FENNEL Female, the women’s VALORANT squad currently participating in Game Changers under the brand of Japanese based organization FENNEL, has immediately terminated the contract of head coach “hanpipe” after an internal investigation showcased the head coach was part of an “inappropriate relationship with a minor woman.”
In an announcement via the organization’s social media account and later translated thanks to a user on the competitive VALORANT subreddit, ultimately reported by Dexerto, FENNEL stated that hanpipe directly admitted to the situation after the organization conducted an investigation and confirmed the rumor. On top of that, FENNEL also discovered that he had concealed the situation from the organization for a while. As a result of the relationship plus concealing it further, FENNEL decided to go through with the cancellation of the head coach’s contract effective immediately.
Hanpipe was rather new to the organization as he was signed barely 3 days prior to the announcement, with another coach also suffering the same fate. The situation itself came to the spotlight via replies to the signing announcement made via social media by FENNEL, where allegations were posted first by reporter Gareso Takizawa. Takizawa replied to the announcement made by the organization mentioning they had proof that hanpipe had a sexual relationship with a minor plus engaging in efforts to cover it up with other people.
After internal confirmation that coach “hanpipe” had a “inappropriate interaction with a minor woman,” FENNEL Female, the women’s VALORANT roster competing in Game Changers under the Japanese FENNEL organisation, promptly terminated the coach’s contract.https://t.co/tVWM1vaMK7 pic.twitter.com/G6n1MNgYlU
— Toxic Gamer (@TheToxicGamerTW) March 20, 2023
As part of FENNEL’s statement that hanpipe’s contract had been immediately terminated, the organization said they needed and will set up a system that will perform checks on both staff and players before providing contracts. Of course the Japanese organization has received backlash by the community, as fans stated the organization should have already set up a system in the first place to avoid situations like this happening within the VALORANT competitive ecosystem.
Looking into the future, not only FENNEL but all the organizations will most likely implement consistent checks around their environment to maintain competitive integrity and members of the esports scene safe from situations like this.
As for FENNEL, they are still in the process of assembling their complete FENNEL Female squad moving forward into the 2023 Game Changers season/split. Back in 2022, the FENNEL Female roster became famous after managing to win both Game Changers events for Japan and East Asia, however when arriving at international play they were eliminated first at the international Game Changers championship. A total of 3 of their players left for the Game Changers rosters of DRX and ZETA DIVISION during the last transfer period.
FENNEL will need to rapidly find a squad and staff capable of fighting for regional titles as soon as possible, with the next event coming rather soon.
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