Friendly fifth-grade-level banter between foes is all well and good, but there’s a time and place for it. When you’re a professional Overwatch League player, the big stage—even during a quarantine—is not it.
While Overwatch League initially reacted to covid-19 by postponing all March and April matches, it’s now making up for lost time with online games each week. Over the weekend, two Overwatch League players, San Francisco Shock’s Dong-jun “Rascal” Kim and Los Angeles Valiant’s Jung-won “Lastro” Mun, got fined $1,000 each for a mid-match exchange of words only tangentially related to Overwatch (unless you count Overwatch fan fiction, in which case they were extremely related).
In match chat, Mun began by saying “sex” and “big dick,” and Kim tossed in a “big dick” of his own. This prompted other members of both teams to react with surprise and laughter. Not long into this boldly-timed war of words, SF Shock tank player Matthew “Super” DeLisi asked them to cut it out because spectators “can see match chat.” In response, Mun said, “srysrysrysrysrysry,” a sentiment he later echoed in an apology on Twitter.
“I thought the viewers could not see the match chat because everyone was typing in it,” he wrote on Twitter. “I wrote it as a joke, although I should not have done it regardless of whether the viewers could see the match chat or not. I will make sure something like this never happens again. I apologize to all the fans and OWL viewers.”
Overwatch League’s official discipline tracker now contains two new entries, noting that both Mun and Kim have been fined $1,000 for “inappropriate chat during a league match.”
Kotaku reached out to LA Valiant and SF Shock for more information, but as of this publishing, the teams had yet to reply.
It seems, then, that if players wish to convey these ideas during official matches, they’ll have to resort to the more abstract form of expression that is the “tactical crouch.”