On July 24, the mysterious Twitter account @nicekeybinds posted a comprehensive Google Doc accusing MarsArxa, a member of the all-women Valorant esports team Fallacy, and her boyfriend Nate ‘Payen’ Lopez of cheating during a tournament organised by Galorants, a Valorant community space for female and non-binary players. Both players have been quiet since the allegations surfaced (Lopez did not respond to Kotaku’s request for comment in time for publication, Mars put her Twitter on private), and Galorants has yet to address the issue, having instead spent the weekend putting out fires made by its fuzzy Astral Clash Tournament rules and unsportsmanlike conduct unrelated to these allegations.
@nicekeybinds has also been silent since dropping the elaborate document, which was put together after the writers watched a winning stream clip Mars posted and deemed her reaction disproportionately lowkey.
“We don’t know what kind of person says absolutely nothing after winning a 1v5 versus a well respected signed team,” the document says.
Then, in dedicated detail, it points out every discrepancy between Mars’ typical playstyle and settings and Lopez’s, which were found by comparing streaming clips posted on their Twitter accounts. That includes different keybinds, mini-maps of different sizes, and different frame rates. The document also notes that Lopez played a ranked game with four Fallacy team members the day before the tournament.
“Mars is missing from this game,” the document says, “perhaps so that this roster could practice together without her.”
The tournament that Mars allegedly cheated in was a “last chance” qualifier to four teams earning an all-expenses paid trip to the Astral Clash finals in Southern California on August 6. Team Fallacy made it in, but their qualification really depends on whether or not Lopez played for Mars, which esports personality Jake Lucky says Riot Games is looking into.
Team Fallacy was in another bind earlier this summer, when screenshots emerged of players encouraging a male-identifying player to “do a no binary change” in order to compete with them. Mars was involved in that controversy too, writing on Discord that her team was “just trying to compete in peace.”
Aside from past controversy, this new document about Mars is notably elaborate considering it was written about a relatively unknown Valorant player with 136 Twitch followers and a modest $US300 ($416) in competition winnings. But I guess some people really want to go to California.