The controversy surrounding the Vancouver Titans release of its roster last month made its way back into the spotlight when now-former Vancouver Titan Overwatch player Baek “Fissure” Chan-hyung made claims that he was “forcibly removed” from the team without payment. While the rest of Baek’s former teammates were given buyouts and released as non-restricted free agents, he did not take the deal and was in fact fired for cause, according to Overwatch League.
Fissure exposes the Vancouver Titans
Video link: (starts at ~53min)https://t.co/mFPik4s5Fc
— Peppermint Tea (@peppermintea13) June 12, 2020
Baek’s statements made during a Twitch stream on Friday (captured in the clip above in Korean, but translated to English in the same Twitter thread) caused confusion in and around the league, as some outlets have reported that the former Titan player was simply released or cut from the team without compensation per OWL league rules. This is not the case, according to OWL; The Esports Observer has obtained a statement from the Overwatch League clarifying its knowledge of the situation and its position on the comments made by Baek.
“The league has been engaged with the Titans on their roster changes, like it does with all teams, to ensure personnel decisions are handled according to league rules,” an Overwatch League spokesperson told The Esports Observer. “All but one player agreed to a mutual severance with the team, allowing those players to become free agents and sign with a new team of their choosing immediately. The Vancouver Titans terminated the employment contract of Fissure for cause. The league office will not comment further on any pending dispute between Fissure and the Titans regarding his termination.”
The league’s response comes after Baek made a series of statements Friday accusing Vancouver of cutting its players because of financial issues. In a response to a statement made in the stream’s chat room about the possibility that recently signed player Niclas “sHockWave” Jensen received a large salary, Baek said, “They cut us because of financial issues caused by [the global situation] and you think they gave him a lot of money? Be reasonable.”
During that same stream Baek claimed that the organization “released [him] forcibly” and according to the OWL rules, he should have been paid the remainder of his salary.
“That’s why I’m tilted,” he said.
Baek is no stranger to controversy; the South Korean native was fined $3K by the league last November for leaking a league rule regarding team composition that took effect in season 2 of the league.
The 21-year old was also embroiled in controversy during his time with the Los Angeles Gladiators when he did not show up for a match against the London Spitfire, by mutual agreement between the organization and himself, because he felt that his team wasn’t putting in enough effort in preparing for the playoffs that season.
Baek has recently locked down his Twitter account and removed all followers and everyone he was following. He could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.
Editor’s note: An earlier iteration of this story attributed a statement to Blizzard when it should have been attributed to the Overwatch League. The story and headline have been changed to reflect this.