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Published: May 7, 2021

Written by: Edward Pearcey

  • Chinese teams that were displeased with Saebyeolbe’s critique of China have calmed down
  • The drama was caused by the Seoul Dynasty’s member’s remarks on China’s approach to Taiwan and Hong Kong
  • Saebyeolbe has since issued an apology on Instagram

The Chinese teams will be returning to their usual activities after some sort of agreement was reached. 

A Boycott Barely Avoided

After almost boycotting all tournaments and events featuring the Seoul Dynasty team, four Chinese teams have reached an agreement with their Korean colleagues.

The issue started when Hangzhou SparkGuangzhou ChargeShanghai Dragons, and Chengdu Hunters were displeased with Seoul Dynasty’s team member Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park. The latter had made some pretty critical remarks towards the Chinese government on a live stream.

Saebyeolbe pointed out the “One China” policy that claims there is only a single China and Hong Kong and Taiwan are a part of it. Seoul Dynasty’s player claimed that his managers said that “esports players who want to earn Chinese money have to become Chinese dogs.”

In return, the four aforementioned Chinese teams posted on Weibo that they will be boycotting all events, scrimmages, commercials, and exhibition matches featuring Saebyeolbe because of his critique.

The Matter Resolved with OWL’s Help

However, the teams have managed to solve the matter and reach some kind of agreement. This was made clear as an Overwatch League spokesperson issued the following statement:

“The Overwatch League is a global community, one made stronger by the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of our players and fans. We have discussed this matter with all teams involved and the learnings that have come from it. In the spirit of sportsmanship and continuing to deliver amazing competition for our fans around the world, the teams have agreed to resume normal activities with one another.”

The five involved teams also posted their thoughts on the matter. The Chinese teams said they talked about it a lot and have decided to return to their normal activities in order to provide the best competitive experience to esports fans. The professional Chinese players hope to continue playing in an environment of mutual respect and unity.

Seoul Dynasty, on the other hand, promised work in a way that shows a better understanding of others. Saebyeolbe personally apologized on Instagram:

“I will keep this lesson in mind and strive to become a professional player who can be responsible for my words and deeds in the future,” the player said, “Once again, I sincerely apologize to the fans who have been hurt by my improper words and deeds.”

Sadly, his apology was deemed insufficient by Shanghai Dragons’ Yang Van.

Yiheng “Luke” Quin, Chengdu Hunters’ manager, said that professional players should be careful with politics and try to stay away from it.

A boycott might have heavily affected Seoul Dynasty, so it’s for the best that the issue was resolved. In an ideal world, players should not have to get worked over politics. However, we are not living in a perfect world, so we can pray that relationships between teams of different countries will stay amicable and tension will be kept to a minimum.

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