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We’ve all had those teammates in Overwatch. You know, the ones who pick Torbjörn or Symmetra in Assault on the Attack team, play casually in Competitive as though it were Quick Play, or spew toxic comments into the text chat. It can be quite frustrating to be grouped with others who do these things with the sole intention of riling up those who are trying to play with effort and respect. One would think this isn’t as common for eSports players since their reputations are on the line, but competitive Overwatch player Dafran (otherwise known as Daniel Francesca) seemed to not give a care about the consequences of his questionable behavior, and it has resulted in temporary suspensions from the game and tournaments for some time.

Dafran has been a subject of controversy long before this action was taken by Blizzard Entertainment, which Compete’s Nathan Grayson expertly outlines with clips from Dafran’s Twitch streams where he admits to losing matches on purpose and reveling in his trolling antics by griefing others. Streaming highly suggestive anime visual novels for no good reason isn’t out of the question either, so in light of these concerns and demonstrating little to no concern over his actions, Blizzard released a statement outlining his temporary banning, stating that he broke Rule 7 of the Overwatch Contenders ruleset for professional players, which reads, “All competitors and spectators are required to act in a respectful sportsmanlike manner at all times.”

Due to this violation, as of June 8, Blizzard will suspend Dafran’s access to his current Overwatch accounts for one week, and from Competitive Play for the remainder of Season 5. Further, Dafran is disqualified from Overwatch Contenders Season Zero, will not be eligible for Overwatch Contenders Season One, and is disqualified from all future Blizzard-sanctioned tournament play for the duration of this competitive season. Dafran’s Overwatch Contenders team is still eligible to compete with a substitute.

As a result, he has been removed from his Offense role on the eSports team Selfless, which explained its reasons for doing so in concordance with Blizzard’s verdict as its members seek out someone to replace him. However, it’s not a decision they have taken lightly, as Head Coach and Analyst for Selfless, Dillain Odeneal, tweeted on June 8. The team’s official statement reads:

Upon further VOD review of Dafran’s behavior, especially this past night, we have found his actions to be completely unacceptable, and in clear violation of Blizzard’s rules around player conduct, in addition to our own expectations of player/teammate conduct. […] While Dafran will no longer be playing with our team, we will be assisting him in finding the help, counseling, and guidance that he needs to improve his mental and emotional well-being.

Dafran may not personally relinquish his mischief anytime soon, but he has recently demonstrated outward concerns for his previous team and controversial actions. It’s very much up in the air whether he’ll turn around or not should he decide to continue to play professionally.

What is your opinion about Blizzard and Selfless’ decisions? Are they too harsh or fitting for Dafran’s actions? What do you think is acceptable punishment for players who throw and/or grief matches? Be like Reaper and re-position in the comments to let us know.

 

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Joey Thurmond

Staff Writer

I'm a part-time video game journalist with a BA in Game and Interactive Media Design and (almost) an MA in Writing Studies. I bleed theology, sci-fi, and fantasy. I grew up with Spyro and Crash on the PlayStation and love FPS, action-RPG, and platformer games. For more of my antics, mosey on over to Push Square and Gamechurch.