Josh “Eqo” Corona has become the latest Overwatch League player to receive punishment as a result of a Code of Conduct violation committed during a personal Twitch stream. The Philadelphia Fusion announced Wednesday that Eqo has been suspended for three games, fined $2,000 and will have his streaming rights revoked for 10 weeks.
The punishment comes after clips surfaced and circulated online of Eqo performing a slant-eye gesture after proclaiming “I am Korean” during a personal stream in response to a viewer's comparison of his Overwatch skills to those of top-tier Korean players. Eqo originally explained his motivation for the act as being “more in a form of wanting to express myself being like them since I admire them,” but issued a more conciliatory written apology on Wednesday, pledging to donate an additional $3,000 dollars to the Anti-Defamation League, which the Fusion will match. “I deeply regret making a mistake that has hurt so many people,” wrote Eqo.
The suspension and fine are part and parcel with punishments doled out to other OWL players for Code of Conduct violations, but the Fusion’s decision to revoke his personal streaming rights is the first disciplinary action of its kind against OWL players. The league’s Code of Conduct gives Blizzard and OWL management a very large amount of control over the league’s players, even during their personal Twitch streams. Both entities have the ability to police conduct on those streams, during which the majority of Code of Conduct violations have occurred, in addition to official OWL broadcasts. It is a wide reach of power, more so than many other professional sports and e-sports leagues have, and gives more legitimacy to the gathering efforts to unionize OWL players.