According to South Korean news website Naver, professional Overwatch player Yoon “Fr3e” Tae-in has been sentenced to a one-year minimum prison sentence for sexual harassment of a minor. Fr3e will also have to go through a mandatory 40-hour sex offender rehabilitation program, per Dot Esports.
Twitter user Gatamchun has been following the story since it broke back in 2019. Gatamchun translated the tweets from the victim and reposted her screenshots of Facebook messages between the two of them. Long story short, the victim confronted Fr3e for what happened. She claims she didn’t come forward sooner because she didn’t want to ruin his career. One of her last comments was that this incident did not happen at a motel, and oh, by the way, she’s a minor.
Fr3e’s Overwatch Career
At the time, Fr3e was playing for the North American Overwatch team Meta Skyfoxes. The team, of course, investigated these claims and then quickly dropped him from their roster thereafter. Oz Gaming of Korea then contracted him as its off-tank Overwatch player. While the organization knew about the ongoing investigation, it dismissed the claims, saying that it “perceived the incident as a misunderstanding during the relationship.”
However, after Fr3e’s conviction came down, Oz quickly released an apology to the teams’ fans.
His conviction has sprung a deeper look into sexual harassment with the esports industry in general. Perhaps if fans condemned predators as loudly as Gatamchun did, forcing this situation to come to light, then maybe all teams would take sexual harassment allegations a bit more seriously. Society has already given a pass to professional athletes for their misconduct, as long as they keep winning games. The esports industry as a whole needs to do better at not condoning this behavior with silence.
Regardless, it’s fairly certain Fr3e’s Overwatch career is over, even after he completes his rehab program.