like they asked, Riot would have deadnamed me2. If I was not out as trans to some people, now I am outed3. Now people can go and find my personal social media too

Dawn further alleged that the server’s staff would often exercise their will on all members because GALORANTS is the only way through which women and non-binary individuals can get into the competitive Valorant scene.

She further mentioned that the GALORANTS staff would often choose to enforce rules and punishments based on their personal equations with the accused, detailing:

“The staff team often power trips because Galorants is the ONLY way you can get into the FE/NB scene. This forces you to listen to their rules and obey. They also often change their rules and punishments, based on WHO the staff is and HOW they feel.”

Dawn stated that the moderators of the GALORANTS server will not take any action unless there is an outrage in the community. She brought up an incident revolving around an individual known as Taffs, who was allegedly being tr*nsph*bic during a Valorant tournament.

Taffs was reported to the GALORANTS staff along with video evidence. However, they were allegedly let off with just a warning. This caused the community to speak up against the staff, after which the ruling was changed to a three-month ban.

While elaborating on the situation, Dawn said:

“Galorants staff is usually pretty slow to these things. They don’t follow their rules unless there is enough community backlash. For example, a player named Taffs was blatantly being tr*nsph*bic DURING A TOURNAMENT.”

Dawn further accused the GALORANTS staff of looking unfavorably upon individuals who spoke up on the server. According to her, the overall ambience in the GALORANTS server was such that people would be afraid to come up and speak the truth.

She divulged:

“Galorants also does not like me because I speak out on these issues. I call people out for being boosted, tr*nsph*bic, etc. Galorants does not like people that are outspoken, truthful, misfit. They love to censor your messages as well and sugarcoat a lot of things. I was issued a 7 day timeout because I told somebody that you cannot get smurfed on in unrated. The reasoning was “invalidating others and bringing other women down.”

That said, Dawn also believed that the GALORANTS staff played a role in her ban from Valorant competitive. According to her, the staff had made a compilation of evidence that was used against her.

This compilation was allegedly a collective that the GALORANTS staff had deemed to be vulgar. However, Riot tried to play fair and gave her a chance to bring forth her side of the story.

During a meeting with Riot Games, Dawn proved to them that she had not harassed or attacked Ripley in any way. All she did was criticize the latter’s opinion. According to her, the employees interviewing her had said that her language was not vulgar.

However, after two weeks of silence, she woke up to her full name being plastered all across social media by the company. Dawn was allegedly not allowed to document the meeting due to legal reasons.

She narrated her experience, saying:

“2 weeks prior to the ban, I received an email from Riot regarding the situation. They stated the two rules that I supposedly broke (harassment and vulgar language), a scheduled meeting to explain my side, and a document of evidence that was being used against me.”

Dawn continued:

“I joined the meeting and successfully proved that I had not broke their rules. It was not harassment because I did not specifically go up to Ripley and target her. The language I used was not vulgar enough to warrant a punishment either. The riot employees agreed with me and told me that I was free to go. I was told that they would contact me soon. I never got a response after that. I woke up 2 weeks later, and saw my full name on the TL.”

This brings up two important questions, which are as follows:

  1. Why was she banned from Valorant competitive even after being told that she was not at fault?
  2. If she was banned despite being told that she was not at fault, and she was not allowed to document the meeting either, did Riot Games make up their mind of banning Dawn from Valorant competitive even before listening to her side of the story?

Sportskeeda reached out to Riot Games for a comment on the matter, but they are yet to respond.

What? @Galorants would you like to explain? If I remember clearly, you aren’t supposed to discriminate based on looks. twitter.com/1lobotomized/s…

Given that GALORANTS does play an important role, especially for women and non-binary individuals, such allegations are concerning. For such a community, bias is the last thing that someone would expect.

The fact that Dawn was banned from both GALORANTS and Valorant competitive goes on to spread the notion that Riot supports Ripley’s view of teabagging in video games like Valorant being equivalent to s*xual assault.

It is unclear whether Ripley faced any repercussions within the GALORANTS server. But Riot never took any action against her. Instead, the company allegedly doxxed both Dawn and Risorah, publishing their full names on the internet without their consent.

Given the way the community reacted to this ruling, it is understandable that they were disappointed with it. Many individuals from the Valorant community took to Reddit to call out Riot not only for allegedly doxxing the two individuals, but also for their take on the entire matter.

Riot Games has been in hot water previously when it comes to issues like s*xual harassment. It was only last year that the company settled in a $100 million class action lawsuit. Moreover, their stance on the teabagging issue does not put them in a favorable spot with the Valorant community as a whole.

The community is also displeased with the Valorant Game Changers circuit, something that GALORANTS is also a part of. The entire scene has been plagued with issues since the very beginning, and the community would really love to see things change for the better.


Note: This is still an ongoing story. Sportskeeda does not favor either side, and will simply present the developments as they occur.


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