TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chinese players of the video game Overwatch are calling for the boycott of a famous South Korean player due to his comments on Taiwan and Hong Kong.
On April 12 on the Twitch live-streaming service, popular South Korean Overwatch DPS (Damage Per Second) player Jong-ryeol Park, who goes by the handle “Saebyeolbe,” expressed his frustration with censorship while using the Chinese streaming platform DouYu, reported Kotaku. Park claimed that his managers were limiting what he could say while using DouYu.
During the video, Park complained “I can’t say Taiwan and [Hong Kong]. At all. They [China] don’t recognize them as countries. I got into so much trouble for saying their names" His comments were then translated into English by Overwatch League community translator Gatamchun.
Before there had been any known reaction by Chinese gamers, Park on April 14 posted a handwritten apology on Instagram while not mentioning what had prompted the retraction of his previous comments. “I wanted to write once again to apologize for my inappropriate words on stream,” wrote Park.
He then added that “I will accept all the comments from people and become a player who takes responsibility for their words. Sorry once again for disappointing fans.” Past broadcasts, including the one in which Park complained about censorship, were then scrubbed from his Twitch page.
Nearly three weeks later, on Tuesday (May 4), Chinese Overwatch League teams based in Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou all suddenly started criticizing Park for his comments on Weibo. Some Chinese gamers also threatened to boycott league events if Park was in attendance.
The general manager of the Shanghai Dragons, Yang Van, posted a statement on Weibo rehashing Beijing's 'one-China' policy. He then claimed that Park's apology is not "worth recognizing or accepting" and said that the "total boycott" on him would continue.
Members of other Chinese teams expressed similar sentiments and Park has not appeared in the two matches Seoul Dynasty has taken part in since league play started on April 16. Park has not issued any comments about his absence from the matches, nor have other South Korean players who take part in the Chinese leagues.
SBB on stream— 아나탈 (@gatamchun) May 3, 2021
"I can't call Taiwan, Taiwan. Taiwan is not a separate country. Hong Kong is also not a country. I can't say that. I can't say Taiwan and HK. At all. They don't recognize them as countries. I got into so much trouble for saying their names."https://t.co/z0GOvwXvaM