Someone's got a potty mouth
Offending words at the Overwatch League
In an unexpected turn of events, two Overwatch League players were slapped with a $1,000 fine for inappropriate chat caught on screen during an official Overwatch League broadcast this past weekend.
What happened, exactly?
While the Overwatch League delivered plenty of exciting plays this weekend, the most notable moment came up in a match chat between the Los Angeles Valiant and the San Francisco Shock. Jung-Won “Lastro” Mun of the Valiant and Dong-Jun “Rascal” Kim of the Shock were the unfortunate recipients of a rare Overwatch League monetary penalty due to visibly “colorful” language caught on screen.
In the tweet below, you can take a look at the screencaps for yourself, but read at your own risk:
The offending words were first typed out by Lastro, with the rest of the players either laughing or trying to spam chat in order to cover up what he typed out. Rascal, however, repeated what Lastro said and added symbols after it. Due to his amplification of the inappropriate phrases, Rascal got caught up in what would have originally been only a fine for Lastro.
Why the fine?
Both players clearly broke the rules. In section 6.1b of the official Overwatch League Rules of Competition and Code of Conduct, it says:
“Team Members and Owners may not use obscene or offensive gestures or profanity in their tags, player handles, game chat, live play communications, lobby chat, shoulder content, interviews, or other public-facing communications of any kind. This rule applies to English and all other languages and includes abbreviations and/or obscure references.”
For anyone who can read English, it’s pretty clear that what Lastro said and Rascal parroted back was obscene language. Other players tried to tell them that match chat was visible to the public, but by that time, it was too late. The hilarious, but technically rule-breaking, damage was done.
Reactions to the ruling
Right after the match, Lastro took to his Twitter account and apologized for the language he used in chat.
Many fans responded sympathetically to Lastro. One said: “That was the funniest moment in OWL so far don't apologize!!” Another simply called him “King.” It’s clear that to many viewers, this wasn’t as offensive as it was hilarious, but there are younger fans watching. Such words might be offensive to the parents of these younger fans, or sponsors who want to steer clear of the potential backlash.
This isn’t the first time the OWL has had to respond to a player’s inappropriateness with a fine. In the league’s 2018 inaugural season, former London Spitfire player Joon-Yeong “Profit” Park flipped off a face cam in front of an audience and was fined $1,000 shortly thereafter. Profit also thought the camera wasn’t visible to the audience but it clearly was, and in order to save face, the league had to respond with some sort of penalty.
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There’s still some commentary on Twitter that the league was too heavy-handed with their fines of Lastro and Rascal. Do you feel the same way, or do you think OWL had to set a bar for future players to reach?