Overwatch Pro’s Racist Tirade Ends His Career

Overwatch Pro’s Racist Tirade Ends His Career

Most pros’ careers end in injury, deteriorating mechanical skill, or just when their interest in competing runs dry. Toronto Esports’ Matt “Dellor” Vaughn opted for a different end: A very long, very public stream of racial slurs during an Overwatch game.

Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Vaughn, a 28-year-old adult, was playing a ranked match in Overwatch. His opponent’s Widowmaker was making a few too many accurate shots, and Vaugn took umbrage. His response was to yell the N-word into his microphone using the game’s voice chat system, as the rest of his team listened on.

Below is the video (via PVP Live), though be warned, he really goes on for a while, literally repeating the N-word for just shy of 30 seconds with a few adjectives near the end, and the audio can get a bit loud.

What Vaughn seemingly didn’t realise was that he was streaming to his Twitch followers, one of which was quick to capture and upload the rant in its entirety. Toronto Esports responded by releasing Vaughn:

“Toronto Esports is an organisation built on inclusivity, and we have always had a zero-tolerance policy for any forms of discrimination,” said President Ryan Pallett. “Immediately upon learning of the incident, the player was interviewed, admitted to the offence, and was notified that his contract with the organisation was being terminated”

In classic esports fashion, Vaughn gave his version of events on TwitLonger, where he both expressed remorse — “I fucked up and deserve to be dropped from Toronto Esports” — while also seeming to miss the point. His laundry list of excuses for why he repeatedly said the N-word — he was tired, his internet was lagging, the Widowmaker was cheating, he was angry — leads to his point: He is not racist, just upset, and so he said the most offensive thing that came into his mind.

His Twitch channel has already been shut down for terms of service violations. (When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Twitch stated they do not comment on TOS violations.)

Overwatch Pro’s Racist Tirade Ends His Career

And how will Vaughn attempt to come back from being dropped from his team because of a racist tirade? He won’t. On Twitter, Vaughn announced he was done with esports:

Overwatch Pro’s Racist Tirade Ends His Career


  • Excuse sounds legit, doesn’t sound racist, just super angry. Heck, he could be America’s next top rapper with lyrics like that.

    • When most people are angry they manage to avoid shouting racist abuse. Also lol, yes this chump and Kendrick are basically identical /s

      • Maybe. Who knows what people yell when they don’t think anyone else is listening.

        I don’t think yelling the “N-word” makes him maliciously racist. It’s not ideal, but you can’t judge his overall character based on a 3 minutes clip where he thought he was alone.

        I will admit to occasionally using the homophobic “F-epithet” for dramatic effect or just to be a dick occasionally when I’m in a private setting. Hell, I might even yell it out if I got mad enough.
        In the context of my entire life I’m more than happy to have my level of homophobia judged by others, but if you put that on the internet I’d instantly be unforgivably hateful, people would accuse me of propagating a “word that drives gay-teens to suicide” and all that…. it just gets ridiculous.

        You can be a bit discriminatory without being out-right evil. You can’t work out which is which in a 3 minute, personal video of a guy losing his temper.

        • Most workplaces have strict rules in regards to discrimination. He broke those terms and got booted for it, same would happen to any CEO or employee who did the same.

          Nobody cares what you say in private but its an underpinning rule in workplaces that if that behavior goes from private to public you suffer the consequences. He did it to himself accidentally or not, he also didn’t have to make it a racist outburst as well ( he clarified with “Big black Nigger” just in case we didn’t know what he meant).

          I don’t hate him but the only person responsible for your actions and the consequences of them is ultimately. You.

          • Yeah, I agree with all that.

            When I read the article I misinterpreted it to mean he thought nobody was listening at all.
            If he was speaking to his team then yeah, fair enough.

          • Yeah, he was deliberately flooding voice chat. Also I’m not sure how someone can really ‘forget’ that they’re livestreaming on Twitch at the time.

  • He is not racist, just upset, and so he said the most offensive thing that came into his mind.

    I know it’s not as much fun as having a mass internet teary, but this is a more-or-less a reasonable enough excuse as far as I’m concerned.

    He screwed up, you can probably argue that he’s harbouring habits that promote racist views of something like that….. but the dude thought he was on his own and he lost his temper. He threw a childish tantrum and yelled a bunch of obscene sh*t- I can’t imagine an outburst I’ve ever had that wouldn’t make me internet Hitler if it were shared and interpreted within the most literal context possible.

    I won’t be following his online media because he made himself look like a tool, but I think banning him from the entire “e-sport” is harsh in this context.

    I really rubs me the wrong way when people get thrown under the bus publically for something that was meant to be a private/ personal. It’s a different standard of accountability as far as i’m concerned. Your words still matter and could be counted against you, but you have to be saying some clear-as-day repugnant sh*t before I’m getting too upset.

    People don’t know you and they don’t know how you act 99% of the time, what you share with the people that do know you – or with yourself- can seem much more damning without that context.

    • What he was doing wasn’t private, he was playing an online game with other people. Condoning using racial slurs as anything less than racist needs to stop, especially in the world of online gaming, where the use of derogatory language is the medium’s biggest hurdle.

      If any other professional athlete went on a tirade like this in a public training session, they would cop the same, if not worse punishment. Why should pro gamers be treated any differently?

      • Fair enough. I actually misinterpreted the story that thought he was under the impression that nobody was listening.

        I do think there’s a big difference between using a racist term when you think nobody is listening, saying it with mates in a closed room, saying it online to a team and saying it over an open channel by accident.

        In the context that he expected his own team to hear it, I agree that his rant was unacceptable.

        • You forget though, context never matters. So clearly you’re just an evil person who is the example of why we must strive to police all the thoughts everyone has, for only then will the grand crusade reach its end!

          To be very clear, that was sarcasm.

          There are many reasons racism will never be eradicated… A monumentally stupid one is the fact that a great many people choose to inject the subject into anything they can, relevant or not, just so they can be offended.

          Doesn’t matter that they weren’t part of the conversation to begin with, or if you weren’t offended, by god they’re going to be offended for you and you better like it or else!

          In this particular case the guy is an idiot who clearly went for the ‘most offense in shortest span of time’ tactic, but do I see him as some sort of super racist? No. He’s just a moron.

          • At the end of the day he consciously chose this particular word because it’s offensive and it’s offensive because it’s racist. I’ve always held that intention matters, and it seems to me that it was his intention to spout some racist stuff, knowing it was racist.

            Intention is only part of the equation in any case, impact is the other part. Even if he had zero intention of being racist, the impact his outburst had on others certainly was. It’s more on the side of casual racism than racial superiority, but it’s still on the wrong side of the line.

          • Fair enough him getting the boot to protect the brand but you really have to question if it’s still as racist as its used to be if every other rap track has it in multiple times, and black people commonly say it to each other as a greeting. Realistically the only people getting offended by that “tirade” are people with their nickers permanently in a twist who use any excuse to get offended.

          • It’s the most fascinating thing to watch the psychology of the super-privileged in action.

            ‘Yes, yes, racism is terrible and everything, really feel bad for those who are actually affected by it or something BUT HEY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HERE IS THAT PEOPLE DARE TO TRY AND TELL PEOPLE LIKE ME HOW THEY SHOULD BEHAVE. DON’T THEY KNOW WE GET TO TELL PEOPLE HOW THEY SHOULD BEHAVE LIKE I AM DOING RIGHT NOW?’

            Mind bending ironic hypocrisy aside, do you not see that your perspective is identical to theirs, except theirs has the caveat ‘don’t be a dick’ and yours has the caveat ‘If I want to be a dick I should be able to because I’m used to being able to’?

          • Cute.

            At a stretch all I’m actually saying is little more than people should mind their own business until there’s something causing actual harm. Instead of yelling fire where there isn’t one just because they disagree with or dislike someone, or something.

            I’d tell you to get yourself a mirror if you’re so enthralled by watching the psychology of the super-privileged in action, but then I’d be stealing your shtick by blindly assuming you’ve got any sort of privilege at all based on nothing but the fact I disagree with you.

            The absolute most you know (without question) about me and all my supposed privilege is that I have internet access, all the rest is guesswork and/or trawling my old posts for the limited information I have revealed… Even then, perhaps I just play a white guy on the internet for the enjoyment of moments like this. (Gasp! A white guy?! How dare he have an opinion!)

            I’m actually a believer along the lines of, “Be a dick all you like. Simply be aware that people don’t actually have to like or tolerate it… Especially when they’re in a position to kick you off your e-sports team.”

            It makes all the sense in the world to act appropriately if you want to be accepted in the environments you enter into. What I absolutely take issue with though is when people start deciding how others should act, think, behave at all times though even when it harms nobody.

            Contrary to what you seem to think, stating that is actually not the same as doing it either. It’s okay though, I’m aware of the mental gymnastics people like you pull when all you’ve got is being able to twist things around in order to refute them.

            I’ll be off on my super-privileged way now, you have a good day.

          • Good to see you doubled-down on that! Got to admire a gender-unspecified person who sticks by their principles.

            You’re still not getting it, are you?

            ‘What I absolutely take issue with though is when people start deciding how others should act, think, behave at all times though even when it harms nobody.’

            ‘people should mind their own business until there’s something causing actual harm. Instead of yelling fire where there isn’t one just because they disagree with or dislike someone, or something.’

            So having got you to understand the hypocrisy in your own words, now let’s talk about what you’re doing.

            You’re making the absolute judgment on what causes harm and what doesn’t, and using that to police the attitudes of others.

            And more to the point, you’re deploying this in a way to make the attitudes of others, which aren’t actually thing thing in question here but simply opinions about it, the focus – instead of the issue at hand. You’re attempting to minimise focus on the problem being discussed to pursue those with different opinions.

            Most often this is a tactic employed by people doing pretty awful things, to try and deflect scrutiny from their unpleasant views.

            It may be that you’re not doing this here, that you’re not actually a bigot and instead feel the burning need to inject a defense of bigots, even when they are not actually being harmed.

            Either way, both approaches focus on protecting the rights of the privileged in favour of those who aren’t.

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