The Verdict: Did Dallas Fuel do the right thing with xQc ban?
After an initial four-game suspension from the Overwatch League, Dallas Fuel took it a step further and suspended their own player for the rest of the first play-in stage, but was it merited?
It’s been a peculiar week for Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel this past week after coming under fire for saying a homophobic slur on his Twitch stream following their loss to the Houston Outlaws. Obviously, his attitude and demeanor on stream showed he was frustrated with the day, but xQc took it one step too far with his language regarding Austin ‘Muma’ Wilmot, who also happens to be one of the only openly gay players in the Overwatch League.
There is absolutely no excusing xQc’s behavior. It was a repulsive set of words that followed a circuitous and downright infantile argument over Muma’s playstyle, and as soon as xQc uttered the words that got him under the microscope, it was evident that he had regretted his behavior.
Suspensions for xQc are not a new thing, either. Over the past year, xQc has been banned on competitive OW on at least three occasions. His stream, at times informative and worthy of watching, is bogged down severely by the ‘passionate rants’ he can go on to show his discontent with a certain aspect of the game and/or players involved.
Weighing the options
Given all those factors, it’s very easy to paint xQc as a problematic, tilt-prone competitive player that can sometimes let the pressure get the best of him. As a newly minted member of a OWL team, there is an added layer of expectation and professionalism that accompanies his streams, social media interactions, and overall temperament as a team member. Did he deserve the ban? Of course. But is there an argument to be made for Dallas Fuel possibly going too far in reprimanding their player? Possibly.
It’s also important to note the lack of precedent in a situation like this for the Overwatch League as a whole. xQc being the first big player in the league to receive a suspension of this nature makes his punishment that much more exaggerated in an attempt to ‘send a message’ to the rest of the players that this kind of behavior will simply not be tolerated. The fact that his own team suspended him more than the Overwatch League did shows a sign of solidarity with Muma as he is also a player in the league that should be valued and respected just like anybody else.
There is no denying that xQc deserved to be reprimanded for his actions, but it will be interesting to keep track of just how far Dallas Fuel will feel the suspension given their already dismal record. At the moment, Dallas Fuel and Shanghai Dragons are the only teams in the League to not win a single match out of four attempts. Luckily, Dallas Fuel are a team that won’t necessarily need his expertise in the role given their depth at Flex Tank already.
As xQc remains banned for the next three weeks of play, it will be interesting to see if he becomes an expendable asset to his team as Dallas looks to revamp their squad if they can’t pick up more match wins in an already hyper-competitive league.