Both the Overwatch League and the Dallas Fuel have taken action against a professional gamer who insulted a fellow competitor on his personal live stream following a match. Fuel player Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel has been suspended for two weeks (4 games) by the Overwatch League, with a fine of $2,000, and the Dallas Fuel team have also added a futher week to the suspension.
The insult came after a match between the Dallas Fuel and the Houston Outlaws. Following a 4-0 win by the Outlaws, their player Austin ‘Muma’ Wilmot used Lengyel’s signature phrase ‘rolled and smoked’, which caused Lengyel to unlease various insults on his personal stream. As Wilmot is an openly gay esports gamer, the fact that Lengyel resorted to an homophobic insult was particularly big issue.
Legyel did apologies fairly promptly via Twitter after Wilmot highlighted the comment in his own personal stream. And Wilmot did accept the apology.
I didn’t say what I said on stream with malicious intent, I legit did not compute the whole thing before. I speak too fast, everything happens too fast. Everything is so fking trash lately. Hope I can turn this into something good, sorry @Muma :/
— xQc (@xQc) January 19, 2018
And it’s also good to see that not only is the Overwatch League responding quickly and clearly. But Dallas Fuel have not only issued a suspention of their own, but they’ll also be offering additional resources and support while Lengyal is unable to train with his team-mates.
— Dallas Fuel (@DallasFuel) January 20, 2018
A spokesperson is also quoted by Mashable explaining more of the details of what will happen.
“The Fuel’s decision to extend the league’s suspension of Felix and make additional resources available to him in the interim is based in the organization’s belief of how it can best help xQc grow as a professional,” the spokesperson said. “No one can argue that Felix is passionate and extremely competitive — on some occasions, to his own detriment. During the time xQc will be suspended from league matches, coaches and trainers will work with Felix to help him channel the competitive personality that has made him a great Overwatch player into achieving the levels of balance, focus and discipline in his life that are increasingly important to his development as a teammate and professional player in this league.”
So it seems like a combination of prompt action and support to help Lengyel avoid both saying something which is clearly wrong, and also potentially inspiring young fans to do the same should result in a positive outcome. Which is important given that we’ve seen an Overwatch pro fired in the past for a tirade of racism on a livestream and one team manager fired after allegations of sexual assault (both prior to the official Overwatch League starting). And it’s a little tougher than many examples of similar actions in real world sports, which shows the high standard Blizzard and the Overwatch League are aiming for.