Envy Gaming’s leadership is taking action after Dallas Fuel player Lee “Fearless” Eui-Seok spoke this week about the racism he and his Korean teammates say they have faced in Dallas.
Mike Rufail, the organization’s founder and games director, said Envy seeks to increase safety and called on others to fight racism when they see it.
I am deeply saddened by the situations that some of our @DallasFuel Players have been placed while walking the streets here in Dallas, TX. This is a great city in a proud state. This is not something we should be proud of and we should all work together to change it. pic.twitter.com/Sq7MGlco50
– Mike Rufail (@ hastr0) April 6, 2021
Rufail does not usually make political statements. He said so himself in the five-minute video he posted Tuesday, saying that he typically sticks to games and esports. But this was something he had to acknowledge after Lee’s Sunday clip, which was later translated from Korean to English, discussed the hate the Fuels were getting “basically every day.”
“Being Asian here is scary,” Lee said, as translated by Florida Mayhem manager Jade “swingclip” Kim. “Seriously. People keep trying to fight us.”
The video originated from Lee’s Twitch broadcast on Sunday. and then it was posted on Twitter. Kim’s translation brought more English-speaking members of the Overwatch League community into the conversation.
I don’t know if I’m “getting out of line” by translating something about what another team’s player is experiencing.
but here is the full translation of that clip from Fearless.
Please see some of the issues that 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 United States have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic, according to The New York Times, and on March 16, eight people died at spas in the Atlanta area, six of whom were Asian.
Rufail wished the Envy leadership knew about the incidents with Lee and the Fuel sooner so they could take action, but was pleased with Lee’s response in his video.
“I wish he had told us as soon as it happened, so maybe there were things we could do to find out who those people were and maybe there are things we could have done earlier,” Rufail said. “But at the same time I told Fearless that he could always speak his mind and that he could always be open publicly about his experiences.”
Rufail acknowledged that he and Envy can’t control what other people do, but they are still looking for ways to increase safety. Envy CEO Adam Rymer said on Twitter that the organization is working on options.
“We have talked about adding security, personal security. We have already spoken with security in our building, who, when they can, will try to make sure that the players are safe when they are outside and around the building, ”said Rufail. “I think this will evolve a bit as we move forward. We are still in the process of discussing what we can do to make them feel safe. “
We are working with players and TeamOps to find 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 on a daily basis, and that the lack of wearing masks concerned them. People even coughed at them and yelled racial slurs at them.
Being a part of the Dallas Fuel has helped Lee and his seven Korean teammates and three Korean coaches.
“That’s why I use my shirt on purpose sometimes,” Lee said. “If I put the shirt on, I think they realize that we are part of some kind of team, so they don’t bother us as much. But if I put on my everyday clothes, they run up to us, harass us, and then run away. “
Rufail said the Fuel players were doing well, and that Fearless himself was “caught off guard” by Envy’s response and concern. Right now, his team is focused on their Overwatch League season debut against the Houston Outlaws on April 16.
Rufail, who said that he himself has experienced racist comments in esports during his decades-long career that began as a gamer, wants his players to feel safe.
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