Let’s be honest here, competitive gaming, as much as we love it, can be really frustrating at times. It has the tendency to bring out the worst in people. I would wager that we all have had times where we say things in the heat of the moment that we would not say normally. It’s only human.
However, professional Overwatch player Matt “Dellor” Vaughn may have gone a bit too far. Vaughn, formerly a member of Toronto Esports, became incredibly frustrated by an enemy Widowmaker during a livestream. His response, as opposed from the usual screaming and swearing we’ve all seen on video game streams, was to repeatedly shout the N-word into the in-game voice chat.
This string of bizarre, wildly unnecessarily racial slurs caused quite a bit of an uproar. It wasn’t long before Toronto Esports caught wind of the incident, and, unsurprisingly, they were not pleased. After admitting to the incident in an interview with team management, Dellor was promptly cut from the team.
Some may try to defend Dellor, arguing that solo-queue rage is the video game equivalent of ‘locker room talk’. Still, streaming is a very public setting, and when streaming under a team name, your words and actions represent that team. Dellor behaved in a way that Toronto Esports considered to be against their ideals as a company, so he was terminated.
Dellor has since apologized for the incident, though he maintains that he is quitting esports for good. In his apology, he explained that he did not mean any racism. Moreover, he went on to explain that he would take this as a wake-up call and would seek professional help in resolving his anger issues. The community is understandably apprehensive, and support for Dellor is nearly non-existent.
One might wonder what the future will hold for Toronto Esports after this whole debacle. The public opinion seems to heavily support their decision to terminate Dellor, so they should be able to get through this ordeal with the organization’s reputation in tact. Still, this has brought a lot of attention to the franchise, and it’s likely that all eyes will be on Toronto for some time.
Images courtesy of Toronto Esports.