There’s a popular belief that gamers in general and especially professional gamers are awkward nerds who blush, stutter and run away when they have to talk to a girl. The nerd stereotype probably comes from the ‘80s movies of old, however, these days, it couldn’t be farther from the truth, partly because of the incomparable size of the pool of people who play computer games. That is not to say that the stereotypical gamer nerds don’t exist. Of course they do, it’s just that the ration between them and the rest is much more skewed towards the ones who don’t meet the stereotype than people realize. Case in point, a couple of Korean Overwatch pros, playing for Lunatic Hai, have been suspended according to reports because of their interactions with female fans.
Geum “dean” Dong-geun and Lee “Leetaejun” Tae-jun were reportedly suspended for chatting with female fans on Kakaotalk and Twitter. The players were accused of exchanging messages and photographs with the fans. Once the suspicions were brought before them, Leetaejun reportedly denied everything and didn’t own up to it until the evidence was made public. After that, both players apologised on Lunatic-Hai’s website. Despite that, they were suspended for the remainder of Overwatch APEX Season 2. Fortunately for the org, LH has two more players signed to their roster, Lee “Whoru” Seung-joon and Kim “zunba” Joon-hyuk. The replacements’roles don’t match up dean’s and Leetaejun’s exactly, however, the Koreans should be able to figure something out.
The punishment is a bit of an overreaction from what information is publically available. Overwatch players are young guys who found themselves in a position of stardom in a certain community, playing for one of the best Overwatch teams in South Korea and maybe the world. As young guys, they have certain… interests. That is fine and perfectly normal. Now, if they were found to talk to the girls about confidential things concerning the team, sharing inside knowledge with it leaking to the competition before an important match, that would be a different matter altogether. Hell, it would be different if they brought the girls to the house, partying all night before an important match, causing the team to lose the game.
As it stands, it seems that the guys were just chatting online. NBA players get up to much more extreme stuff on a routine basis. While we don’t mean to say that what some NBA players do with female fans is okay, we mean to point out that chatting on the Internet is nothing compared to that, leading us to consider the response Lunatic-Hai had to the situation to be a complete overreaction. With that said, the culture in South Korea is different. For all we know, it might be completely inline with what’s normal in that country of eSports gods.