Professional gaming organization Vexed Gaming faced some recent heat in their appointment of controversial French player Hovik 'KQLY' Tovmassian, who had been previously banned from attending Valve-Sponsored CS:GO tournaments.
KQLY received a Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) ban in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in 2014. Though he claimed it took place outside of an official event and on another Steam account, he was let go by his team at the time, Titan eSports, who were later unable to attend DreamHack Winter 2014 as a result.
Vexed Gaming announced their appointment in a Twitter post over their official account yesterday morning.
Though the post itself stirred up plenty of drama over Twitter, the reactions of the community pale in contrast with the reception the rest of Vexed had. Shortly after the announcement, two of the team's members, Steve 'Jarod' Cohen and Léonard 'SmyLi' Michelino, stated that they would be actively benching themselves from future competitions.
In their official statement, the two said that:
"Hello to all, We were not informed of this decision that was imposed to us. We were informed of it right before the official announcement. We cannot imagine ourselves working with someone that has harmed, to the extent that he has, the competitive integrity of CS. We therefore disassociate ourselves from this decision that we deem unethical. @vexedjarod and myself have informed @Vexed_GG that we wish to be benched."
The two were later joined in their decision by team analyst Renaud 'WiPR' Malfait, who announced his departure in a notice over TwitLonger.
That Vexed made the decision without actually consulting its team is certainly surprising considering the weight the move carried. With KQLY in their roster, the team is unlikely to compete at any Valve-sanctioned events in the future, which cuts out a significant amount of available competitions. That aside, the team will still likely face future criticism even when it is able to compete for playing alongside a known cheater. Of course, that's assuming they do manage to fill the new holes in their roster.
For future news about Vexed Gaming, check out their official Twitter account to receive updates about their roster and championships, if any should remain.
As for WiPR, Jarod, and SmyLi, news about their upcoming adventures can be followed on their individual Twitter accounts below.