Esports organization Vexed Gaming recently announced the acquisition of player Hovik “KQLY” Tovmassian for its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster. The news was met with an amount of backlash, as KQLY was issued a VAC ban in November 2014.
Since then, two players and the team’s analyst have announced their departure from the roster. In a statement posted online, they wrote that they wished to disassociate themselves from the decision, revealing that they were not consulted about this roster change. Vexed confirmed that players Léonard “Smyli” Michelino and Steve ‘jarod’ Cohen as well as analyst Wipr are no longer part of the team in an announcement.
According to Weller, Vexed reached out to KQLY to offer a trial period after seeing an interview from him on hltv.org. In it, he had stated that he was interested in playing professionally again. That, in addition to his history with Pierre “NpK” Henkinet, led the organization to make the trial offer.
Weller confirmed that the rest of the team had not been consulted prior to this.
“Unfortunately we fell short in our communications to the entire team and as a result of this, some weren’t consulted before a decision had been made,” he said. “Unfortunately we lost some great members of our team due to this. It is a big regret of ours and we have put measures in place within the organisation to make sure something like this does not happen again. We wish them all the best in the future, and we’re sorry to see them go.”
According to Weller, Vexed Gaming was aware that there would be “some backlash to the news” because they are “the first organization to take action on the new rulings by ESL.”
ESL announced in March it would honor VAC bans for two years after they were first issued. After this period has passed, players will be able to compete in ESL’s tournaments.
Despite the community reaction and departure of some it’s players, Vexed Gaming stands by its decision.
“We didn’t pick KQLY up because of his previous ban, we picked him up purely because of his skills and talent,” Weller said.
“With this in mind, we will continue to look for players purely based on skills and talent. We do have a talent sheet, and we’re actively searching for up-and-coming talent in the scene. Currently, our focus is on ESLCN France.”
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