After xQc’s four-game suspension and $2000 fine for lashing out at a rival OWL player with homophobic insults, it seemed that Blizzard was setting a precedent for player conduct.
Much has been made of the Code of Conduct all Overwatch League players were required to sign, which has not yet been released to the public in full. We know it does include the requirement to ‘observe the highest standards of personal integrity and good sportsmanship’ and ‘not engage in any form of harassment or discrimination’.
So it’s odd that Overwatch League has not made any comment on a report made over a month ago, January 23rd, when another Dallas Fuel player Timo “Taimou” Kettunen slung several homophobic slurs at players during a personal Twitch stream. Taimou has over 164 thousand followers on Twitch. The report was acknowledged on receipt and passed onto the relevant Blizzard personnel, but to this date, no official action has occurred.
When asked about the incident, Dallas Fuel spokesman Greg Miller said: “As an organization, we strive to provide players with advice and resources to help them balance professionalism needed to compete at a league level with the individual personalities that may have gained them popularity or their own followings. As you’ve seen recently, we certainly do look into any situation that goes against a code of conduct befitting the team and/or league.”
While Taimou has been on the bench since Dallas’ own suspension of xQc elapsed with the commencement of the season’s second Stage, it is not apparent if this is a low-key punishment in itself or just a coincidence. This discrepancy is certainly not in keeping with the OWL’s official policy: “The Overwatch League takes standards of player behavior seriously, whether during league play or otherwise, and is committed to responding swiftly when violations occur.”
So is there a double standard in play? Does Blizzard care more about CoC breaches involving other teams’ players than they do about pro players’ personal streams? Or did this case just slip through the cracks? Either way, it’s not a good look for the League or Dallas Fuel, both of which are developing a reputation which could scare off sponsors if someone doesn’t step up soon.