The absurd controversy surrounding SK Telecom T1 AD Carry Bae “Bang” Jun-sik took another turn Thursday as an Inven user said they sent a Facebook message and email to the Korean e-Sports Association (KeSPA) asking for Bang to be punished for comments made to a stream viewer months ago.
The call for punitive measures stems from the Official rule book for League Champions Korea, specifically Rule 9.2.4 labeled “Discrimination and Disparaging actions,” which is a subset rule of 9.2 or “Unprofessional Conduct.” The rule stipulates that all players and coaching staff of the LCK are prohibited from discriminating or insulting any group of people to “undermine the dignity of nations, individuals, or groups of people.” The argument used is that Bang’s comments have implicitly insulted those who are of a lower financial status.
The problem started when someone watching Bang’s stream a couple months ago (the exact date is unclear, but it was somewhere between February and April) left a comment that read “Hey Bang, Faker just got a $1,000 donation. Let’s work hard!” Bang’s response was to ban that viewer, and went on a rant that was saved by multiple viewers as a clip.
“Even if a hundred idiots put their pay together, it wouldn’t be comparable to mine, so work harder guys,” he said, clearly annoyed by the comments. “Why do you want to keep comparing (me to someone else?)”
The comment came to light months later amid and made Bang a pariah of sorts within the LCK.
Looking at the competitive penalties delivered this year, judgement in the forms of fines or social service hours have been delivered for a variety of reasons, ranging from getting to the venue late to abusive language used in-game. According to the rule, there is sufficient ground for penalizing Bang, as rule 9.1.2 explicitly prohibits any player or coaching staff from making any discriminatory or insulting behavior through social media or streaming platforms. If the rule is to be strictly enforced, KeSPA can legally punish Bang.
Bang has since apologized to the fans for his action during an on-air interview after SKT’s match Wednesday, but it has done little to quell the wave of anger that surfaced.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games