Like most other esports leagues, the Overwatch League has moved its play from LAN to an online format. These transitions can often lead to unforeseen complications, such as in-game bugs and production errors. However, no one would expect what happened in Saturday’s match between the Los Angeles Valiant and the San Francisco Shock.
On map 4 of the series, Eichenwalde, the in-game chat was somehow visible to the broadcast. The Los Angeles Valiant’s flex support player Jung-Won “Lastro” Moon graced the lobby—as well as over tens of thousands of viewers online— with these lines:
What happened next was pure pandemonium: Valiant players spamming the chat to quickly cover up the explicit words, Shock players commenting in laughter, and even the in-game observer questioning the actions.
While the match continued (where the Shock ultimately defeated the Valiant 3-1), there was no greater highlight in-game than Lastro’s hilarious messages.
After the match, Lastro uploaded a public apology to his Twitter account, where he was met with great sympathy and encouragement by fans:
There is much debate as to who is responsible for this broadcast mishap: the observer crew, production, and Lastro himself can all shoulder parts of the blame. But incidents like these are no strangers to the Overwatch League. Just look back to the inaugural season in 2018, when former London Spitfire player Joon-Yeong “Profit” Park infamously flipped off his facecam in front of hundreds of viewers. Like Lastro, Profit believed that only a select few could see his actions. Regardless, he was promptly fined $1000 as a result.
Most of these Overwatch pro players are young and inexperienced; so these incidents, no matter how hard the league actively works to prevent, are bound to occur. Nevertheless, the Overwatch League should continue to keep its production and players accountable to a high standard, as the esport is enjoyed by viewers of all ages— including young children.
Disciplinary action is likely and expected for Lastro in the coming days…just don’t blame his translator.