Valorant Pro Accused Of Letting Boyfriend Take Over During Women-Only Match

Valorant Pro Accused Of Letting Boyfriend Take Over During Women-Only Match
Screenshot: Riot Games

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.


  • What an odd article for this site. While I appreciate the author’s writing and perspective, I can’t say I agree with all the opinions or conclusions–if indeed any; chiefly that the game represents cultural appropriation and is borderline racist. Certainly the history lesson is irrelevant. I’m aware of some of the history because I find the walled city endlessly fascinating. I wish it had been kept for historical reasons (sans people obviously). The history provided in this article is only part of the story and is by no means comprehensive in itself. I don’t believe this entertainment product promises historical accuracy.

    If we apply such standards as this article seems to expect, then I suppose no “inspiration” can be taken from anywhere and no products could get made. Is GTA insensitive and represents cultural appropriation because it represents a fictionalised version of LA when it was made by Rockstar North, who are Scottish; or at least based there? Don’t even start on Far Cry or Assassins Creed; the latter of which actually *does* market itself on historical accuracy. I expect Asian games that portray western places and cultures are just as bad, if not worse.

    There is definitely a place to have these discussions. I’m just not sure that it’s here. But hey, it’s a free country. You can say whatever you like, and I’m very grateful for that. That’s not the case in China.

    PS: It’s far from the first game to portray or take inspiration from the walled city. The first Deus Ex game did and I personally loved that section. I’m sure pretty much anything “cyberpunk” does as well, whether they realise it or not.

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