If you’re a fan of traditional professional sports, you’re probably rather familiar with athletes receiving fines by their sanctioned leagues for a number of reasons, such as personal misconduct, refusing to speak with the press, in-game errors, and several others. As the eSports industry continues to grow, so too does the power of its governing bodies and the need for political correctness and professionalism. Although some may argue that competitive gaming does not require such regulation, it does show that electronic sports are evolving to rival traditional sports and it is important that professional gamers, who are looked up to by many young people just as NFL and NBA players are, set a good standard.
A few days ago, a member of Team EnVyUs’ Overwatch team, Timo “Taimou” Kettunen, was in a Twitch.tv chat whilst an interview was being conducted following an OGN APEX match. In the chat, Taimou said, “I wanna explore that interviewer girl’s thighs Keepo.” Many believed this to be a simple and harmless comment, and they’re probably right, but it was clearly uncalled for and inappropriate altogether. OGN APEX made a statement regarding the comment, saying that it directly violated their code of conduct with reference to sexual harassment. Therefore, a fine was imposed on Taimou, which stripped him of $630 in prize money he would have received for a win in season play. Following the incident, Kettunen issued a public apology on his Twitter page:
To everyone who was affected and hurt by my inconsiderate and brash actions, I hang my head in apology.
I am also very sorry for disappointing our loyal fans.
I beg that you will forgive my immature actions and I plan to show a more mature version of myself in the future.
I will reflect upon this as we go into today’s match and once again I deeply apologize for my actions.
Taimou did not receive any additional punishment, such as a suspension, and will continue to compete with Team EnVyUs throughout the course of the OGN APEX season, which go on until December. To be sure there are those who believe the consequences for such an immature yet innocent were harsh, but it seems as though the world of eSports is beginning to expand into a professional industry from the trash-talking, childish teenagers from which a large portion of it originally derived.