Olivia R. August 16, 2020
Overwatch League fans noticed something off about caster Robert "Hexagrams" Kirkbride during the August 15 Overwatch League broadcast.
The APAC region broadcast schedule included Seoul Dynasty vs. New York Excelsior, and Shanghai Dragons vs. London Spitfire. Throughout the two matches, Hex's actions and words started to raise some red flags with viewers. Some speculated that he was drunk or high as he continued to spout negative remarks and go on long tangents.
Hexagrams claimed at one point that he didn't know who sponsored the Overwatch League Player of the Match Award, "nor do I care." He also said that London Spitfire was doing a lot of "dumb shit" against the Shanghai Dragons. He also told fellow caster Seth "Achilios" King to "fight him" because he didn't like the NYXL and "wasn't afraid" of their DPS Yeon-Gwan "Nenne" Jeong.
Hex's "unprofessional" comments, sweaty face, and the way he tripped over his own words had fans questioning whether he was greatly sleep-deprived or even if he was drinking. Some Overwatch League viewers also noted that Hex may have had little prep time, since he was replacing the usual APAC caster Wolf Schröder. This led to Hex being paired with Achilios, which many fans felt was a strange pairing with little chemistry.
Despite Achilios' efforts to downplay the strange comments from Hex, fans were still concerned about the unusual casting style.
As Overwatch League viewers continued to discuss how Hexagrams "rudely shut down" everything Achilios said on Reddit, Hexagrams decided to come forward with his own explanation of what happened.
According to a tweet from Hex following the broadcast, the caster explained that he had a "mental break." He explained that filming from his own home for six months and "staring at the same walls" instead of the various homestands had led to his on-air meltdown. Hex also told fans that it was tough to cover a 1 a.m. broadcast after "taking sleeping pills."
"Sometimes your mental breaks and that's okay," Hex said.
The response from Overwatch League fans was mixed. Some people responded that they understood the stress of filming at 1 a.m. while others said that his actions were "unprofessional" no matter the reason. Former Overwatch League caster Chris Puckett came to defend Hex.
"Love you homie. I’m coming to LA last week of August if you wanna get a social distant smoothie," he tweeted.
It seemed that the producers at Blizzard were also backing up Hexagrams. He tweeted earlier this morning that Overwatch League's "wonderfully supportive" talent management team was letting him take a night off so he could sleep for "sixteen hours" before returning to North American matches.