Imagine you are among the greatest Overwatch players in the world. One Google search of your name reveals countless highlight reels, Twitch clips, and honorable montages of your immaculate Soldier: 76 and Tracer play. When fans discuss the all-time greatest tracking and aim, your name is mentioned.
Now, imagine all of that being taken away because of a joke that went horribly wrong.
Such is the case with Danish player Daniel "dafran" Francesca, one of the star players for Selfless Gaming. He has always been known for his outlandish trolling and tendency to throw games in, albeit humorous to some, toxic ways. However, his latest series of throws while playing an anime dating simulator in competitive mode was the last straw. Not only did the dating simulator eventually become pornographic, but Dafran was deliberating suiciding, staying in the starting zone, and refusing to help his team all while streaming. This got worse before they got better, as Dafran then started encouraging his Twitch viewers to throw games as well and target individual pro players with the intent to ruin their game. He called the plan "Overwatch ISIS"
After the stunt made its way through active Overwatch communities, Blizzard reacted swiftly. They issued a firm statement informing the public that Dafran is, in no uncertain terms, banned from participating in both Season 0 and 1 of Contenders as well as having his account banned from competitive play for the remaining of Season 5. Blizzard is fully within their rights to do so as well, as Dafran is in clear violation of the "act in a respectful sportsmanlike manner at all times” clause of the official Contenders rule. Considering how much Blizzard has invested in competitive Overwatch and Dafran's role in the community, it's hard to imagine the Danish savant didn't see this coming
If things weren't bad enough for Dafran, his "trolling" also landed him in hot water with his organization, Selfless. Dafran was suspended immediately from the team, with Selfless informing the public they will be "assisting" Dafran with finding the "help, counseling, and guidance that he needs to improve his mental and emotional well-being". When it comes to distancing themselves from their once star player, Selfless is clearly taking this very seriously.
In a twitlonger post, Dafran had the following to say about his forcible ejection from competitive Overwatch:
"I honestly do not give a shit what happends to me and my [f***king] career, you can all go f[***] yourselves
I am starting to realise my actions may be affecting my org, teammates and their careers...
Time to reform into Seagull V2 and be a cute little nice guy FeelsBadMan
Troll community, disband.... :("
Dafran may still be the best Soldier: 76 around, but that becomes a lot less valuable when you are unable to compete. We all sometimes fall victim to self-destructive tendencies and Dafran is clearly no different, but at least the lesson seems to be sinking in.
Blizzard has made a loud statement in banning Dafran. The ripples of this decision are likely already being felt among the pro-player community because, if someone as skilled as Dafran can be so easily dejected from the future of Overwatch esports, then anyone could be.
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.