When you tune in to watch an Overwatch pro on Twitch, you’re probably hoping to see some high level gameplay, sick strats, or hidden tips to get better at the game. If you caught Daniel “Dafran” Francesca’s stream, you probably got an entirely different experience. The DPS player for Selfless had been ramping up bad behavior on Twitch. On June 8th, Blizzard swung the ban-hammer in response.
Due to this violation, as of June 8, Blizzard will suspend Dafran’s access to his current Overwatch accounts for one week, and from Competitive Play for the remainder of Season 5. Further, Dafran is disqualified from Overwatch Contenders Season Zero, will not be eligible for Overwatch Contenders Season One, and is disqualified from all future Blizzard-sanctioned tournament play for the duration of this competitive season. Dafran’s Overwatch Contenders team is still eligible to compete with a substitute.
To put this punishment in context, League of Legends pro Christian “IWillDominate” Rivera was banned from League of Legends competitive play in 2012 after nine previous punishments by the Tribunal and a consistent increase in toxic behavior. Rivera was able to successfully return to the LCS after his ban.
Francesca’s ban will not last nearly as long; he will be able to return to pro play in the fall. However, Blizzard provided far less context for Francesca’s ban and the reasons behind it. This may simply be because the ban and announcement were considered urgent.
It’s also worth noting that Francesca’s behavior was far more public than Rivera’s, and most of it was streamed. He streamed hentai games, watched nature documentaries while in game, built Torbjorn turrets at random, and threw competitive games. His behavior was noted by both pro players and the community at large.
Francesca seemingly saw consequences coming. In a twitlonger, he posted:
I honestly do not give a shit what happends to me and my fucking career, you can all go fuck yourselves
I am starting to realise my actions may be affecting my org, teammates and their careers...
Time to reform into Seagull V2 and be a cute little nice guy FeelsBadMan
Troll community, disband.... :(
After the announcement of his ban went live 11 hours later, he followed up with a simple: “I reap what I sow and I deserve this.”
Selfless has released a statement on the matter, accepting Blizzard’s judgment and seeking a replacement for the duration of Overwatch Contenders Season Zero. It looks like Selfless will remain committed to Francesca, as their statement includes this game plan:
While Dafran will no longer be playing with our team, we will be assisting him in finding the help, counseling, and guidance that he needs to improve his mental and emotional well-being. He is a dear friend, and we will be as supportive as possible during this time off from competitive play, so that he can come back stronger and better than ever.
Overwatch has been dealing with community moderation since the game’s launch, including targeted ban waves against hackers and replacing common troll phrase ‘gg ez’ with one of many joke phrases. However, Francesca marks one of the first times Blizzard has had to mete out punishment against a specific pro.