zero tolerance

'Overwatch' Pro Player Fired for Saying the N-Word 60 Times

"I won't try to argue or make an excuse, I don't have any."

Emanuel Maiberg

Emanuel Maiberg

Being a professional eSports player isn't just fun and games. You have to train so hard you can seriously mess up your wrists, and the working conditions aren't always fair. But as far as jobs go, being a professional Overwatch player is a pretty good gig because you get to do what you love.

It's a highly competitive field where players in their mid-20s are considered old timers, so you'd think they'd avoid easily avoidable, career-ending gaffes. That was not the case for Matt "Dellor" Vaughn, who was dropped from his Overwatch team Toronto eSports for hurling racial slurs during a match that was streamed on Twitch.

Specifically, he screamed the n-word about 60 times in a row, as you can see in the video below. Warning, the video is obviously extremely offensive:

"Toronto Esports is an organization built on inclusivity, and we have always had a zero-tolerance policy for any forms of discrimination." Toronto eSports President Ryan Pallett said in a statement. "Immediately upon learning of the incident, the player was interviewed, admitted to the offence, and was notified that his contract with the organization was being terminated"

For what it's worth, Vaughn also posted a sincere apology on Twitter:

"I fucked up and deserve to be dropped from Toronto Esports, I won't try to argue or make an excuse, I don't have any," he said. Vaughn went on to explain that he "was having a really bad day" and didn't get much sleep. Then he got into a match with a Widowmaker player who he thought was cheating and he snapped. "The only thing I can say is that despite me using that word, I am not a racist. I was extremely upset, and I was trying to make the person I was angry with upset as well, and so I said the most offensive thing that came to mind."

Which, okay. I can understand how a video game could make someone snap, though I don't default to racist slurs when I'm cussing and mad, and I'm basically cussing and mad all day.

At least it's an apology, and at least Toronto eSports did the right thing by dropping him immediately. Aside from sore wrists and unfair contracts, another big problem in eSports and gaming in general is racism, so a zero-tolerance policy for any form of discrimination is more than fair.