Companies have an unfortunate tendency to occasionally react to minor situations with comically overwhelming force, thereby making a "thing" out of it, drawing infinitely more ire and controversy, as opposed to simply letting it slide.
Case in point: NetherRealm removed a finalist from an official Mortal Kombat 11 match recently for having a very minor criticism baked into a custom moveset.
Those of you who follow the MK11 meta will know about the on-going issue with Sheeva and her unblockable stomp. Dragon Drop is an easy way for Sheeva players to grab the advantage, as there are very few techniques that are viable for countering it in its current form. This, understandably, has drawn a lot of complaints in the fighting game community.
Mortal Kombat 11 allows players to give custom names to moveset variations. Now, you'd assume when you hear of a player disqualified for a ruleset name to have been punished for offensive content, but in this case it was something far more innocuous.
Finalist Titaniumtigerzz was seen on-stream selecting a Sheeva variation called “WhyDidNRSdoThis” during a set being played on January 16, in the Mortal Kombat 11 North American League.
The way the disqualification was handled made the situation even more awkward. Commentators Housam “Mitsuownes” Cherif and Miguel “Darth Arma” Perez had a tough time trying to fill the silence of the match having been first muted, then taken off-stream due to the disqualification. The match was allowed to continue for a while even after the players weren't being broadcast anymore - without their knowledge.
Unfortunately, it looks like we have a little problem here, and someone is being… we got a situation. I don’t know what we can publicly say but we definitely have a situation here.
No reason was given for the move at the time, but later it was clarified that the moveset name caused the decision to remove him from the game. It seems like a pretty extreme overreaction - especially since no warning, or chance to edit the name was given - and fans agree after the news got out.
They banned me in the very first match where I used the name. No opportunity [to change the name] was given and no one reached out to me. I’d have changed it instantly if I had been given the option.
As is often the case with these situations, the debacle caused a greater blemish on NetherRealm's reputation than simply letting the variation name be used would have. A new hashtag, #WhyDidNRSDoThis, has gained traction on Twitter were viewers criticize the overzealous punishment.
Since this was "just" a disqualification and not a ban, Titaniumtigerzz can continue playing in future professional competitions, something the athlete has stated that he plans to do.