According to an ESPN report, someone filed a support ticket with Blizzard after Overwatch League player Taimou called another player a “fucking faggot kid” on a Twitch stream on January 23. The Overwatch League has yet to comment publicly, while his team, the Dallas Fuel, sent this statement to Compete:
In regards to the Dallas Fuel we do recognize that our players and all those in the Overwatch League are constantly under the microscope. Contact from ESPN is the first I’m aware of receiving related to what you reference below. As an organization, we strive to provide players with advice and resources to help them balance professionalism needed to compete at a league level with the individual personalities that may have gained them popularity or their own followings. As you’ve seen recently, we certainly do look into any situation that goes against a code of conduct befitting the team and/or league.
This isn’t the Fuel’s first time dealing with one of their players using language like this on Twitch. When Taimou’s teammate told a gay rival to “suck a fat cock,” the Fuel suspended him rather than dithering about players being “under the microscope.”
According to ESPN’s Jacob Wolf, the person who filed the report on Taimou was told that “Due to privacy/security concerns, we will not be able to discuss specifics like how we investigate these or what actions we will be taking from here. Rest assured, however, this has not been ignored.” Despite that claim, the Overwatch League hasn’t commented publicly on the situation, and if the Fuel suspended him—he last played on February 21—they haven’t said so publicly.
The timeline of who knew, if it was even someone who worked in the OWL department of Blizzard, and how long they knew for is unclear from Wolf’s reporting.
On the stream in question, Taimou later said that he was “accidentally toxic” and “didn’t even mean it.”
However, this is esports. Nearly as soon as ESPN’s Jacob Wolf broke the story, his lengthy history of using slurs like “cunt,” “fag,” “nigga,” and more on Twitter became clear. Users were screengrabbing Wolf’s old tweets as he was deleting them on Sunday afternoon. Here’s a small sampling:
(Interestingly, while Wolf deleted most of his “faggot” and “nigga” tweets, he’s still left up about ten that use “cunt.” Either he’s not aware of them, or has decided that there’s a hierarchy of slurs.)
Of course, Wolf’s use of those words doesn’t make his reporting on the story any less valid. Taimou did call someone a “fucking faggot kid” on Twitch, someone at Blizzard confirmed that they knew about it, and the OWL and Fuel said nothing about it publicly.
Taimou saying that is bad; Wolf using those words from 2013-2015 is also bad. The Overwatch League has yet to comment or publish its code of conduct; ESPN has not replied to a request for comment.
Update, 3/5: An ESPN spokesperson told Compete that “We are aware and looking into it.”
Update, 3/7: Wolf tweeted out an apology.
Eric Van Allen contributed reporting.