Two months after its existence, Blizzard's ambitious Overwatch League has seen many positive aspects. The audience numbers are strong, Blizzard has managed to woo big sponsors like Toyota, and last month the Shanghai Dragons turned Kim "Geguri" Se-Yeon into the first female player in the league. But there is a problem that keeps coming up: the players that show toxic behavior. Today, the league made its biggest statement about such behavior so far, handing out punishments to four individual players.
Dallas Fuel Timo "Taimou" Kettunen will receive a fine of $ 1,000 for using "anti-gay insults in his personal flow", while the "Tae-yeong" TaiRong "Kim of Houston Outlaws received a formal warning for publishing a Meme on the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Blizzard says he was more forgiving of Kim because he issued a spontaneous apology and made a $ 1,000 donation to the Hiroshima Culture of Peace Foundation, meanwhile, Ted "Silkthread" Wang, of LA Valiant , was fined $ 1,000 for sharing the account, which violates Blizzard's ULA.
"We hope that these disciplinary actions demonstrate our seriousness."
But the biggest punishment was reserved for Felix "xQc" of Fuel, Lengyel, who was fined $ 4,000 and suspended for four games. His transgressions included "repeatedly using an emote in a racially derogatory manner in the broadcast of the league and on social media," according to Blizzard, as well as calling "official" speakers of the league "cancer."
This is the biggest wave of punishments in the Overwatch League, but unfortunately these are not isolated incidents. In January, the London-based Spitfire Jun-Young "Profit" Park was fined $ 1,000 for giving the middle finger during a game, while Lengyel had been suspended four games by the league and fined $ 2,000 for making a homophobic comment about an openly gay player.
His team, Dallas Fuel, extended the punishment, suspending Lengyel for the remainder of the first leg of the league. "Nobody wants to see Felix be more successful than us," the team said in a statement in January. "We hope he can return to the team with the passion, competitiveness and focus that is needed to play in the Overwatch League."
While the behavior has been recurring, Blizzard has been very public in terms of punishments, publishing details of each infraction on the official website of the league. It is not yet clear if this will be enough to stop this type of action, but given the toxic behavior that prevails in most online games, including Overwatch, it seems likely that this trend will continue in the formative stages of the league.
"It is unacceptable that members of the Overwatch League use or distribute odious, racist or discriminatory speeches or memes," Blizzard said of today's punishments. "It is important that all members are aware of the impact their speech can have on others.The overwhelming majority of Overwatch League players and staff take full advantage of the opportunity to play in the world's first major electronic sports league. , and they are rising to fulfill the occasion as public figures are.
"We are committed to building a community around the Overwatch League that is welcoming and inclusive for all players and fans, and we hope that these disciplinary actions will demonstrate our seriousness in that effort."