VALORANT Pro's Family Got Sent Hate Messages After VCT Loss: "It Needs To Stop"
The Guard has quickly become one of the most celebrated teams in North America after storming the first VALORANT Champions Tour Challengers event, beating the likes of 100 Thieves, Sentinels, and OpTic Gaming on the way to the title. The brand-new branch of the Kroenke Sports and Entertainment Group (owners of Call of Duty side Los Angeles Guerrillas and Overwatch franchise Los Angeles Gladiators) have instantly found success in their first season, although their performances at the most recent VCT Masters event failed to meet expectations.
After a questionable format saw The Guard skip the Group Stages and be automatically seeded into the Playoffs - something that OpTic Gaming thought was detrimental seen as though they had a chance to warm up throughout the weekend - the roster crashed out with a 7-8th placed finish at the hand of Brazilian team Paper Rex.
Following their exit, The Guard's Michael "neT" Bernet has taken to social media to implore that online trolls "need to stop" as his family have received hate messages from upset fans.
NeT's Family Receive Hate Messages After The Guard's Loss
neT was the target of online abuse following The Guard's 2-0 loss to Paper Rex, alongside 17-year-old Trent "trend" Cairns and fellow teammates Jacob "valyn" Batio and Jonah "jonahP" Pulice.
Taking to Twitter, neT admitted that he did make a "misplay" in the match, before detailing that he needed to make his "socials private again because you guys getting so mad over a video game. It doesn't justify messaging my family."
"I thought I needed to address it because getting my private life and my family involved is where I draw the line. Going to be taking a break off social media for a while after this. Thank you. To the true fans, thank you. To everyone in the community that's a positive influence, thank you. We will improve and come back stronger," neT added.
neT Implores Trolls Not To Message Players' Families
After instances of hate mail landing in his and his family's DMs, neT has now implored that "it needs to stop." neT added, "I cannot reiterate enough how messaging my family members or showing people in my private life hate is not ok."
It's not the first time that the VALORANT community has targeted North American players with online hate. Previously, Sentinels' Jared "zombs" Gitlin and Michael "dapr" Gulino were targetted by Brazilian fans, after they were accused of disrespecting an entire region following jokes about beating FURIA.
For The Guard, their first international LAN event has not come without controversy, amid an arguably sub-par showing in the Playoff stages. However, the organisation remains optimistic going into Challengers 2 in May, where they will aim to book themselves a ticket to Masters 2 and rectify their in-game events.
Hopefully, the community will also review their actions too.