Former GAM Esports Top Laner Zeros Banned From VCS for Making COVID-19 Joke on Stream
Former GAM Esports top laner Phạm “Zeros” Minh Lộc has just been banned by the VCS (Vietnam Championship Series) for making a COVID-19-related joke on a recent personal stream. Now, making jokes about a disease that has taken so many lives across the globe isn’t something anyone should be doing, let alone if they’re a “high-profile” figure with thousands of people watching.
According to a Saigon Buffalo translation (formerly known as Phong Vũ Buffalo) social media exec, Zeros joked about hopes of the pandemic worsening to such a degree that the 2021 VCS Spring Split champions couldn’t attend the upcoming 2021 Mid-Season Invitational in Reykjavik, Iceland. As a result, the VCS has decided to ban him effective immediately.
Zeros Getting Banned By the VCS
Making such comments during these challenging times is, at the very least, grossly inappropriate. And we’re putting it mildly here. Whether these jokes and remarks are made to “lighten the mood” doesn’t change much. Millions of people have lost their lives, and millions more have been affected in one way or another. Professional players need to be held to a higher standard, and the fact that they’re young and relatively inexperienced in these matters doesn’t mean they should be granted a hall pass.
Whether an indefinite ban is an appropriate punishment, however, is up for debate. Regardless, it’s the correct course of action. Singapore has supposedly handled COVID-19 with relative ease (compared to the rest of the world), with just over 60,000 total cases and 30 deaths thus far — a fairly small number given the overall worldwide tally (over 132 million cases and nearly three million deaths).
As for Zeros, this is not the direction he wanted his career to go in. He’s a well-known player and a former three-time VCS champion, no less. His stints with GAM Esports and Phong Vũ Buffalo were quite successful. Even though his career took a turn for the worse ever since he signed for SBTC Esports (who didn’t even make the playoffs this time around), he’s still one of the more seasoned (and accomplished) veterans over in Vietnam.
Whether he’ll be able to ask for some pardon further down the road remains to be seen. In any case, this is yet another reminder that sometimes it’s best to keep our opinions (and jokes) to ourselves, especially when talking about such delicate matters.