Olivia R. February 7, 2019
When it comes to new Overwatch League players, Blizzard is making a list and checking it twice.
As new players and teams were announced for the 2019 season, the Overwatch League office conducted a full review of each player’s conduct and took appropriate disciplinary action. While each pro’s case is different, the league office does follow an official set of rules for competition and conduct.
Some rule highlights include not engaging in any form of harassment or discrimination, not placing bets on any games or matches, not exploiting bugs in the game, and not getting involved with scandals. But the most common infraction in the Overwatch League thus far has been account boosting.
Typically done in exchange for a monetary fee, higher ranking players will quickly climb the competitive ranks on a less skilled player’s account. This was a major source of drama going into Season 1, as Philadelphia Fusion couldn’t compete in the preseason because of Su-min “Sado” Kim’s 30-game suspension for account boosting. Despite standing behind their roster, Fusion faced much ridicule from the league community.
But it seems that many new players haven’t learned from this early Overwatch League blunder.
So far, seven competitors sit on Blizzard’s wall of shame. Four of the culprits are listed for account boosting, resulting in one and two-day suspensions. Offenders include Florida Mayhem’s Damon “Apply” Conti and Hangzhou Spark’s Shilong “Krystal” Cai.
Toronto Defian’ts Se-Hyun “Neko” Park received a three-game suspension for selling an account and allegedly misleading the investigation that followed. This suspension was given prior to Neko joining the Defiant, but the Defiant have stated they support the Overwatch League’s decision.
The biggest penalty on the naughty list is a five-game suspension given to Riku “Ripa” Toivanen for throwing matches in ranked play and toxic behavior.
“In the past, I’ve behaved in ways that don’t meet my own standards,” Ripa said. “Now that I’m a professional player, I understand that there are important responsibilities to my teammates and the community.”
Blizzard has stated that the Overwatch League office will continue to evaluate infractions and take action as needed throughout the season.