Overwatch League Punishes Players For Racially Disparaging Emotes and Insensitive Memes

The Overwatch League has distributed punishments to four of its players, with the eSports competition issuing bans, warnings, and fines after a number of controversial actions made by its participants. The most widespread course of disciplinary action made by OWL thus far, the punishments represent a stricter course of action against players representing the League, with their behavior outside of the competition now being brought under scrutiny.

The Overwatch League announcement stated that Houston Outlaws coach TaiRong, Los Angeles Valiant player Silkthread, and Dallas Fuel players Taimou and xQc were each being punished for four separate incidents.

OWL has issued a warning to TaiRong, who posted an insensitive meme to Twitter making fun of the World War 2 nuclear bombings. After being called out for the tweet, TaiRong later made a public apology and a donation to a relevant charity, with the OWL choosing to limit his punishment to a formal warning as a result. On the other hand, the other three Overwatch League players have been reprimanded more severely. Silkthread was issued a $1,000 fine for Blizzard account sharing, which is against the publisher’s license agreement, while Taimou was also slapped with the same fine for making homophobic slurs on his personal stream.

xQc, arguably the Overwatch League’s most controversial competitor, has faced an even steeper fine of $4,000 along with a four-match ban. OWL stated that the ban was a result of him having “repeatedly used an emote in a racially disparaging manner on the league’s stream and on social media, and used disparaging language against Overwatch League casters and fellow players on social media and on his personal stream.” The Dallas Fuel player was previously punished for his use of homophobic language during a personal stream.

The OWL announcement concluded with a statement condemning such behavior. “It is unacceptable for members of the Overwatch League to use or distribute hateful, racist, or discriminatory speech or memes,” the statement reads. “It is important for all members to be aware of the impact their speech may have on others.”

Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment