Anti-Asian sentiment is a dangerous issue in the U.S. and, unfortunately, Overwatch League players haven’t been immune to discrimination in their communities.
Dallas Fuel main tank Lee “Fearless” Eui-seok recently spoke about the racism and harassment he and his teammates have faced in Dallas on his personal stream. He said that strangers will call him “Chinese” and cough on him in public, leading him to rarely go out in anything but the team’s uniform.
The entire 2021 Dallas Fuel roster hails from South Korea and recently settled in Dallas to begin practicing as a localized unit. That experience apparently hasn’t been without problems, though.
In a clip from his stream, originally brought to light by a Twitter user, Fearless details the horrible things that he and his team have faced since moving to Dallas.
“There are people who come and cough on me,” Fearless said, according to community translators. “They cough on purpose and cuss at us and laugh.” Texas recently lifted a statewide mask mandate and Fearless said the lack of masks is “worrisome.”
Fearless also said that when he and his teammates are out in public, strangers are “saying things like ‘fucking Chinese’ at us and calling us Chinese.” The main tank has admitted he wears his jersey out of the house because fewer people will approach him if he has it on.
He isn’t the only South Korean national experiencing this hatred in Dallas, however. Paris Eternal general manager Molly “AVALLA” Kim also detailed her harassment in the original Reddit thread about Fearless. Overt racism when she was not accompanied by a team made her stop shopping in local supermarkets and switch to online shopping.
Harassment against Asians and Asian Americans has spiked in the U.S. over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With a majority of the Overwatch League hailing from South Korea, Fearless is likely not the only player experiencing this horrific treatment.