Timo ‘Taimou’ Kettunen, a member of competitive Overwatch‘s Team EnVyUs, was fined by the South Korean esports network OGN for making “a lewd comment” in a Twitch chat about one of its interviewers.
Taimou made his sexist remarks during an interview with Thomas “Morte” Kerbusch of REUNITED after the latter was defeated 3-0 by Team Runaway. The comments included “gonna check those pantsus when im getting interviewed LUL,” and “I wanna explore that interviewer girls thighs Keepo.”
In a statement released yesterday announcing the fine, OGN cited its sexual harassment and penalty policies on which the decision to fine Taimous was based. The organisation defines sexual harassment as sexual advances or sexually offensive acts against another person that make them feel uncomfortable. In response to Taimou’s behaviour, OGN issued a revocation of the fight money for Friday’s match, valued at approximately $US630 ($827).
As a result of the incident, Taimou went on to offer an apology on Twitter,
“Yesterday, I made a terrible comment that I should not have made in Twitch chat about the OGN Interviewer. I acknowledge that my comment disgusted and offended many people, including the interviewer. I understand that my comment cannot be considered as just a joke and at the time i was careless in my thinking.
To everyone who was affected and hurt by my inconsiderate and brash actions, I hang my head in apology.
I am also very sorry for disappointing our loyal fans.”
I'm sorry (english)
— Timo Kettunen (@EnVy_Taimou) October 14, 2016
Twitch chats are notoriously toxic forums filled with comments that vary from inappropriate to outright vile, and OGN’s channel for its APEX Overwatch league is no exception. Taimou was not alone in making sexist jokes about the South Korean interviewer, while others in the chat made disparaging remarks about the race or ethnicity of different players.
As was pointed out in a Reddit thread about the news, what might have easily gone ignored as just another day in the cesspool that is Twitch chat has instead been rightfully pounced upon. Taimou is not just another random commenter, but a central member of one of the best Overwatch teams in the world, and someone who the interviewer will have to work with in the future.