Not even a week into its first season, the Overwatch League already has its first controversy and its first suspension.
Felix Lengyel, aka xQc of the Dallas Fuel, has been fined $2,000 and suspended for four games by the league. Atop that, the Fuel suspended Lengyel for the remainder of stage 1, which means until Feb. 10. Overwatch League plays four five-week stages, for a total of 40 matches a season.
Though Lengyel’s league ban and the Dallas Fuel’s added suspension did not reference his offensive, reports say Lengyel directed a homphoboic slur at an opposing player during a Thursday match with the Houston Outlaws, who swept Dallas by 4-0.
Compounding matters is the fact Lengyel said it to a player who is openly gay. The insult came after an Outlaws player, Austin Wilmot (aka Muma) parodied one of Lengyel’s catch phrases following Houston’s triumph. Lengyel, who didn’t play in the match, went on a livestream later to say “Shut your fucking mouth. Go back there. Suck a fat cock. I mean, you would like it.”
Overwatch League, which is owned and managed by Blizzard, leveled its ban on Friday evening, with a statement that the league “takes standard of player behavior seriously, whether during league play or otherwise.”
Here is the statement from Dallas Fuel, yesterday evening:
Other professional sports leagues have had their own problems with players popping off homophobic slurs recently.
This past year, Major League Baseball suspended Matt Joyce of the Oakland Athletics for two games after he directed an anti-gay epithet at a fan. Joyce later apologized. and Kevin Pillar of MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays was suspended for two games by his club for using a homophobic slur against an opposing pitcher.