Olivia R. August 10, 2019
Overwatch League pro players can sometimes be rubbed the wrong way by casters' comments.
On Friday, August 9, the Los Angeles Gladiators defeated Dallas Fuel 3-2. While it should have been a positive moment for the team, their star DPS Lane "Surefour" Roberts was not happy after the match due to comments made by Josh "Sideshow" Wilkinson, an OWL analyst.
During the game, Sideshow brought up the question "is Surefour too passive as a damage dealer?"
He went on to say it wasn't a critique, but then pointed out multiple times where Surefour was in a "safe" position while playing as Widowmaker and Hanzo. At one point, Sideshow stated that the rest of his team was in a teamfight on the point while he hid behind a statue out of harm's way. While there are tactical benefits in doing this, it differs greatly from other teams' Hanzo players who often harass the enemy backline from more risky positions.
"That limits the opportunity for picks," Sideshow explained. "But it does mean that he rarely gets punished." He added that this safe approach to the game was forcing Gui-un "Decay" Jang to carry the team.
This segment didn't sit well with Surefour, who immediately made a tweet about Sideshow's comments by quipping "shame that I'm such a passive player" on Twitter. This sparked a prolonged, testy back-and-forth with OWL caster Brennon "Bren" Hook.
Shortly after Surefour's post, Bren spotted the tweet and responded by asking to be tagged in posts about his work. Surefour responded that Bren shouldn't worry about it since it doesn't apply to him.
Bren told the DPS main that his "rabid fans" were already harassing him over the comments. He also said Surefour was overreacting to Sideshow's comments, since his fellow analyst had said it "wasn't criticism."
"Bren, I have nothing against any of you on the desk. I haven't taken anything to heart. If you want to continue things in DMs, [you're] more than welcome," Surefour responded. "But to say I'm not allowed to say anything because of people's reactions...People take what you say on the desk seriously as well."
Many fans came to Surefour's defense on Reddit, saying that it's not wrong to have a response to analyst's comments. Other OWL viewers felt that Bren was trying too hard to make the situation into a joke, instead of respecting Surefour's request to continue privately instead. Some fans were also offended by Bren's "rabid fans" statement.
"Not a great look from Bren, in my opinion. So the desk can say all kinds of shit, but if a player wants to fire back that's not allowed?" one Redditor commented.
Luckily, after a few more "troll" comments from Bren, the Twitter thread came to an end. It will be interesting to see if the casters are more delicate in their analysis, or if Surefour takes the criticisms to heart in future games.