A Korean pro gamer based in Texas is going viral for stirring a discussion around discrimination against Asian and Asian American players in the US.
During a recent livestream, Lee “Fearless” Eui-Seok, a player for the Dallas Fuel “Overwatch” team, commented on how being Asian in the US is “terrifying.”
During his stream, which was translated by another team’s manager, Lee mentioned how people in Dallas would approach him and his fellow Korean players, and pretend to cough on them.
“Being Asian here is terrifying. People keep trying to pick fights with us. There’s even people who cough on us.
“They’ll deliberately cough on us. The racism here is no joke.”
“They call us Chinese, then harass us,” Lee added.
Upon viewing Lee’s video, his team’s management condemned the harassment and promised to protect players by having security escort them.
The mere thought of not being able to stand alone in a hallway for the fear of someone harassing you because of your race is heartbreaking.
Unfortunately for Asian Americans, this isn’t new.
The growing number of anti-Asian hate crimes within the US has left many Asian-Americans navigating through a cloud of consistent fear. What’s more, a sufficient number of top esports players in the U.S. hail from East Asian countries, with more than half of the Overwatch League’s players originating from South Korea and China.
Their experience with racial abuse has left them demanding for change. On April 7th, Dallas Fuel assistant general manager Helen “Dear” Jang commented on the harassment in several tweets.
“Hey hey hey, some people just DON’T get the point. Instead of nitpicking on my coworkers’ hard work + effort and instigating with the intention of painting an entire org in a bad light, WHY NOT spread awareness and educate others on how to be a decent human being?” she wrote.