On Thursday, London Spitfire DPS player Joon-yeong “Profit” Park shot a middle finger at the camera right after he got brought out as a substitution in the team’s second game against SF Shock. But Profit didn’t think anybody would see it.
Stylosa, who serves as London Spitfire’s “British Consultant”, tweeted that Profit had no idea he was on camera: “He was replying to the guys in the dugout for team audio check and forgot the video feed was live!”
London Spitfire presumably needs a “British Consultant” because their team is made up entirely of South Korean Overwatch pros and is owned by the LA-based esports organisation Cloud9. By the way, the middle finger doesn’t mean “fuck you” in South Korea, or in London, but Cloud9 is staffed by Americans who know better. (A reader and esports agent says he regularly flipped off his classmates in Year 3 in South Korea.)
Profit has issued a fantastic apology.
— 박준영 (@PROFIT_OWL) January 25, 2018
Cloud9’s CEO Jack Etienne doesn’t seem too fussed about the player’s accidental bird flash, though. The prior day, Etienne had tweeted a photo of himself holding a sign to hang up in the team’s practice room. After the bird flip, Etienne put up a tweet with the sign photoshopped into an image of Profit’s middle finger:
— Jack Etienne (@JackEtienne) January 25, 2018
Etienne’s tweet is referring to another notable esports bird flip from a Cloud9 player: League of Legends pro Hai Du Lam got fined $US556 ($690) by Riot Games for the gesture back in 2015. In that situation, though, Hai was flipping off his opponent.
Accidental bird flips such as this one have also happened before. Overwatch League caster Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles pointed out that he once gave the finger to the camera in his League of Legends casting days, without realising he was on the air:
— MonteCristo (@MonteCristo) January 25, 2018
Based on Jack Etienne’s lighthearted response, it seems unlikely that Profit will face any serious reprimand for his team. We has reached out to Cloud9 to check, as well as Blizzard, which might choose to issue a punishment even if Profit’s team doesn’t care. We still don’t know what the Overwatch League code of conduct says, because league commissioner Nate Nanzer hasn’t “gotten around” to putting it on the internet, but we do know that the Overwatch Contenders rulebook has a stipulation against “obscene gestures”. If this were tsports and not esports, Profit would probably get hit with a small fine.
While Blizzard is deciding on punishments for obscenities on camera, though, they should look into MonteCristo’s decision to wear a baggy pink button-up with black suspenders on Thursday. Honestly offensive.