The year 2019 in esports was marked by pro player bans. Professional game players like Fortnite and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) have been punished for various reasons and have caused controversy in the communities. Some gamers were penalized for toxic behavior, others were punished and questioned the bans received. Here are five examples of players who were banned in 2019 from either the game, competitions or streaming platforms.
1. Jack Robertson- “Doki”
Scottish Jack “Doki” Robertson, Rainbow Six: Siege player by Natus Vincere (Na’Vi), was permanently banned from the FPS while broadcasting on the Twitch TV platform on October 1, 2019. Doki played normally when he received a message stating that your account was banned for your toxic gambling behavior.
The Ubisoft claimed that, after analysis, it was found that the player’s account contained numerous cases of toxicity, which led to the ban in the game and also to a suspension of six months in the ESL competitions. Despite this, Na’Vi has opted to continue to rely on the player on their team.
2. Chung Ng Wai- “Blitzchung”
One of the most controversial bans in 2019 was Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai. The Hearthstone player spoke words of support for the protests in Hong Kong during an interview on a broadcast after a tournament. As a result, on October 8, Blizzard banned the Hearthstone GrandMasters player, prevented the player from receiving the tournament prize pool and suspended him for a year from all competitions in the game.
The community’s reaction to what happened was instantaneous. Very disappointed by the decision, several players from Hearthstone and other Blizzard titles came out in defense of Blitzchung and threatened to boycott the developer for finding the decision unfair, a form of censorship. After negative repercussions, Blizzard eventually accepted the requests, reduced Blitzchung’s penalty to six months and released the player to receive his awards.
Hearthstone community defended Blitzchung after announcement of ban – Photo: Press Release / Blizzard
3. Kurt Fenech- ‘Kurt0411’
On November 1, FIFA player Kurt “Kurt0411” Fenech was banned by Electronic Arts (EA) indefinitely from the Global Series and any other competition organized by it. The reason was due to an act performed by the player during one of his streams. At the end of the game, Kurt stared at the camera, cursed the game developer, and even spit on the EA logo on a scarf. It is worth mentioning that this was not the first controversy of the player. In 2018, during the FIFA eWorld Cup semifinals, Kurt simply abandoned the match after taking a goal from his opponent.
4. Jarvis Khattri- “Jarvis”
One of the most talked about banners by the Fortnite community in 2019 was Jarvis “Jarvis” Khattri. The player do Clan was banned permanently by Epic Games after using the aimbot, aiming precision cheat during their matches in Battle Royale. Jarvis reportedly uploaded videos to YouTube where he would be using the illegal program.
On video, the player apologized and stated that he had no bad intention with the use of aimbot, just wanted to show different content to his followers. The controversy caused the community of Fortnite to split between those who thought the punishment was fair and others who believed it to be overkill on Epic.
5. Oleksandr Kostyliev- “s1mple”
Ukrainian Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, pro player for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) pro Natus Vincere (Na’Vi), got involved in two controversies with Twitch TV in 2019. The first took place on 13 August, when it was announced that he had been banned for a week from the platform for using a homophobic term on one of his broadcasts on July 29. At the time, he played with a friend when he used the term in the Russian language.
The second controversy came on November 28, when s1mple was banned for the second time from Twitch TV. This time, there was no immediate confirmation as to what caused the ban, but according to the player himself, he would have used a term that the platform considered biased. Unlike the last case, s1mple gave a heavy response to Twitch TV, called the platform “stupid” and even asked to end the partnership with it.