Overwatch has really lived up to their name of cleaning up the community. The Blizzard Entertainment-owned game has a reputation for being toxic within the gaming community, and the company is looking to solve that problem to entice new players to stay in the community and grow the game.
The 2016 Game of the Year winner has taken disciplinary action on four of their professional players and coaches, showing that no matter who you are, the Overwatch League will take action against actions that do not positively reflect the communities goal of creating an inclusive environment. Taimou, TaiRong, SilkThread, and xQc are among those affected, though all incidents are unrelated.
Back in January, Timo ‘Taimou’ Kettunen was the subject of criticism as he used a homophobic slur during his live stream on Twitch.TV. The Dallas Fuel player has since apologized for his words, taking full responsibility. That was not enough for the organization as the Overwatch League (OWL) fined the player $1,000 for his conduct.
Dallas Fuel is doing double-time this time around as another player of theirs, Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel has been reprimanded for spamming an emote in an Overwatch League’s stream chat, during a livestream. The emote was reportedly spammed in a ‘racially disparaging manner’. xQc has been a repeat offender of policies and has found himself suspended for four games at the start of the OWL season, which starts Monday, March 12th.
The team has since released xQc due to his past misconduct as he is labeled a ‘suspension prone’ player, and continually fails to maintain a level head for a full stage of play. xQc has not been the most impactful player on the Fuel. However, he does add some flexibility to the team’s tank role, which can be crucial when there is so little room for errors at the professional level.
One of the people affected by the disciplinary actions was not a player, but a coach for the Houston Outlaws. Kim ‘TaiRon’ Tae-yeong, was issued a warning after an offensive meme was found posted on his social media account. Before TaiRong was set to appear for his hearing, he made a ‘charitable’ donation of $1,000 to the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation as a form of self-punishment for his actions. This act is what lead OWL to simply hand him a warning, instead of a league imposed fine, or suspension, like the other cases.
The final action taken was against Los Angeles Valiant’s Ted ‘SilkThread’ Wang. He was fined $1,000 for account sharing, which according to Blizzard’s End User License Agreement, is not allowed.
Whether it be hate speech or license infractions, Blizzard Entertainment has shown that they will not tolerate these actions in any manner within the Overwatch community. Blizzard is working towards bringing transparency to the entire community, and dishing out these punishments in a public manner makes the process move in the right direction.
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