Sinatraa to Compete in Competitive Valorant Tournament

Overwatch and Valorant all-star is returning to competition in a Valorant tournament in January.

It’s been announced that Jay “Sinatraa” Won will be competing in an esports tournament for the first time in years by participating in the NA Valorant Challengers Last-Chance qualifier. The team Untamable Beasts was announced via Twitter in the late hours of January 10th by team member Connor “PROD” Moran. Joining Sinatraa and Prod are Jared “Zombs” Gitlin, Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen, and Coby “dizzy” Meadows.

This is Sinatraa’s first action in any competitive gaming since his failure to fully to cooperate with Riot’s investigation into sexual assault allegations that came up in March 2021. Though competing in this tournament, Sinatraa, as of now, claims this isn’t a return to esports. Sinatraa took to Twitter Wednesday night, mocking the idea of calling this his return to competitive, confirming in a follow-up tweet that this would not be his “return to competitive.” Later he clarified, saying, “… our goal is not to become some sponsored team just play a tourney together for fun…” 

Sinatraa’s History

Sinatraa rose to fame as one of the best players in the Overwatch League. He has played competitive Overwatch since 2016 and played for the San Francisco Shock from 2018-20. In 2019 he had one of the best seasons any esports competitor has ever had, winning the Overwatch League Championship while also winning the Most Valuable Player honors. That year he also led the USA to a World Cup Championship while winning the Most Valuable Player honors there as well.  

In the spring of 2020, Sinatraa was signed to the Sentinels Valorant team as one of the many Overwatch pros transitioning to the new game. Sinatraa and Sentinels had plenty of success until the allegations came out the following year. In May 2021, Riot announced that Sinatraa would be suspended until September 2021. Whether due to a lack of interest from Sinatraa or from competitive teams, Sinatraa hasn’t suited up for any competitive event since. 

Challengers Series Open Qualifiers

The Challengers Series Open Qualifiers are two tournaments in which six teams will be selected to join the roster of teams for the Challengers League. The first tournament taking place is currently underway, currently slated for January 9-13. The second tournament, and the one in which Untamable Beasts will be competing, is slated for January 17-22. Riot has touted that over 250 teams are vying for these coveted six spots in the Challengers League. 

The teams already invited to the North American Challengers League are M80, FaZe Clan, TSM, Shopify Rebellion, G2 Esports, and The Guard. With half of the league spots up for grabs in the open qualifiers, there could be quite the payday for winning, even if a player wasn’t interested in committing to a whole season, as selling spots in leagues is nothing new in the world of esports. 

Valorant is one of the brightest up-and-coming esports, with many believing it’s the next big game that will inevitably take over. Riot Games has a proven track record of developing a competitive scene around their titles, with League of Legends being the premiere esport internationally. Challengers North America is slated to start on February 1st and to run till March 17th. Only time will be able to tell if Sinatraa will be making his official return by then. However, one thing is certain, his upcoming return is sure to be a polarizing event with all of the scandal haunting his past.