The Overwatch League is yet to get underway, yet Blizzard have set a precedent for anyone that falls foul of their rules by banning Philadelphia Fusion’s Su-Min “Sado” Kim for the entirety of preseason and the first 30 matches of the inaugural season.
The suspension comes after Kim has been found to breach the Blizzard End User License Agreement by participating in “account-boosting” schemes. Effectively, Kim has been paid to boost others skill level by playing on their accounts.
It comes just days before the preseason for the inaugural Overwatch League gets underway and shows that Blizzard will take a heavy handed approach to anyone in breach of rules and regulations. 30 games when compared to traditional sports is a huge amount of time.
One would assume that like in traditional sports, a format that Blizzard seems keen to replicate, Kim will continue to receive salary from his organisation but will be resigned to watching from the sidelines as the Fusion make their bid to become the first OWL champions.
Perhaps more telling is the fact that one of the top Overwatch players in the world had to take to account boosting to make money. Given the nascent esports scene amidst the promise of the big-money Overwatch League, there’s been little to no competition around and scant chances for those wishing to pursue Overwatch esports as a viable career with an element of sustainability.
Given that each team plays two games a week, and there’s five weeks per stage, Kim will be unavailable until the first week of Stage 4. His debut could therefore be “away” to the Boston Uprising on Thursday May 17th, with the match taking place at 22:00 GMT. He will also be available for the Fusion versus Mayhem game on Saturday May 19th, taking place at 19:00.
Esports Insider says: Six months is a long, long time in esports. One would assume Kim will still be taking part in scrims and practice but even so, being out of the competitive fray for such a long time could have a lasting effect on his career. Obviously it remains to be seen what the effects will be, but Blizzard have certainly come down hard here.