Assistant coach for the Florida Mayhem, Choi “r2der” Hyun-jin, said he “will look for social service” for the team’s newly signed DPS player Lee “BQB” Sang-Bum. R2der says he wants to “help society” to make BQB pay for what he “did wrong” in the past, when he was found promoting boosting services back in May.
R2der says in his tweet he thinks “even this is not enough” to make up for BQB’s past involvement with boosting. “I’m tired of lying like other teams, and I cannot find forgiveness for what he did wrong, but I want to help society,” another tweet by r2der says.
BQB was accused and punished by his former team X6-Gaming for boosting in May, with the team saying the player’s action had a “negative external effect” on the Overwatch scene. BQB was suspended from the team for three months, and his part of the team earnings for Contenders season two was donated to fans and aspiring programmers.
The reaction by Mayhem’s assistant coach might seem a bit exaggerated when looking at it from a Western perspective. When Philadelphia Fusion’s Kim “Sado” Su-min was suspended for 30 games for actively boosting, not only promoting it, the reaction by the organization was a formal statement apologizing. That is not close to how impacted r2der seems to be with BQB’s signing. But the reaction the Mayhem coach had is understandable when we look at past reactions by the Korean Overwatch community to similar bans.
The Overwatch League South Korean casters refused to say the name of Son “OGE” Min-seok during his debut in the league for Dallas Fuel because he had been suspended for account boosting a month prior. The casters were publicly criticized for their decision, but explained later that this was a subtle protest against boosting. “It was our own way of respecting those who were disappointed by the account-boosting issue. We did not mention OGE during the broadcast because he was still performing in the league, ignoring the fans,” one of the casters said in an interview for Inven Global.
R2der’s statement might be a good call to recover trust from South Korean fans, if they look at BQB the way they looked at OGE in the past. Florida can now field a full-Korean roster after they signed BQB and two more Korean players, so caring about the South Korean fans like r2der is doing has to become a priority for the team.