Viper from VALORANT wearing a mask.
Image via Riot Games

VALORANT streamer outraged by Riot’s penalty system following ‘disgusting,’ threatening encounter

Sickening.

The wider VALORANT community has today demanded Riot Games do more to make the space feel safe for everyone after a player was caught making disturbing threats during a Twitch streamer’s live broadcast.

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Trigger warning

This article discusses multiple forms of trauma, including sexual assault.

On May 13, Twitch streamer Taylor Morgan shared a sickening clip on X (formerly Twitter) in which one of her VALORANT teammates makes a horrendous rape threat against her in the team voice comms channel, going as far as saying, “It’s not rape if I like it.” The streamer promptly left the game, ended her stream, and urged Riot to take action against players who get away with making disgusting and unacceptable comments like this.

Twitch streamer Taylor Morgan playing VALORANT.
VALORANT teammate made disturbing comments about sexual assault on stream. Screenshot via Taylor Morgan on Twitch

“Absolutely nothing prepares you for someone saying this to you,” Morgan stated. “The suspensions are not enough. Nothing will ever stop these men from acting this way until hardware bans go into play. They should never be able to play the game again.” Riot has already been called out for its inability to hold players accountable for smurfing or going AFK, but making sexual assault threats is on a whole different level. Yet, players say this is an issue many others have experienced, especially women and marginalized genders. “The fact this happens so casually and constantly is sickening,” another streamer commented.

It’s no wonder Morgan and other players are frustrated with Riot’s current penalty system, which hardly seems to deter suspended or banned players from reoffending after their suspensions end or on alt accounts. More severe punishments like hardware bans would make players think before blurting out something offensive, make it harder for them to return, or kick them out of the game for good. And, while it’s helpful that we can flag these issues to Riot support and employees via X, the in-game report system “rarely does anything,” according to players, and could use some work to be more reliable in the future.

“I know you hear us. I know you see us,” Morgan directed toward the company. “If this goes unpunished I am taking this as an active act from you that you do not give a single fuck about any of the women and minorities that play your game, and I will rally to boycott.”

The ironic part is Morgan herself was hit with a penalty for leaving the game after being threatened, yet we still haven’t heard about any penalty against the player who made the threat. Many ignorant players like to use the “mute them and move on” or “stop playing if you can’t handle it” arguments in instances like this, but they fail to see the bigger issue plaguing the community. If players are not being properly punished for serious threats, discrimination, harassment, or other supposedly bannable offenses, what exactly is stopping them from doing it again to other victims? It’s on Riot to address these issues, hold players accountable for bad behavior, and do whatever they can to flush it out of the community.


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Author
Karli Iwamasa
Karli is a freelance writer based in the Bay Area. She has written about your favorite video games on sites like Dot Esports and TheGamer. When she's not writing, she's playing VALORANT or the latest Pokémon game.