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Overwatch Esports Pro shares stories of “horrifying” anti-Asian racism

A professional Overwatch player shared his experience with anti-Asian racism on the Twitch stream earlier this week, describing life in America as an Asian man now as “horrifying.” Eui-Sok Lee, also known as Fearless, is currently a pro signed with the Dallas Fuel Overwatch League team. Although from South Korea, Lee currently lives in Dallas, Texas at the Fuel Training Center.

Professional sports players, such as Lee, occasionally lead streams in Twitch, where Lee shares with his audience his experience in the United States during the pandemic. During the stream, Lee talks about what it’s like to live in Texas during that time. The state recently eased Covid’s restrictions by reopening the city while repealing the mask̵

7;s mandates.

“It’s pretty scary; people don’t even wear masks here, so that worries me, “Lee said during his stream.

This drew Lee to talk about his encounters with racism while he was in Texas. “Being Asian here is awful,” said Lee, who described incidents where people would come to him, take off their masks and cough.

Lee says he sometimes wears his team’s jersey when he comes out as a deterrent. “If I have my shirt, I think they realize we’re part of a team, so they don’t bother us that much, but if I’m wearing my everyday clothes, they run to us, they harass us, then he runs away.”

Attention to anti-Asian racism is growing, especially in the last year, when the rhetoric surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, such as when former President Donald Trump called it the “Chinese virus.”

“They call us Chinese, then they harass us. Racism is unspoken here, “Lee said at one point during his stream.

Incidents of anti-Asian racism have escalated in the United States, ranging from attacks on elderly people to a shooting in Georgia that killed eight people, six of whom were of Asian descent.

Team Envy CEO Mike Rufail turned to his personal Twitter account to condemn the harassment his players faced while in Dallas. “It’s a great city to be proud of. This is not something we should be proud of at all and we should get involved to change it, “Rufail writes.

Rufail says measures are being taken to ensure the safety of players when they go out, but no specific details were provided during Rufail’s video.

In a statement to IGN, a spokesman for Activision Blizzard also condemned the harassment. “At Activision Blizzard, we condemn racism with the strongest possible conditions. We are together with the Asian community, our employees and our players and we work throughout our organization, including sports, to tackle hatred and ignorance.

MattTM Kim is an IGN news editor.

Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment

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