Overwatch Pro Player Docked A Month’s Salary For Calling A Streamer His ‘Second Wife’

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It was not the finest moment for Chengdu Hunters’ YangXiaoLong.
It was not the finest moment for Chengdu Hunters’ YangXiaoLong. Liquipedia

In light of his recent behavior towards an Overwatch streamer, the Chengdu Hunters’ DPS player Zhang Zhihao has been reprimanded and fined. According to a post from the Chengdu Hunters official Twitter page, the team is taking strict measures to ensure that this kind of inappropriate behavior won’t happen again. Not only will Zhihao be fined one month’s salary, but he has also forfeited the bonus he would have otherwise received for playing in Stage 2, along with the promise of doubling this punishment if ever does it again.

The streamer in question was Aspen, a popular Overwatch player with an ongoing partnership with Cloud9 Esports. Despite the relative mildness (compared to what most other people say on the internet) of the comments from Zhihao, the fact that Aspen is only 17 years old only made matters worse. While meant as a distasteful joke, such comments are obviously inappropriate, and might open the Chengdu Hunters up for a lawsuit or sexual harassment charges.

Fortunately, Kotaku’s own Nathan Grayson was able to document the incident. In his article, Grayson outlined the events that transpired to be as follows:

During an Overwatch League pro match that was being streamed on Aspen’s channel, Zhang ‘YangXiaLong’ Zhihao commented into Overwatch team chat on the pretense that the message was from Chengdu teammate Ding Menghan, known by his in-game handle ‘Ameng’. Zhihao wrote in the in-game chat that Menghan had called Aspen “his second wife.”

Aspen, who was streaming live on Twitch, “grimaced, facepalmed, and laughed off the remark”. Menghan, who also saw the in-game chat, responded simply with “?” Not long after, Menghan sent Aspen a whisper apologizing for his teammate’s behavior. Later, the team released a public apology on Twitter, which Aspen graciously accepted.

For the Chengdu Hunters, it’s apparent that their apologies and their stance on inappropriate or offensive behavior weren't borne out of fear of a lawsuit. Competitive, playful banter is present in almost every competitive sport, but this Overwatch League team knows where to draw the line. Hopefully, this statement will inspire others to be more mindful of their words and how they behave when dealing with fellow gamers who come from different backgrounds and cultures.

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