The league is nipping homophobia right in the bud.
Overwatch League, global esports league for Blizzard Entertainment’s multiplayer first-person shooter Overwatch, suspended and fined pro player Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel of team Dallas Fuel after throwing an anti-gay slur at his opponent during a live stream. His team also suspended him until stage two of the four-stage season, which takes place in February.
After losing a match 4-0 against the Houston Outlaws on Jan. 18, Lengyel threw a slur toward opponent Austin ‘Muma’ Wilmot, who is openly gay.
Wilmot used Lengyel’s signature catchphrase “rolled and smoked” to describe his victory over the Dallas Fuel. In response, Lengyel said: “You didn’t smoke shit. Shut your fucking mouth. Go back there. Suck a fat cock. I mean, you would like it.”
On a later live stream, Wilmont claimed Lengyel was a “homophobic piece of garbage.”
Lengyel later apologized on Twitter.
“I didn't say what I said on stream with malicious intent, I legit did not compute the whole thing before,” he wrote. “I speak too fast, everything happens too fast. Everything is so fking trash lately. Hope I can turn this into something good, sorry @Muma :/”
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
That same day, Overwatch League publicly announced Lengyel ‘s suspension for four matches and fined $2,000. They did not refer to Lengyel’s remarks directly.
“As of Friday, January 19, Dallas Fuel player Félix "xQc" Lengyel is suspended for four matches and fined $2,000 for violating the Overwatch League Code of Conduct during his individual stream on Thursday evening,” they wrote. “The Overwatch League takes standards of player behavior seriously, whether during league play or otherwise, and is committed to responding swiftly when violations occur.”
In a tweet, Lengyel’s own team supported this decision, extending the suspension. In their message, the team also did not address the slur directly.
“We believe in working with our players to help them become the best possible competitors, professionals and teammates,” they wrote. “That includes work both inside and outside of competition for Felix. During his suspension, we will be offering additional resources, focus coaching, physical training and support to Felix to help him improve as a professional player who is reflective of the principles of the Dallas Fuel organization, his teammates, and of the Overwatch League.”
They added: “No one wants to see Felix succeed more than we do. It is our hope that he can return to the team with the passion, competitiveness and focus that it takes to play in the Overwatch League.”