As a pro player regardless of the Esport title, you have to be wary of what you say as the internet never forgets. Hours into the announcement of Jaemo “Xepher” Koo's signing onto the KongDoo Panthera Overwatch team, the organization retracted their offer to the player and sent out an apology to the community.
*Official*— teamKONGDOO (@teamKONGDOO) January 10, 2017
팬 여러분 안녕하세요.
로스터에 관한 피드백이 늦어진 점에 대해 진심으로 사과드립니다.
논의 결과, 팀콩두에서는 Xepher 선수에 관하여 아래와 같은 결정을 내리게 되었습니다.
짧지 않은 시간 동안 심려를 끼쳐드려 죄송합니다. pic.twitter.com/JU9WmrnXIw
In an official apology statement via Twitter Kongdoo said:
We took into account the reports and concerns of Kongdoo Panthera and Team Kongdoo's fans, so we came up with the following decision. We will cancel our recruiting of Xepher, and choose another suitable player for Kongdoo Panthera. We believe professional teams and players must be responsible with their actions and words, and they must properly endure the repercussions.When the announcement of Xepher's signing was made, fans in the Overwatch community knew that something was not right as Jaemo Koo did not always go by the gamer tag Xepher. After some digging, it was revealed by Overwatch fans on Inven that Xepher was a former previously went by the name Friez3, a name that was amoung those of the former Team Dizziness roster that became notorious earlier this summer for death threats, harassment, and accusations of cheating directed at Seyeon "Geguri" Kim, a highly skilled Zarya player formerly on UW Artisan.
After Dizziness was knocked out of the Overwatch Nexus Cup quarterfinals by Geguri's team, Dizziness accused the female player of using an aimbot. It is reported that Dizziness’ player-coach Strobe threatened to confront Geguri with a knife because her team's victory thanks to her alleged cheating may have cost his team a sponsorship deal.
While not making any physical threats, other members of the Dizziness roster, including Friez3, proceeded to openly harass and accuse Geguri of cheating with third party software during their match. In response to the controversy and deeply saddend, Geguri livestreamed her Zarya game play and silenced the doubters by showing off her mastery of her favourite hero.
Pro players regardless of the game title are considered should be careful of how they act as they are public figures, especially in the Korean Esports landscape, and are held to a higher standard of professionalism than a typical gamer as they are viewed as highly influential role models by aspiring players.