Chengdu Hunters, Shanghai Dragons, Guangzhou Charge and Hangzhou Spark will no longer boycott activities involving South Korea’s Saebyeolbe.

Chinese Overwatch League teams have lifted a self-imposed ban on Jong-ryeol “Saebyeolbe” Park. The teams will resume normal activities with each other following discussions.

Overwatch League teams rollback Saebyeolbe boycott

Image Credit: Robert Paul/Overwatch League.

Earlier this week, the Chengdu Hunters, Shanghai Dragons, Guangzhou Charge and Hangzhou Spark announced they will boycott Saebyeolbe due to his comments on Taiwan and Hong Kong. The Shanghai Dragons’ general manager said players should focus on competition instead of making ‘bad statements’ . With the May Melee event set to start in a few days, it was imperative that Blizzard resolve this issue. Hours before the start of the May Melee, the four teams ended their boycott of the South Korean player.

“The Overwatch League is a global community, one made stronger by the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of our players and fans,” a league spokesperson wrote in an email to The Washington Post. “In the spirit of sportsmanship and continuing to deliver amazing competition for our fans around the world, the teams have agreed to resume normal activities with one another.”

The Hangzhou Spark said it will resume normal activities with each other based on mutual respect and unity. 

The Seoul Dynasty statement followed similar lines with phrases like fostering healing, better understanding and delivering great competition in use.

Why did Overwatch League teams boycott Saebyeolbe?

The Seoul Dynasty has been trying to expand its reach in China. As part of its efforts, Saebyeolbe streams on DoYou, the Chinese streaming website. The DPS player spoke his thoughts about restrictions on the content he could put out while streaming on DoYou. The player specifically mentions Taiwan and Hong Kong, two contentious issues in Chinese politics. Saebyeolbe also said that in order to make Chinese money, you have to become “China’s dog”. The Seoul Dynasty player went further to say he was a good dog and he knew how to thank viewers for donations in Chinese.

Soon after his statements, four Chinese Overwatch League teams announced their boycott of any activities involving the player. Despite the player’s apology, the teams did not end their boycott plans.

The Overwatch League May melee is ongoing with the top four teams competing in the tournament weekend. 

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Rohan - Content Editor


Content Editor | Twitter: @rohan_esports | Twitch: rohan_3105

Started esports with Dota, moved to CS, then OW, back to Dota 2 and now a bit of Valorant. I love city-building games, have spent hours in Cities:Skylines only to have the traffic defeat me. Love travelling, an admirer of fine movies, writing a sci-fi novel in spare time and coding (Javascript)