Male coach substituted in female VALORANT tournament

In a VCT Game Changers NA Open qualifier between the female lineups of Complexity GX3 and Team X, Complexity... | 3. April 2022

In a VCT Game Changers NA Open qualifier between the female lineups of Complexity GX3 and Team X, Complexity played with a male coach as an emergency replacement. The reason for this was that a female player had slept through the first map. Now Riot Games has made a statement about this and explained that this decision was an “oversight” and should not have happened that way.

Player oversleeps match

As the tournament was about to start, Lacey “akaL4CE” Dilworth turned to Twitter and called for someone to wake Annie “Aniemal” Lee up because she was about to miss one of her Game Changers matches. Situations like this happen all the time, and Aniemal isn’t the first to have something like this happen to her. In the end, she probably slept blissfully, because the team had to start the match without her. Unfortunately, the rules don’t allow a team to start with only four players – and that’s why the first map was counted as lost.

Coach steps in

Apparently, Team X even waited patiently while Complexity was about to somehow find a replacement for the sleeping player. However, they could not find anyone. Therefore, the team was forced to use coach Johnny “boms” Boms. Nevertheless, things went badly for Complexity. In the end, they lost the match 2-0. The fact that the coach, a man, was allowed to stand in for the match led to a lot of discussions.

Many people wondered why Riot allowed this, because a male player in a lineup full of women is against the rules and not legal in this case. A spokesperson for VALORANT NA Esports tried to explain the situation:

“In an effort to avoid competitive delays, we made an oversight with the game continuation and emergency substitutions for Game Changers. We are evaluating our processes around these scenarios. We will also work more closely with participating teams to ensure there is no confusion about the eligibility of each player.”

The Rules

The Game Changers rulebook states that a female team may only compete with women. Everyone in the lineup must be female. If the coach had been a woman, the situation would again be justified. In addition, the rulebook states that players have 10 minutes between games to find a substitute. At the same time, the tournament director must decide if the incident is an emergency.

The substitutes must be listed on the team roster. There are also rules for substitutions between maps. According to the rules, teams wishing to substitute a player must inform the approving team and get approval from the referees, and they must also be on the tournament roster.

It is unclear why Riot allowed the team to use a male player, Given Riot’s statement, it is unclear if the company plans to issue a competitive ruling on this incident.