Overwatch streamer and former Dallas Fuel pro, Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel, has established a reputation for being highly vocal and critical of other players, OWL casters, and Blizzard Entertainment. Due to his hasty remarks and multiple suspensions, he has become one of the most controversial players in the Overwatch scene. He definitely has displayed numerous examples of toxic behavior, but compared to other toxic players, was his treatment by Blizzard and the Overwatch community fair or overblown? Maybe a bit of both. xQc does seem to be a drama magnet either way you look at it.
Lets take a look at 7 incidents which pushed him into headlines for the wrong reasons and some of the context around each.
1. Misuse of “reporting system” leads to 72 hour ban
Back in November of 2017, xQc received a 3-day ban for falsely reporting some of his teammates. Here’s the exact moment on stream where he receives the in-game notification for the ban.
While there was some initial uncertainty regarding the accuracy of Blizzard’s report/ban system and whether xQc’s ban was rightfully deserved, several xQc Twitch clips surfaced showing proof of his “misuse of the reporting system.”
In this video, xQc reports his teammates and curses them out in the description box.
And here’s another example of him doing the same thing.
2. Intentionally losing/not helping team results in 7 day ban
In December, just a month after his 3 day ban, xQc got hit with a 7 day ban for intentionally throwing some games. xQc banned again.
Here’s the moment on stream where he gets the notification and his reaction to the message.
His antics spawned a highly upvoted topic on Blizzard’s official forum for Overwatch. Keeeyt, who started the discussion, provided several links to Twitch clips showing proof of xQc doing nothing while his teammates got killed. Here’s one example. A short while later, xQc even joked how the pro player who reported him should apologize for his actions saying: “Listen, my dude, I will accept an apology, but I’ll only accept a re-add if he doesn’t lose against shit-tier teams on stage.”
3. Homophobic remarks lead to $2000 USD fine and 4 game suspension from OWL
And yet again, roughly one month after his 7-day ban, xQc found himself in hot water for making homophobic remarks against fellow OWL player Austin ‘Muma’ Wilmot. After going 4-0 against the Dallas Fuel, Muma mimicked one of xQc’s catch phrases “rolled and smoked.” For some reason, this really seemed to infuriate the hell out of xQc and he raged hard about it on stream. Check it out in the xQc Twitch clip below.
Muma is one of the few openly gay players in OWL and xQc’s homophobic comments quickly drew the attention of Blizzard and the Dallas Fuel. Shortly after his outburst, xQc was fined $2000 and suspended 4 games for “violating the Overwatch League Code of Conduct.”
4. “Racially disparaging” comments result in $4000 USD fine and 4 game suspension
During an official Overwatch League stream, xQc spammed the TriHard 7 emote when reporter Malik Forte appeared on screen. Apparently this was seen as being “racially disparaging” by the League office and they hit xQc with an extra heavy $4000 USD fine and 4 game suspension for his behavior due to the fact that this was seen as a second offense and therefore deserving of harsher penalties.
Here’s a screen cap showing the supposed TriHard 7 spam from Unikrn.
5. “Casting is Cancer”
At around the same time as #4, xQc also made some less-than-pleasant remarks directed at OWL casters on Twitter. Despite the fact that he quickly deleted the message, the damage was already done. Seeing the ripple effect of his actions, xQc posted a public apology on Twitter.
Iove the casters. I think they are great and appreciate my fellow owl players. Furthermore, the enforcement of the rules is fantastic. This community is the epitome of esports. I love every single of of you. My favourite emote is the neutral ":)" in chat. Use it more often! pic.twitter.com/L4ooHCbmqPAdvertisement
— xQc (@xQc) March 3, 2018
Needless to say, the response was overly sarcastic and drew the attention of league caster Chris “Montecristo” Mykles. Monte responded to the post stating: ” You know, you could get away with a lot more if you were wittier in your tweets and quotes instead of falling back on tired memes and unoriginal phrasing. Just a thought.”
6. Getting kicked from the Dallas Fuel
All of the drama surrounding xQc was too much risk and trouble for Dallas Fuel to take on – in March 2018 he got axed from the team. The team released an official statement regarding his release stating with owner Mike Rufail stating:
“There are few players out there who have achieved as much success in as short a time as Félix has in competitive Overwatch. Ultimately, it was in the best interest of our organization and Félix to part ways before the expiration of his contract. No one wants to see Félix succeed more than we do, and we believe he has a bright future ahead of him. I want to thank him for his time and the passion he brought to the Dallas Fuel.”
7. 15 day suspension for abusive chat
Most recently, xQc made headlines again for receiving a 15 day suspension one month before the Overwatch World Cup where he is set to play for team Canada. Given that players need to have accounts that are in “good standing” to be eligible to participate, many were wondering whether or not the suspension would effectively render him unable to play in the tournament. So far Blizzard has yet to comment on the issue, and Polygon has already reached out to them for an update.
And here’s the reaction video of this most recent suspension.
It seems xQc’s problem is just that he doesn’t seem to understand Blizzard and the Dallas Fuel have too much money at stake here to be associated with his racist/homophobic remarks and general toxic behavior. He has already become a face for the game, regardless of whether or not he’s currently playing in the OWL. So while it may seem unfair that other toxic players can seemingly continue playing with little recourse for their actions, it’s important to remember that these people don’t carry the same weight when it comes to level of influence as xQc.
xQc’s brand has grown to the point where his actions actually affect Blizzard. In other words, if a popular streamer and ex-pro OWL player can do and say toxic things without receiving a punishment on stream, it makes Blizz look bad, hence his numerous punishments for bad behavior. Conversely, if a smaller, less famous streamer does the same stuff, it’s not as big of a deal from a company perspective since it doesn’t make Blizzard look bad in front of a large audience.
Its understandable that it’s not fair from xQc’s perspective, but that’s simply the way the game is played. There’s a lot more at stake here than what’s fair or not fair to a 22-year-old, and that’s why he’ll always be penalized for any bad behavior, no matter how seemingly small it might be to him or fans.