Professional play in Overwatch is still in its infancy compared to other eSports, and the industry itself is trying to build legitimacy and be treated like professionals. Toronto Esports player Matt ‘Dellor’ Vaughn, a 28-year-old Overwatch pro, struck a blow to that legitimacy as he was fired for a “breach of contract” involving a racist tirade in a ranked game.
Unfortunately for Dellor, someone was recording the match as he live-streamed it, which saw Dellor go into a racist-fueled tirade, screaming the n-word for 26 uninterrupted seconds while his teammates sat in stunned silence.
Note that the volume is loud on this video, and contains the aforementioned profanity:
In the under a minute clip it’s clear that Dellor’s esports career is over. That kind of language may unfortunately be common place in online matches, but professionals are held to a higher standard.
The Fallout of Dellor’s Racist Rant
Toronto Esports President Ryan Pallett had to release a statement affirming that Dellor would be fired.
“Toronto Esports is an organization built on inclusivity, and we have always had a zero-tolerance policy for any forms of discrimination,”
“Immediately upon learning of the incident, the player was interviewed, admitted to the offense, and was notified that his contract with the organisation was being terminated.”
While Dellor seems apologetic in his response, we’ll let you make up your own mind as to whether a lesson has really been learned here:
I fucked up and deserve to be dropped from Toronto Esports, I won’t try to argue or make an excuse, I don’t have any. I just want people to know what happened. I was having a really bad day. Didn’t get much sleep, twitch wouldn’t work for 2 hours after I woke up, and once it finally did, my internet was lagging. So I was pretty upset from the moment I woke up.
Then I get into a game against a widowmaker who is blatantly cheating. Everything was whatever, I’ve dealt with cheaters before, but when him and his entire team, and MY entire team start talking shit, it gets to me. I snapped. This isn’t the first time this has happened. I have anger problems.
The only thing I can say is that despite me using that word, I am not a racist. I was extremely upset, and I was trying to make the person I was angry with upset as well, and so I said the most offensive thing that came to mind.
I fucked up, I have no excuse. Toronto Esports is a great organization and I am sorry to them for tarnishing their name. I’ve put my entire life into gaming/esports and this has been a massive wake up call.
Maybe this is a wake up call, however it’s unlikely Dellor will continue a career in esports. The internet never forgets, especially once recorded and in press.
A simple search of Dellor’s name will bring this incident up for any prospective team owners or sponsor. With esports looking to break open more sponsorship and present themselves as professional, someone like Dellor could be a liability.