SEA Games: Valorant ends up with 2 gold medalists, here's why

Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 11 2023 12:48 PM | Updated as of May 12 2023 01:01 AM

Courtesy: Riot Games
Courtesy: Riot Games

(2ND UPDATE) The first Valorant tournament in the Southeast Asian Games awarded joint gold medals to its finalists, following an hours long protest concerning an in-game bug exploited during the first-person shooting title's debut in the biennial tilt, held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia this year. 

In a technical pause that spanned nearly 12 hours, Indonesia's national team disputed Singapore's alleged use of a bug on Sentinel character Cypher's cameras to get an advantage in holding the fort in Split during the gold medal match. 

Singapore drew match point in Ascent, before piling up on a 10-4 lead in Split, where the technical pause was done. 

Initially, Indonesia's Valorant team forfeited the competition in protest. SEA Games ambassador Juanita Valezka Tanjung said on Instagram that the decision was to uphold "the nation's dignity and considering the unfavorable conditions of the situation," based on a translation by news portal VALO2ASIA. 

Frengky Ong, secretary-general of Indonesia's esports body, however, said their complaint was heard by two bodies and that both teams will be awarded gold as a result. 


One of the players, Rafi "frostmind" Diandra, shared screenshots of their May 7 conversation with organizers where they asked about specific bugs on Sentinel character Cypher, that could be exploited by the opponents side. 

One of Cypher's main utilities, "Spycam" allows him to install a surveillance camera that he could use to check if an enemy is entering a site. He can also move the camera's point of view around. Opponents can only destroy the camera by shooting it with a gun. 

Singapore's Spycam was placed on a barrier on Rafters in the A site, which Indonesia alleges was done because of a game bug. Through the bug, the camera, they claimed, would see Indonesia's direction from their spawning area, a move that could potentially give Singapore a heads up as to which site they will take. 

When frostmind asked on a certain camera placement's eligibility, an organizer, in a message sent on May 7, said "no means you can't use, it's not allowed.


Valorant analyst vladk0r pointed out that the Spycam Singapore used cannot see behind the barrier, which he said will not quantify for a bug exploitation. Malaysian coach Fayde, who has coached all-Pinoy Valorant team Team Secret in the past, also agreed. 

"[The camera] can't even tilt the camera and look into spawn, and that's the one Team SG used," Fayde said. 

"A lot of this came up from a lot of miscommunication," Indonesia head coach Yohannes Paraloan Siagian told Agence France-Presse, adding that they "have nothing against our opponents." 

"It was more that we felt that the way this event was being run did not make for a fair, balanced playing field."

Singapore's players were not on the podium, having flown home after the awarding. But Singapore National Olympic Council's spokespersosn said it accepted the decision and congratulated Indonesia on the joint victory.

"We are pleased to win Singapore's first gold medal in esports," it added.

The win was Singapore's first gold medal for esports since the category was introduced in 2019, when the Philippines hosted the SEA Games. 

The Philippine national team took the bronze after succumbing to Indonesia to open the semifinal rounds. 

-- With reports from Agence France-Presse

For more stories on the 32nd Southeast Asian Games, click here