It seems in Blizzard-world, consequences are like buses. You wait months for sanctions aimed at out-of-line Overwatch League personalities, and then four come along at once.
In order of severity, Kim ‘TaiRong’ Tai-yeong, coach for the Houston Outlaws, was given a formal warning for posting an offensive meme on social media. Blizzard was more lenient because of his formal apology, which included a noteworthy charitable donation to Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation.
Ted ‘Silkthread’ Wang of Los Angeles Valiant was fined $1000 for account sharing, forbidden by Blizzard’s End User License Agreement.
Timo ‘Taimou’ Kettunen, of Dallas Fuel, was also fined $1000 for homophobic remarks on his personal Twitch stream, after an apology.
Lastly, Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel, also of Dallas Fuel, was handed down a four game suspension and a $4000 fine for a series of incidents including racist use of emotes in the OWL official stream chat, and toxic behavior towards official OWL casters and players on social media and stream.
Unsurprisingly, after his second suspension in three months, Dallas Fuel have parted ways with the 21-year old. Perhaps they didn’t see the point in retaining a player who spent more time bringing the team’s name into disrepute than winning games.
Dallas Fuel Announce Release of Félix “xQc” Lengyel https://t.co/3rb1cPQsqF
— Dallas Fuel (@DallasFuel) March 12, 2018
Lengyel, now a free agent, is streaming Overwatch full-time for his 400,000-strong Twitch following for the foreseeable future. There are three weeks left before the OWL’s free agent signing period concludes and rosters lock in for the remainder of the season at Stage 3’s commencement on April 3rd. It remains to be seen if any team will dare pick up that poisoned chalice.
It seems Blizzard is beginning to get the hang of running a professional esports league and putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to policing toxicity in the community, wherever it may be found.