Four Chinese Overwatch League teams have taken a stance and will boycott all events involving Seoul Dynasty’s Saebyeolbe.

Four Overwatch League teams have announced a boycott of Jong-ryeol "Saebyeolbe" Park. Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Shanghai Dragons, and Hangzhou Spark have refused to take part in any activities involving the player. The Seoul Dynasty player made some controversial statements about freedom of speech on the Chinese streaming platform. He has since released a public apology.

OWL teams boycott Saebyeolbe

Four Overwatch league teams have announced their boycott of Seoul Dynasty player Saebyeolbe. The teams feel his statements about freedom of speech in China is unwarranted and the player should confine himself to the competitive environment. Here are the statements by the four Overwatch League teams.

Shanghai Dragon’s general Manager, Yang ‘Van’ Van released a statement on Weibo.

As a well-regarded and well-liked public figure in China, he should understand his public position, assume his social responsibility, focus on competition and focus on the game, rather than making bad statements that are wrong and challenge the sovereignty and unity of other countries.

The Shanghai Dragons will not take part in any activities involving Saebyeolbe such as Scrims and interviews. The other teams have also condemned Saebyeolbe's statements. This is the first time OWL teams have boycotted events with a player.

What did Saebyeolbe do?

Saebyeolbe has been streaming live on the Chinese streaming platform, DoYou as a means of expanding the team's fanbase into the Chinese mainland. During a recent Twitch live session, the player spoke about how he was not able to talk freely about some issues while on Doyou. These issues included discussing topics such as Taiwan and Hongkong. 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, according to this Reddit thread.

The four teams have only named Saebyeolbe in their statements which make no mention of Seoul Dynasty. One can assume there should be no problems for the teams to compete and interact with the Seoul Dynasty. However, this boycott could spell trouble for Saebyeolbe’s thriving Overwatch League career. 

Saebyeolbe Apologizes

Saebyeolbe's hand-written apology note. Screengrab via Saebyeolbe's <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Instagram</a>.
Saebyeolbe's hand-written apology note. Screengrab via Saebyeolbe's Instagram.

The Seoul Dynasty DPS player has already issued an apology on social media. However, Shanghai Dragons' Jan feels this apology was not enough and the boycott will continue.

[...] although the player did release an apology afterward, I personally don't feel that this apology deserves to be recognized and accepted, so a full boycott of the player will continue

The Overwatch League has not issued any official statement on the teams’ decisions. We will keep this article updated with more information as it becomes available.

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