The Dallas Fuel tank, Son “OGE” Min-seok has come back to the starting lineup, now through with the 4 game suspension he received for account boosting. However, a good majority of fans saw this punishment as no more than a slap on the wrist, and are currently criticizing him for not apologizing beforehand.
The fact that there are no other official guidelines in regards to a player’s suspension is something that frustrates many viewers. Blizzard stated that “The suspensions differ case by case. It’s determined by the seriousness of the issue.”
When ‘OGE’ played again, the Korean commentators treated his name as a forbidden word, instead referring to him as “Dallas Fuel’s Winston” or simply “The tank”.
MonteCristo, Overseas Overwatch caster, commented on this event, saying “It is just unprofessional. If you have decided to be a caster for a game, it makes no sense for a caster to be unable to say a player’s name. Just quit casting.”
What was the intent of the Korean Overwatch casters who did not speak ‘OGE’s name? According to the individuals in question, they had discussed how they should approach the matter prior to the game. We got to hear how an experienced Korean esports caster saw this matter.
To start off, the commentators spoke about why they did not say ‘OGE’s name during the game. “We mostly communicate with Korean fans. It was our own way of respecting those who were disappointed by the account-boosting issue. We did not mention ‘OGE’ during the broadcast because he was still performing in the league, ignoring the fans.” In regards to their future broadcasting plans, they pointed out that “Our point was to say that this [boosting] was not a good example to set. It does not mean that we will never call out the player’s ID again”.
When asked about whether it is right to bring personal opinions into TV broadcasting, they said that “Match fixing is in the same line with account-boosting. At least in Korea, we believe that just passively throwing information around is not what a professional caster should do”. They continued, “There are no specific regulations regarding broadcasting methods. We think that esports broadcasting can be more based on opinions rather than just conveying facts like traditional sports”.
Caster Jung So-rim directly mentioned Son “OGE” Min-seok. “As a fan of the Overwatch League, I was disappointed about not being able to compliment a well-performing player. However, I believe that a sincere apology to the Korean fans should come first. It was such a shame to see what ‘Sado’ and ‘OGE’ posted on their SNS.”
Additionally, she said that “I’ve personally apologized to Son Min-seok. I said sorry because as a professional player, it would be upsetting to not hear his name spoken. As a mother who is raising a young child, I understand that people can make mistakes. However, it would have been much better if he apologized to the Korean fans first. Rather than just saying nothing, I think that players should apologize and reflect on what they’ve done. Someday the fans will show their love for ‘OGE’. I want to say that he should not blame himself too much and grow as a great player”.
Continuing on, she touched on how the issue relates to the league as a whole, “This issue involves the league itself as well as the professional teams. They have to be more careful towards certain players because players may be remembered as ‘account boosters’, which makes the fans uncomfortable. They should be concerned about the player’s life, such as [considering] whether they’re happy or not. A lot of things should be thought on and sorted out”.
To finalize, the commentators said, “We wanted to do something for the fans; something that would not affect the broadcast. We thought that time would heal, but the issue became bigger than we thought. If you felt uncomfortable, We are truly sorry about our decision”.
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