Team Canada may be without one its more outspoken teammates for the Overwatch World Cup, which will take place next month.
This past Sunday, former professional Overwatch League player and Ex-Dallas Fuel team member, Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel, was handed a 15-day suspension from Overwatch for repeatedly reporting for being abusive in in-game chat.
This isn’t the first time that Lengyel has received disciplinary action for inappropriate conduct. He was actually dropped from the Dallas Fuel team, following repeated conduct violations. Of course, his behavior is also part of his draw. His abrasive, often over-the-top style of communication has gained him a solid viewership of over 650K followers on Twitch.
Following the news of his suspension, Lengyel took to Twitter to offer up a pseudo-apology to those who may have been offended:
“It is never my intention to harass or use in-game chat in an abusive manner. Banter is fun and 100% of the time I type something to someone I know they are playing along and won't be hurt. If I ever typed something and you we're genuinely hurt, I am sorry. I will be better.”
When Lengyel was previously banned, Blizzard stated “it is unacceptable for members of the Overwatch League to use or distribute hateful, racist, or discriminatory speech or memes.” It is not exactly known why Blizzard banned him this time around, but clearly, it was not enough to deter Team Canada from adding him to their World Cup roster.
The timing of the ban, on the other hand, might ultimately rule on whether or not Lengyel will have an official spot on the team. Team Canada’s first match of the Overwatch World Cup will take place on September 7th, which is 13 days after his suspension lifts. Players’ Battle.Net accounts must be in good standing to participate in the competition, so it will be interesting to see if Lengyel’s account status will disqualify him or not.
Toxicity management seems to be gaining traction within the gaming industry, as studios try to get a handle on hostile players. Sportsmanship in video games is also a hot topic right now, as discussions heat up to potentially consider esports and gaming as an Olympic sport . Ultimately, Blizzard had to take action on what it viewed as offensive, so as to not set a precedent that abusive behavior is allowed in its games.