TSM releases a statement regarding ZexRow’s “disappointing” actions.
Team SoloMid’s Anthony “ZexRow” Colandro sparked an intense backlash from the Fortnite community following his victory in week one of the Ninja Battles tournament series. The 19-year old NA East player picked up where he left off in Season X with trio teammates Mack “MackWood” Aesoph and Jonathan “Calc” Weber. ZexRow, MackWood and Calc pocketed $25K USD for their winning efforts. What transpired in a post-tournament interview, prompted a response from personalities across many social media platforms.
*Video Features NSFW Language*
Honestly sick of these toxic competitive players, man needs to check his ego. pic.twitter.com/JRvXeZcBJL
— BR1CK (@BR1CKmixer) May 28, 2020
Well-known Fortnite commentators Ballatw and MonsterDFace brought ZexRow on the broadcast for a brief interview following the event. The NA East competitor proceeded to use the platform to lash out at critics who aimed at him for his sub-par FNCS Invitational solo performance. He used multiple vulgar words in his rant, which resulted in a public outcry. As a result, TSM stepped in and issued a punishment to Zexrow for his actions.
TSM CEO Andy Dinh Issues Statement
— TSM (@TSM) May 29, 2020
Team SoloMid’s CEO, Andy Dinh, released a statement earlier today regarding the situation. The post on the organization’s website reads:
“We are extremely disappointed in the comments made by Anthony "ZexRow" Colandro and take this matter very seriously. Effective immediately, he has been fined one month’s salary. His behavior was absolutely inappropriate, and does not represent the values of TSM or our brand partners.”
Some players called for Zexrow’s dismissal TSM and even a ban from further Fortnite tournaments. Zexrow also vowed to his followers that he would excuse himself from TSM to not tarnish their reputation. The organization decided to punish ZexRow monetarily.
Since you guys really want me to get dropped from tsm, I'll ask them if I can leave. It was a big mistake but I've made a lot of those so at this point I feel as I'm 2 much of a pr nightmare, I just feel bad for tsm and all the hate they'll get for this.
— ZexRow (@TSM_ZexRow) May 29, 2020
However, ZexRow will have a second chance with the popular esports organization. He joined TSM back in December of 2018 and remains there to this day.
A Portion of Salary goes to a Good Cause
The statement from TSM’s CEO indicated that ZexRow’s fine would go to a good cause. The statement continues:
“The Fortnite community is important to us at TSM, and is made up of younger players. We know the impact words and actions have, and it is important to make sure that kids see and know that acting like this is not OK. For this reason, we are donating the amount of Zexrow’s fine to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, an organization that does amazing work for young people all over the country. “
The impact from the talent Fortnite player’s words undoubtedly left an impression on the Team SoloMid organization. ZexRow’s punishment will benefit the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America.
In addition to the fine, the organization will issue professional counseling to ZexRow. This situation is similar to that of FaZe Dubs, who spouted a racial slur on stream, prompting FaZe to take action.
To conclude his statement, Andy Dinh restated the organization’s “no tolerance” policy for the behavior exhibited by ZexRow:
“...we have informed him that we have a no tolerance policy for this kind of behavior, and that we will be forced to part ways if something like this should occur again in the future. We believe in Zex, and have faith that with serious personal reflection and focus, he can move forward from this.”
Banned From Ninja Battles
I am actually really sorry about that, it was a really bad lapse in judgement and I didnt think in the moment and forgot that there was kids watching, and even so it was too far. Thank you to @Ninja for hosting the tournament and im sorry I ended it on that sour note
— ZexRow (@TSM_ZexRow) May 28, 2020
ZexRow issued an apology to Ninja and those who felt his actions were inappropriate. The three-time FNCS finalist and multiple-time Fortnite Champion will have to represent himself and TSM better in the future. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has already banned ZexRow from future weeks of the Ninja Battles series. He will likely have to sit out and watch as teammates MackWood and Calc look to earn more cash to their pockets. The two have already supposedly replaced ZexRow with Team Liquid member STRETCH.
Competitive Fortnite fans will recognize the name ZexRow because of his extensive history. He’s a real veteran of Fortnite and has a lot of achievements to his credit. There are young impressionable fans the world over who look up to players like ZexRow.
Team SoloMid took action accordingly without having much of an option. Hopefully, all parties have learned their lesson, and the community can collectively move forward.