- A Korean professional player in Dallas said he and his teammates encounter racism every day.
- Lee Eui-Seok, who plays under the name “Fearless,” spoke on Twitch about his time in Dallas.
- “Being Asian here is scary,” Lee said. “People keep trying to fight with us.”
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A Korean professional player based in Dallas, Texas, said he and his teammates experience “unspeakable” racism every day.
Lee Eui-Seok, who plays in the Overwatch League for Dallas Fuel under the name “Fearless,” spoke about his experience on a
“Being Asian here is scary,”
—Swingchip (@ swingchip930) April 6, 2021
Dallas Fuel is in the process of reconstructing its roster after three consecutive lost seasons. All eight members of the team’s current list are Korean as well as three of the team’s coaches.
Lee talked about some of the challenges he and his teammates face: “People keep trying to fight us … There are even people who cough at us … They cheat on us while they laugh.”
Lee was traded to Dallas Fuel from the Shanghai Dragons in November and was named a “Role Star” in 2020 for his abilities as a “tank” in the video game.
Dallas Fuel’s Chief Gaming Officer and founder, Mike Rufail, confirmed in a video posted to Twitter that several members of the team have received racist remarks and were threatened in Dallas.
—Mike Rufail (@ hastr0) April 6, 2021
“We do everything we can to make our players feel comfortable,” Rufail said, “they are part of our family.”
Rufail also said the organization works closely with the team to increase security.
Lee said the racism he faces is a new phenomenon
Lee told viewers on his Twitch stream that he never experienced any racism while living in Los Angeles in 2018
“It was peaceful back then,” Lee said, followed by a long pause before comparing it to his experience in Dallas. “This is my first time ever experiencing racism … It’s pretty serious.”
He said he sometimes wears his team jersey around town in an attempt to avoid harassment and racism. He noticed that he receives much more hatred when he just wears streetwear.
Activision Blizzard, the company responsible for the Overwatch League and the creator of the video game itself, told Polygon in a statement that it supports its Asian employees and the community.
“At Activision Blizzard, we condemn racism in the strongest possible terms,” the company said. “We stand with the Asian community, our employees and our players and work across our organization, including esports, to do our part to combat hatred and ignorance.”
Representatives from Blizzard and the Overwatch League did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Lee sent a warning to other Koreans who may be considering moving to the United States.
“I think Koreans living abroad need to be careful,” Lee said.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in late March that the Department of Justice will review its handling of anti-Asian hate crimes within 30 days.