Update, March 12: Dallas Fuel releases Félix "xQc" Lengyel.
Overwatch League team Dallas Fuel have released controversial pro player Félix "xQc" Lengyel. Dallas Fuel announced they have “mutually agreed to part ways” with the tank player, despite his contract not being due to expire until the end of the inaugural Overwatch League season.
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“There are few players out there who have achieved as much success in as short a time as Félix has in competitive Overwatch. Ultimately, it was in the best interest of our organization and Félix to part ways before the expiration of his contract,” Mike Rufail, owner of the Dallas Fuel, explains in a statement.
“No one wants to see Félix succeed more than we do, and we believe he has a bright future ahead of him. I want to thank him for his time and the passion he brought to the Dallas Fuel.
“Our focus is to field a roster with players that are available to help the Dallas Fuel succeed now and in the future. Releasing Félix today allows us the flexibility to make additional signings during the league transfer window and allows Félix to pursue other opportunities this season and on stream.
Lengyel was handed a four-match suspension by the Overwatch League earlier this week for player misconduct. The suspension prevents Lengyel playing or practicing with any team for the duration of stage two.
Original story, March 10: Overwatch League hands out punishments for bad online behavior.
The Overwatch League announced Friday they are handing down penalties to several members for bad behavior on personal streams and social media.
Dallas Fuel’s Timo “Taimou” Kettunen used a homophobic slur against another player on a personal Twitch stream January 23. On Thursday, more than a month after the incident, he tweeted an apology.
Taimou will be fined $1,000.
Houston Outlaws head coach Tae-yeong “TaiRong” Kim is getting a formal warning for sharing a meme making light of the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Twitter. After the resulting backlash, TaiRong issued a formal apology February 11 and pledged to donate $1,000 to the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. OWL say this was taken into consideration when determining his punishment.
The Los Angeles Valiant’s Ted “Silkthread” Wang was hit with a $1,000 fine for account sharing, which violates Blizzard’s EULA.
The biggest fine, however, went out to Félix “xQc” Lengyel of Dallas Fuel. Beginning March 12, Lengyel is suspended for four matches, and fined $4,000. The penalty stems from his use of the “TriHard” Twitch emote, which has developed a distinct racial connotation in Twitch’s chat culture, although Lengyel contends that his use of it is strictly meant as a “salute.”
But Lengyel has already been in trouble with OWL this year. He was fined $2,000 and suspended for four games in January after directing homophobic slurs at Houston Outlaws player Austin “Muma” Wilmot, who is openly gay. Lengyel apologized via Twitter that evening.
“We are committed to building a community around the Overwatch League that is welcoming and inclusive for all players and fans, and we hope that these disciplinary actions demonstrate our seriousness in that endeavor,” OWL said in their statement Friday.