Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon, the professional Overwatch player accused of cheating because she was “too good,” said the allegations had nothing to do with her gender.
Geguri posted a string of tweets Tuesday about the controversy surrounding her debut as she was accused by a couple of other professionals of cheating. According to her, the allegations had nothing to do with her being a female high school student but rather because of a bug in the game.
“Hello, this is Geguri,” she wrote. “I’m writing this after giving it a lot of thought. I wasn’t suspected of cheating because I was a female, or because I was a female high school student. Many people tend to bring what happened up differently from what had actually happened, and although it is painful to have it continued to be brought up, it’s even more painful to have it be talked about incorrectly. I hope any group out there stops mentioning my story in an inaccurate way.”
Geguri’s story started last year as Overwatch exploded in popularity in South Korea. As a member of team UW Artisan, she displayed incredible skill as Zarya in a tournament hosted by Inven, the Nexus Cup. But after UW Artisan’s quarterfinal match against Dizziness, a post surfaced on Inven accusing Geguri of cheating. A few members of Dizziness jumped on the controversy, claiming Geguri’s skill was “unbelievable” and making some inappropriate comments about her.
Through a monitored stream hosted by Inven, Geguri proved her skills were legitimate, and the team captain of Artisan, Park “Lime” Si-hoon, made a long post about the amount of hate the team received in the aftermath. Lime also revealed Dizziness bet their careers on the fact that Geguri was cheating, apology posts later appeared on Inven, and the two players who were most visibly engaging in the controversy were removed from the team.
Geguri says the controversy could not have been about her gender because no one from Dizziness even knew her gender at the time of the alleged cheating.
“I was under suspicion because of an observer bug and my skill, not because of my gender,” she continued. “During the controversy, our opponents weren’t even aware that I was a female.”
The incident has since transcended gaming and into an issue about sexism and misogyny, as plenty of hateful comments were aimed at Geguri’s gender after the incident. Geguri has been championed as a female gamer who was questioned because of her gender and rose above it. But Geguri said she didn’t want any part of that notion, which has resulted in more comments from Korean fans that seemingly further made Geguri a polarizing figure.
“I don’t want people to use my story as a way to forward their own ideologies,” she wrote in two separate Tweets. “I didn’t raise anyone’s hand. I am simply a shut-in who likes video games and dreams of playing professionally. Twitter is a place where I communicate with my fans. I don’t want it to become a battlefield.”
Geguri later she clarified her statement to say she “doesn’t want to be a symbol of any sort,” and asked people to leave her friends and teammates alone.