After being subbed in during London Spitfire’s Overwatch League matches, Park “Profit” Joon-yeong made a mildly offensive gesture that was broadcast to all the league’s viewers. And for that, he’ll be fined $1,000.
Profit flipped the bird in response to a joke made off-camera by his team backstage, unaware that his computer’s face-cam was being broadcast on stream at that moment, he said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“I made the gesture in response to the players and coaches in a joking fashion,” Profit wrote. “I will take the time to deeply reflect upon what I say and do to make sure that nothing like this takes place again. I’m sorry for the fans that I have let down through my actions.”
London Spitfire and Cloud9 CEO Jack Etienne responded to the gesture with a laugh, tweeting his own joke about the incident. “Hai would be proud,” Etienne wrote. He’s referring back to to a 2015 incident where Cloud9 League of Legends player Hai Lam gave the middle finger to former Fnatic League player Fabian “Febiven” Diepstraten. Hai was fined $556 for the gesture.
Spitfire fans on social media didn’t find the action as funny as Etienne did, responding that the gesture was rude and highly offensive, as children were likely watching. “He needs to be held accountable,” one Twitter user wrote. “Once on stage you must be in a professional mindset and respectful.”
For his “obscene gesture,” Profit will be fined $1,000 by the Overwatch League, Etienne said. “The league has fined Profit $1,000 for breaking a league rule regarding obsene gestures on camera,” Etienne wrote. “All parties understand these actions were not made in malice nor intended to be broadcast but rules are clear. Spitfire will not be contesting the ruling.”
Criteria for player behavior hasn’t been made clear to the public, though. Blizzard appears to have a strict policy, but the code of conduct has not been made public.
Last week, Blizzard handed down a punishment to Dallas Fuel player Felix “xQc” Lengyel for making a homophobic remark while streaming. Overwatch League fined the tank player $2,000 and suspended him for four games. Dallas Fuel added onto that punishment by benching him for the remainder of stage one.
Overwatch League commissioner Nate Nanzer told the Telegraph that he’d like to publish the league’s code of conduct soon, though he hasn’t “gotten around to it,” just yet.