Olivia R. September 18, 2019
Seoul Dynasty fans are questioning the appropriateness of a recent Overwatch League Watchpoint segment featuring Jehong "ryujehong" Ryu.
In a preshow episode of Watchpoint that debuted on Day 3 of Week 3 of the Overwatch League Playoffs, the analysts displayed a "2020 Foresight" meter depicting Overwatch League players showing a variety of emotions. Analysts would then use one of the faces to describe how they predicted a team would do in their hometown matches in Season 3.
One of the faces was an image of Seoul Dynasty's ryujehong, a screenshot showing the support main crying during an interview after his team lost to the Hangzhou Spark in the playoffs. In the emotional segment, ryujehong apologizes to the team's fans for their performance this season.
In the Week 3 Day 3 preshow, the analysts referred to him as "cryujehong."
Seoul Dynasty fans angry with Overwatch League Watchpoint
This segment immediately sparked outrage from Seoul Dynasty fans. Many called the clip insensitive and felt it was a meme done in poor taste.
Even Gen.G's chief operating officer Arnold Hur, owner of the Dynasty, took to Twitter to call out the analysts. He called the joke "wack," causing many Overwatch League fans to chime in with their anger over the segment. One Reddit user called the move "pretty disgusting," noting that they'd made an insulting meme out of a "genuine moment."
"By using a picture of these players crying and joking about it, as a coverage team owned by a multibillion dollar company, it really invalidates their feelings and just uses them as meat for 'content.' The fact that all the talent on the team praised jehong for his bravery for crying, but then were okay with memeing about it as if he means literally nothing to them, is insulting. The fact that they don't use any foresight with their jokes is embarrassing. They make it so if you cry you will be joked about," another Reddit user explained.
Other Overwatch League fans started discussing other times where they felt the analysts had been disrespectful to their players. One Twitter account noted their lightheartedness when talking about Hyeon "EFFECT" Hwang's severe mental health issues prior to his retirement.
ryujehong called "the biggest bust" after Hangzhou Spark loss
The Overwatch League analyst desk wasn't the only place that poked at the Korean player after Seoul's loss to Hangzhou Spark.
Popular esports journalist Rod "Slasher" Breslau had some harsh words for the Seoul Dynasty as a whole after their playoff elimination.
"The Seoul Dynasty are by far the most disappointing team in Overwatch League. They have the only OWL Korean franchise in the entire league with the opportunity to recruit the best Overwatch players in the world, and they can't win a single playoff game. Blow the team up," Slasher tweeted.
He then singled ryujehong out, calling him the "biggest bust" in the Overwatch League. It was a statement that clearly hurt ryujehong's feelings.
"I agree. I'm the biggest bust in the Overwatch League. But you need to know that I always tried my best. Sorry," ryujehong tweeted.
Some fans immediately called out Slasher for kicking ryujehong while he was down. They also posted reassuring words for the flex support, some saying they wished they could hug him. Many Seoul Dynasty fans feel that ryujehong actually attempted to carry his "mediocre" team all season.
ryujehong's tough Overwatch League season
While Seoul Dynasty getting knocked out of the playoffs was already enough to make fans stand up for ryujehong in this situation, many noted that this wasn't the only issue he faced this season. To many fans, the Watchpoint meme felt like ryujehong was getting kicked while he was already down.
Earlier this month, ryujehong issued an apology on Twitter regarding a video that had been floating around where he was heard trash talking the New York Excelsior and the Vancouver Titans. Making the situation even more complicated, ryujehong explained that it was a private conversation he was having with a Hangzhou Spark player that ended up being recorded and shared by a third-party who overheard him.
"I spoke brashly and I apologize," ryujehong said. "At the time, I was with Overwatch League players. The Hangzhou Spark player I was with seemed down about his own abilities. So I said something to boost his confidence. That's why I mentioned New York and Vancouver, but I think I spoke without thinking. I apologize for that."
He went on to note that he doesn't think it was appropriate for someone to record his private conversations.
On stream, ryujehong admitted that he's currently afraid to get drinks because of the backlash from the situation. A few days ago, he was invited to get drinks with some Vancouver players, but he declined.
The Seoul Dynasty will represent South Korea in the 2020 season, where ryujehong and his teammates will host matches attended by some of their biggest fans in Seoul.