David “dpei” Pei, head coach for the LA Gladiators Overwatch League team, bumped into two Houston Outlaws players backstage last night and issued a real head-scratcher of an apology for it:
“Yesterday during the Outlaws match, I inadvertently bumped into two of the Outlaws players. I hadn’t been watching where I was going. I was distracted thinking about what to say to our team for Kings Row, but I wanted to apologize immediately. I apologized to their players immediately after the game and [Outlaws coach] Tairong shortly after. I am sincerely sorry for my actions and assure you that there was no malicious intent. Even though it was an accident, it was still unprofessional of me to shoulder bump players from another team so again, I am sorry.”
And the question is… why? If it were just a light accidental bump, presumably Pei would’ve quickly apologised in person and moved on. If it were something more sinister and aggressive, why is Pei blasting that out to the world?
The inexplicable apology comes on the heels of last week’s round of punishments from Blizzard to Overwatch League pros and coaches, including a warning to Outlaws coach Tae-yeong “TaiRong” Kim, who issued a public apology for posting a meme about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That apology, as well as TaiRong’s vow to donate a grand to the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, was part of why Blizzard didn’t bother to issue anything beyond a warning. So maybe Pei thought that he could get out in front of this and give Blizzard what they wanted. But even that seems odd. Blizzard and the OWL would likely want to take credit for any disciplinary action, or prefer that the situation not come out at all.
So we’re back to the original questions: did Pei beat up some Outlaws backstage? Why is he profusely apologising if he didn’t? We have reached out to the LA Gladiators and the Houston Outlaws for clarification and will update this story as details emerge. If you know anything about what the hell happened between Pei and the Outlaws, please get in touch.