A professional Overwatch player is getting heat for making a racist gesture toward Korean competitors during a live stream tournament.
The Overwatch League is a professional eSports league for the video game Overwatch, developed and fully controlled by Blizzard Entertainment.
Josh “Eqo” Corona of the Philadelphia Fusion team made a slant-eye gesture after someone compared his skill to a Korean player’s. He said, “I am Korean” while pulling the outer edges of his eyes back.
After the video went viral, Philadelphia Fusion president and Comcast CEO’s son Tucker Roberts responded on Twitter to apologize for Corona’s behavior.
I'm really sorry for the way @eqo behaved. We are working on a punishment now.
— Tucker (@BLT) April 2, 2018
Philadelphia Fusion is owned by Comcast Spectacor, a sports and entertainment company that manages hundreds of stadiums in North America and Singapore. The Fusion has multiple Korean players on its roster.
Corona, who was born in Colombia and raised in Israel, also apologized on a Twitter thread, saying he didn’t mean to offend anyone and it was a gesture of admiration.
At the time I wasn’t aware that this might offend anyone if u watch my stream you will probably know that I love koreans and all I do is compliment them all the time … this gesture was never with the intention to mock someone 1/2
— Eqo (@eqo) April 1, 2018
Obviously l apologize to anyone that got offended this clip got is out of context a bit since I was complimenting the Koreans before the clip and after the clip and did the gesture more in a form of wanting to express myself being like them since I admire them not making fun ..🤗
— Eqo (@eqo) April 1, 2018
Whether he was truly acting out of admiration or not, people were still very offended.
even if your intentions weren't to be cruel, East Asians have long been made into caricatures for our eyes. even if the Koreans in your life aren't hurt by what you did, you're a public figure and have fans who will be hurt. it's never okay to pull your eyes slanted to "be" Asian
— soap.exe (@lifesizedhuman) April 1, 2018
The Overwatch League‘s code of conduct is vague on details regarding punishment for this type of behavior, but there has been speculation that it could be game suspension.
In some past cases, the league has issued a punishment and the team has augmented it as well (Fuel extended xQc's first suspension past what the league imposed).
I think the most important thing is to make sure Eqo understands why his action was a problem and learns from it.
— Andrew Fallows 🔜PAX East (@kaldrenon) April 3, 2018
The Overwatch League code of conduct states: “In no event may any streaming include any video game content, actions, comments, language or other material that could be expected to bring any Player, the League, any of its Teams, any direct or indirect owner of any Team, any executive or other employee of the League, Activision Blizzard or any of its games, products and services or any broadcaster, distributor, sponsor, licensee or other business partner of the League of any of its Teams into Disrepute.”