Two days after the NBA 2K League had its first in-arena fight break out on broadcast, the league took disciplinary action Friday. Celtics Crossover Gaming’s Albano “oFab” Thomallari and Hawks Talon GC’s Connor “Dat Boy Shotz” Rodrigues were each suspended one game for their involvement in the altercation.
In addition to the suspensions, Thomallari was fined $500. Fellow Celtics Crossover member Ahmed “Mel East” Kasana was also fined $500 for his part in the Wednesday night altercation.
— NBA 2K League (@NBA2KLeague) April 12, 2019
The suspensions stemmed from emotions between Hawks Talon GC and Celtics Crossover Gaming spilling over into the postgame handshake line. A close game between the two sides led to the normal trash talk fans are used to during play. Then, Hawks Talon began to pull away late in the game and won, 68-58.
After the game, Thomallari and Hawks Talon’s Randolph “Rando” Moreno met at center stage and refused to shake hands. Thomallari pushed Moreno and the two had to be separated by their teams. There was no mention from the league of disciplinary action for Moreno.
Rodrigues will sit out the game against Jazz Gaming on April 19. Thomallari will miss the game against Tipoff Tournament champions, 76ers GC, on April 25.
While fights like this happen from time to time in traditional sports, an incident like this is unheard of in esports. Even when teams don’t like each other, they’ll shake hands after the match. At worst, they’ll ignore each other. For the situation to suddenly escalate to the point where players needed to be separated, the league needed to make a statement.
Without a doubt, these suspensions serve as a warning to the rest of the teams. Anything more than the normal trash talk will not be tolerated by the league.
NBA 2K League action picks back up on Wednesday, April 17 with five games scheduled.