Envy Gaming management takes action after Dallas Fuel player Lee “Fearless” Eui-Seok spoke this week about racism, which he and his Korean teammates say they have been exposed to in Dallas.
Mike Rufail, the organization’s founder and Chief Gaming Officer, said Envy seeks to increase security and asked others to fight racism when they see it.
I’m deeply saddened by the situations some of our @DallasFuel players have been put in while walking down the street here in Dallas, TX. This is a big city in a proud state. This is not something we should be proud of at all, and we should all work to change it. pic.twitter.com/Sq7MGlco50
̵1; Mike Rufail (@ hastr0) April 6, 2021
Rufail does not often make political statements. He said so himself in the five-minute-long video he posted Tuesday, saying he typically sticks to games and esports. But that was something he had to admit, after Lee’s Sunday clip, which was later translated from Korean into English, discussed the hatred that the fuel received “basically every day.”
“Being Asian here is scary,” said Lee, translated by Florida Mayhem manager Jade “swingclip” Kim. “Seriously. People keep trying to pick fights with us.”
The video comes from Lee’s Twitch stream on Sunday and was later posted to Twitter. Kim’s translation brought several English-speaking members of the Overwatch League community to the conversation.
I don’t know if I “step out of the queue” to translate something about what another team player is experiencing
but here is the full translation of the fearless clip.
see some of what OWL players and staff face as Asians in America. pic.twitter.com/LZWvnRkuAx
– swingchip (@ swingchip930) April 6, 2021
Reports of hate crimes against Asians in the US have been rising since the pandemic started on New York Times, and on March 16, eight people were killed in spas in the Atlanta area, six of whom were Asian.
Rufail wanted the Envy management to know about the incidents with Lee and Fuel earlier so they could possibly pursue action, but was pleased with Lee’s response in his video.
“I wish he would have told us as soon as it happened, so maybe there were things we could do to find out who these people were, and maybe there are things we could have done faster.” said Rufail. “But at the same time, I fearlessly told him that he could always talk about and that he could always be open in public about his experiences.”
Rufail acknowledged that he and Envy cannot control what other people do, but are still looking at ways to increase security. Envy CEO Adam Rymer said on Twitter that the organization is working through opportunities.
“We have discussed the addition of security, personal security. We have already discussed with security in our building, who will, when they are able, try to ensure that the players are safe when they are outside and around the building, ”said Rufail. “I think this will develop a little as we move forward. We are still discussing what we can do to make them feel safe. ”
We work with players and TeamOps to find out the best options.
– Adam Rymer | Envy (@Envy_Rymer) April 5, 2021
In the translations of Lee’s discussion, he mentioned that this happened to him and his teammates daily, and the lack of mask wear was upon them. People even coughed at them and shouted racial accusations.
Being a part of Dallas Fuel has helped Lee and his seven Korean teammates and three Korean coaches.
“That’s why I sometimes wear my shirt on purpose,” Lee said. “If I wear my jersey, I think they are aware that we are part of a team, so they do not bother us so much. But if I wear my everyday clothes, they run up to us, harass us and run away. ”
Rufail said the Fuel players did everything right and that Fearless himself was “caught off guard” by the response and concern from Envy. Right now, his team is focused on its Overwatch League season debut against the Houston Outlaws on April 16th.
Rufail, who said he has experienced racist remarks in esport even during his decades-long career starting as a player, wants his players to feel safe.
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