Jay “Sinatraa” Won, a professional Valorant player, has been suspended from playing while an investigation is made into allegations of abuse from a former partner.
Content warning: details of sexual, emotional and mental abuse follow
Cleo Hernandez released a statement yesterday, thoroughly detailing her relationship with Won. She alleges that despite rejecting Won’s advances, he would often brush her off and pressure her into sex. Hernandez provides an audio clip of one such situation in her statement where she can be heard repeatedly saying “No” while Won insists that they continue.
Among the abusive behavior Hernandez accuses Won of engaging in is him accusing her of cheating on him because the location services on her phone showed she wasn’t at work, and losing his temper at her in a text conversation over a tweet about a competing team.
Following the release of Hernandez’s statement, Won’s current team, the Sentinels, have released their own statement and launched an investigation into her claims, stating, “ We are aware of the current situation regarding Jay “Sinatraa” Won and have launched an investigation internally. While the investigation is pending, he is suspended from the team. We will provide a further update once the investigation has concluded.”
A similar statement came from the Valorant Champions Tour: North America Twitter account, saying,”We are aware of the current situation regarding Jay Won(Sinatraa) and have launched an investigation. Per our existing competitive rules and investigative process, a decision has been made to suspend Won throughout the investigation and therefore he will not be able to compete this weekend.”
The San Francisco Shock, the Overwatch League team that Won played for before transitioning to Valorant, also released a statement denouncing Won’s alleged actions. It reads, “Today we are saddened to learn of allegations concerning Jay “Sinatraa” Won stemming from a private relationship. We do not condone behavior of this sort in any way. While Jay is no longer a member of the San Francisco Shock we think it is important to re-emphasize our position of zero tolerance in situations like these.”
The Overwatch league itself has also come out to condemn Won’s alleged behavior, stating, “The Overwatch League is aware of allegations made against former player Jay “Sinatraa” Won. We take any allegations of this nature seriously and unequivocally support victims of abuse.” The OWL also announced that they’re “offering a refund of 200 League Tokens” for a Zarya skin in Overwatch called the “Alien,” which was released to honor Won’s MVP status in 2019.
Hernandez has since responded to the Champions Tour: North America tweet, quoting it and saying, “i would sincerely hope any investigation involving me would include actually speaking to me. i’ve seen how ‘investigations’ work in esports where the only person spoken to is the player.”
Nearly 24 hours after Hernandez’s initial statement was made, Won released his own, claiming that, “It is clear from Cleo’s recent post that she recalls our relationship differently than I do. What we do agree on is that it was unhealthy for the both of us. I apologize to Cleo and regret how things ended, but I never assaulted her in any way. I am fully cooperating with the investigations and providing the full audio and video clips Cleo referenced in her post.”
Hernandez then responded to Won’s statement too, saying that he never apologized to her personally and that “the least you [Won] could do is message me personally. but you can’t even do that.” She followed that up with another response, this time aimed at his his comment that they viewed the relationship differently, saying that, “Of course we “recall the relationship differently”. One of us was incredibly cruel and one of us was scared. This does lead to different experiences in a relationship, shockingly.”
Speaking to Polygon, Hernandez said, “I was scared and that’s why it took me so long to say something.” She also told them that as of the time they spoke, no organization had reached out to her.