Recently-retired professional Overwatch player, Silkthread, has confessed that a tweet about the Pepe the frog meme landed him in a lot of hot water last year.
Speaking with fellow pro-gamer, Seagull, Silkthread said that not only was he asked to remove the tweet by Valiant, but that he was later fined $1,000.
Pepe the frog is one of the most controversial memes out there, as plays on racially offensive stereotypes.
Silkthread told Seagull [via Dexerto]: “I needed content to tweet, so I was thinking of something to tweet for really long,
“I eventually was like ‘oh I’ll Tweet: Does anyone else love Pepe the Frog?’ That’s the entirety of my tweet.”
Pepe the frog was banned from Overwatch League back in Season One, with no Pepe permitted in the Twitch chat or at the Blizzard Arena.
Silkthread then went on to admit that Valiant contacted him to demand he remove the tweet.
A few weeks after that, Silkthread says Valiant contacted him again, this time to fine him $1,000 for the tweet.
He was also fined another $1,000 for account sharing.
He told Seagull: “I was like, ‘obviously I’m not racist and I’m not trying to like, start anything by tweeting about Pepe the Frog.’
“So I had to take un Uber all the way to Burbank, go into a room and dispute basically saying ‘I did not know Pepe the Frog was a racist hate symbol and I do not condone using Pepe the Frog.'”
He then stated that this was the reason that the Pepe meme got banned from the League.
Last year, an Overwatch League spokesperson issued a statement specifically mentioning the Pepe meme.
“The Overwatch League discourages the use of symbols and imagery which are associated with or used by hate groups, including Pepe the Frog,” said the statement.
“At Blizzard Arena, it’s our policy that fans comply with this policy. We likewise ask the same of Overwatch League teams and players on their social-media accounts.”
Silkhead disputed the fine, and ended up not having to pay it.
Be wary of Pepe and all his racist connotations!
Featured Image Credit: PepeTheFrog/Blizzard