The Overwatch League is a global League, which means that from time to time cultures will have issues with each other. Saebyeolbe has stepped into some issues with the Chinese teams and fans due to a statement he made on Twitch. The initial situation happened a while ago, though the Chinese Teams just released a statement about it.
Earlier this year the Seoul Dynasty’s DPS player Jongryeol ‘Saebyeolbe’ Park went on Twitch and made some controversial statements. The team has been streaming on the Chinese platform of Doyou for a while now as a way to reach their fan base in China. On stream, Saebyeolbe talked about how he felt about not being able to talk freely about issues when streaming on Doyou. He understands that he has to be a good “dog” (someone who follows what is being told to them) to make money from Doyou. He joked about how he is a great “dog” because he can even thank fans in Chinese when they donate. It was later said that Saebyeolbe was reprimanded by team staff about his statements about the Only China policy.
This garnered quite a bit of attention, especially with the Chinese fans who felt angry and hurt by his words. Saebyeolbe released a statement on his instagram in both Korean and Chinese apologizing for his actions. He said he was sorry for his inappropriate remarks and that he has been working on learning Chinese so he can actively communicate with his fans. He will strive to be better in the future.
The community was not impressed and called for more action against Saebyeolbe. This was not just from the player but also the Seoul Dynasty, the team that he is a part of. As of now, there has been no statement give out publicly about this situation.
The Chinese Overwatch Teams
The Shanghai Dragons, Hangzhou Spark, Guangzhou Charge, and Chengdu Hunters all had someone put a statement out on the Chinese website Weibo. They are all essentially saying that they do not support Saebyeolbe or any of his activities that he will do. That includes scrims and show matches.
The Shanghai Dragons’ statement talks about that they came together to reach a consensus, based on two points. That China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are indivisible as well as competitive sports should be purely competitive, and should not be used to declare political positions. They also felt that the apology that Saebyeolbe posted was not adequate and would not be accepted.
The community seems to be split. There is much praise coming from the Chinese fans for the boycott. North American fans on the other hand don’t see it as an issue as much. Though there is doubt that Blizzard or the Overwatch League will stand up for Saebyeolbe or the issues he brought up. Others wondered whether this was a statement that needed to happen from the Chinese teams as their owners are all Chinese businesses/corporations? This further shows how split this global league is when it comes to the community. Hopefully, Blizzard will come out with a statement to help unify the community and League.
For now, Saebyeolbe has not been seen in Seoul Dynasty matches, and this could be the answer why. It is still unknown how this will impact the Seoul Dynasty when it comes to matches as well as scrims as they are in the APAC region a majority of the teams are Chinese.
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