Freaks 4U is investigating allegations of suicidal jokes, pressure to travel and scheduling issues raised by a VCT EMEA observer

This article is about suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please visit to help.

Freaks 4U, the tournament organizer chosen by Riot Games to manage the EMEA VCT Circuit, today announced that it will launch an internal investigation following a public statement made by an observer that detailed the suicidal jokes made. by a Freaks 4U employee.

“We take your statement very seriously and are sorry to read about your experience”, Freaks 4U mentioned. “We are currently reviewing this matter internally and promise to follow up with you.”

VALORANTS observer Melanie “mel” Hoi-San Man said in a TwitMore today that a member of staff joked that he would commit suicide if she couldn’t fly to Berlin, the central hub of VCT EMEA operations. This was confirmed in a screenshot of the conversation acquired by Dot Esports.

Not knowing how to respond, Mel captured the conversation and sent it to upper management. The person who made the jokes was then asked to avoid making jokes about death, prompting her to act coldly towards Mel.

Screenshot via mel

Mel says when she was first hired at VCT EMEA in 2021, there was a healthy work environment that kept the spotters turning. In 2022, things have changed. 4U Freaks Games decided that he would run a POV watcher and a cinematic watcher for the whole year. Mel was asked to fill in for a week when the Cinematic Observer was unavailable and she accepted.

After that, Mel says she was booked to do VCT EMEA on a pretty consistent basis, but the requests were last minute. The pressure started to mount when her production manager asked her why she couldn’t stay in Berlin to continue working for VCT EMEA.

“They asked me every time I was in the studio in Berlin doing VCT EMEA,” Mel said. “Because of this, I had dropped out of college to do more VCT EMEA.”

Mel dropped out of college, where she was studying for a bachelor of science degree in psychology as a freshman, she told Dot Esports.

In his TwitLonger, Mel also details his experience with his production manager. She said Freaks 4U booked the wrong flight for her and was told to accommodate it instead of scheduling the correct flight. Because she was working late on the NA side of VCT, it was almost impossible for her to accommodate them.

When Mel asked what would happen if she couldn’t fly, her production manager joked that they were going to kill themselves.

Mel attempted to keep in touch with her production manager to ask her for dates, because if she doesn’t, she won’t know if she’s booked or not until just a few days before she’s due to work. For an EMEA VCT, he was only asked to do three days out of a 27-day tournament, and he was not told why he was asked to do so little work.

Before Mel published the TwitLonger, she reported all of these issues to her production manager, who denied ever asking her to move to Berlin or drop out of school. They maintain that it was only a suggestion. They were angry at her for talking to senior management about the death jokes and implied that Mel was a diversity recruit instead of a talented spotter who deserved the job.

Screenshot via mel

Mel said she would stop working with Freaks 4U for the next stage of VCT. She says she feels exploited and angry about the situation. She also said she had never experienced a work environment like this on the NA side.

Mel has long been considered one of the best VALORANTS observers around, and Riot particularly seems to think so given that it made a the whole video featuring it for VCT game changers.

Dot Esports has reached out to Riot for comment but has received no response at the time of writing.

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