Misogyny is all too common in many aspects of life and gaming is no different, with Overwatch streamer Francine "Fran" Vo the latest victim to suffer a barrage of criticism simply for being female.
The incident happened during the Flash Ops: Echo Showdown Overwatch tournament. Aimed at aspiring pros looking for a breakthrough in the scene, the open-to-all competition only allowed two Overwatch League or Contenders players per team, with the stipulation that each team must run Echo at all times.
With this in mind, Fran not only signed up for the tournament but put together a superteam that included streamers Anthony "Harbleu" Ballo, and Redshell, former pro turned caster Jake Lyon, Overwatch League stars Dante Cruz, and Young-seo "Kariv" Park, and free agent James "Cloneman16" D'Arcangelo.
It's no surprise that a star-studded team like the one Fran managed to assemble took the North American version of the tournament - earning $10,000 in the process - with every member having moments of sheer brilliance and fun.
But in what should've been a positive weekend, several people ended up tainting the experience by targeting Fran with no substantial reasoning besides seeing a female member of the Overwatch community succeed.
Filling OWL's YouTube Channel chat with remarks about how the "egirl is throwing" or how "she is carried by Dante", who happens to be her partner, hundreds of comments were left during Fran's matches, despite Test Team 1 only dropping three maps during their entire run.
Even after the fact, comments like these continued to show up:
The vitriol she endured didn't break her spirits, with support coming from casters and players taking part in the event.
With Fran herself having a few choice words for the haters.
i don't care if you think i'm bad because i'm bad, but to blame my gender is actually the most dumb shit ever— FRAN (@FRANA_OW) April 20, 2020
On their road to winning the tournament, Fran's team made quick work of current Overwatch League pros, including members of Paris Eternal, or San Francisco Shock, yet this wasn't enough for detractors that kept saying she "weighed her team down."
don’t forget we rolled hanbin, sp9rk1e, aid, +3 korean owl coaches early in the tournament— FRAN (@FRANA_OW) April 20, 2020
But okay I’m weighing us down
Openly admitting on-stream his level of play during the showdown wasn't up to par, Avast called out the lack of criticism against him, compared to the harassment Fran suffered.
tfw i hadn't played OW in two months, after taking a year break before that— Avast (@Avast_o) April 20, 2020
get asked to play in a tourney and get carried
and people go out of their way to say @FRANA_OW is weighing down their team LMAO
had to ban an absurd amount of people yesterday being absolute weirdos