The Hangzhou Spark have delivered a public warning to Cai “Krystal” Shilong, who ghosted the team for weeks.
What was supposed to be a 10-day leave for the player to deal with a family issue wound up becoming something much more. On July 25, the team issued a warning, stating on Twitter that they hadn’t heard from the DPS player since July 5. He was supposed to return for July 15.
The Spark “gravely warned” the player for the disappearance on Twitter and issued a fine for his time away from the team. They also asked for Krystal to return as soon as possible, most likely hoping for a response from him.
Fan reaction to the Spark’s statement included criticism for not handling this issue behind the scenes. Others quipped they would be fired for no-showing their job much sooner than it took for the Spark to take action. The Overwatch League requires that teams publicly state when they take punitive action against players.
The Hangzhou Spark and Krystal respond to backlash
The Spark pushed back against fans’ complaints on Twitter by adding that this is not the first time Krystal has done something like this. “Krystal is fined for his not extending the holiday, which caused trouble in the team,” the Spark said. “It’s not his first time breaking the rule. No bad example should be allowed in the team.”
They also clarified that he is not being punished for going to see his family, but stated that the punishment is for a lack of communication and not reaching out to the Spark in order to extend his leave of absence.
Shortly after the public callout, Krystal responded. He stated that he wasn’t told about the Spark’s leave policy and wasn’t informed that he needed to extend his leave. He acknowledged his role in the issue and announced his immediate return to the team.
There is no word on whether his return will be in time for the Spark’s Stage 4 match against the Atlanta Reign on July 27.