The Overwatch League has had its fair share of drama and Houston Outlaws coach Tae-yeong ‘TaiRong’ Kim is the latest to come under scrutiny.
Activision Blizzard’s city franchise competition kicked off at the start of January 2018 with the first twelve teams competing out of the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California. London Spitfire took the first stage with a win over New York Excelsior in the playoff finals.
Due to the high profile nature of the competition, with franchises paying $20 million for a permanent city slot, the players and personalities are under the microscope with any slip-ups being punished heavily.
Dallas Fuel player Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel is the biggest example of this after receiving a two-month suspension for making a homophobic comment regarding another player during one of his streams.
The latest person to slip up is Houston Outlaws coach TaiRong, who posted a Hiroshima nuclear bomb meme on Twitter. It was later deleted but the image ended up on the OverwatchTMZ Reddit.
The backlash has been quite severe for the South Korean coach, who released a statement on February 11th to explain that he didn’t understand the sensitive implications and meanings it had, and promised to donate $1,000 to the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation alongside considering the impact of his behavior.
“After the week 5 match I recklessly posted a bomb meme without realizing the sensitive implications and meanings it had. I only realized it after hearing the explanation from many people. For not knowing about its seriousness, I am feeling sincerely guilty towards the people affected by my post, and all the Overwatch League fans who love the eSports scene.
I wish to make myself clear that I am not a person who has feelings of racism or xenophobia. Overwatch League is the the top league in the world harboring the best players from around the world who showcase the most amazing actions, and I am sincerely proud to be a part of it.
Therefore I couldn’t bear skipping the terrible mistake that was caused by my lack of knowledge. Because I know that by ignoring it I would no longer deserve to face my players and other teammates.
I believe that with only a piece of writing, it isn’t enough to convey my real feelings of regret and apology, so I will make two promises.
* One – I will consider the impact that my behavior will have to fans in accordance with my job and position before taking any action
* Two – I will donate $1000 to the NGO named Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation in order to show my sincerity for apologizing.”
At the time of writing it is unclear if he’ll face any official punishment from either the Outlaws or the Overwatch League for the meme.
The second stage of Season One of the Overwatch League restarts on Wednesday, February 21st with Seoul Dynasty taking on Los Angeles Valiant.