Richard Lewis has weighed in on the controversy surrounding Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel’s recent suspension from the Overwatch League and subsequent removal from Dallas Fuel.
xQc was one of several players disciplined in a recent announcement from the Overwatch League, but his case became the primary focus for a number of reasons.
Included in the reasoning for his punishment – a $4,000 fine and four-match suspension – was the assertion by the Overwatch League that he “repeatedly used an emote in a racially disparaging manner on the league’s stream and on social media”.
The claim spurred a tangential debate on whether Twitch emotes could be used in a racially disparaging manner, and more specifically a debate around whether xQc’s specific case would fall into that category.
In the aftermath of the announcement, xQc himself took to his personal stream to explain the scenario, claiming that his use of the emote – TriHard 7 – was routine, and that his use of it in a context that could have been deemed to have racial connotations was purely coincidental.
Richard Lewis originally gave his thoughts on the use of Twitch emotes in a racial context, explaining his belief that in some scenarios the use of certain emotes could in fact have negative racial connotations.
In a more recent video, however, Lewis has taken a more in-depth look at xQc’s case specifically, and found that the evidence would in fact seem to support his claim that the usage wasn’t racially motivated. Certainly, there doesn’t appear to be enough evidence to state categorically that xQc’s use of the “TriHard 7” emote was intended in a racially disparaging manner.
Given that this is precisely the claim that the Overwatch League has made in an official statement, Lewis has some advice for xQc – lawyer up, and take Activision Blizzard to court for making a severely defamatory accusation without sufficient evidence.
“This is the first thing I would do if I was xQc, and this is why players need to have representation. Based on no discernible evidence, they have said he’s used the emote in a racially disparaging manner. They have stated that as fact. That is lawyer time.
You cannot prove that he did that, and yet you’re publicly saying that. Blizzard are now on record as saying Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel has done something racially disparaging…to out and out accuse the player of doing something racially disparaging when he says TriHard all of the time, and it is a useable emote on Twitch’s platform that is used by hundreds of thousands of people every day in a variety of contexts is outrageous. It is beyond outrageous.”
Lewis also went into detail on the entire xQc scandal, diving into the various facets of Blizzard’s disciplinary action. The full video can be seen below:
Image (right): Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment