The current social climate in the US has led to the top eSports league to respond
In light of the events that unchained after George Floyd’s death in the hands of the police, many sports leagues and companies are reconsidering the efforts they are making to be part of the solution. For instance, in the eSports scene, Rocket League has decided to scale up its rate of punishment for the speech, as announced by Psyonix in a blog post yesterday. The company shared a few details of the steps it has taken towards fighting racism and discrimination in its video game.
The league announced in its Twitter account that it “will always strive to be a welcome and safe place for all players.” It added, “We are committed to fighting racism and discrimination both in and outside of the game.” The message released by the company in this blog post mentioned, “Over the past week, we performed an audit of our ban system to highlight areas where we can do better. We’ve updated the system to more effectively identify and eliminate racist, abusive, and hateful language from in-game text chat. While permanent game bans have always been part of the system, we’ve escalated the rate of punishment for violations, and have further efforts underway.”
Both hate speech and harassment have been major issues in the eSports scene across all leagues. In games like Rocket League and Overwatch, there was an epidemic of racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination, which were often used as weapons through in-game voice and text chats. Despite that, most developers have been slow to implement new tools to help moderate the offensive content.