Professional fighting game veteran Ryan “Fchamp” Ramirez (short for Filipino Champ) has always been known to play the willful villain, reveling in his effortless ability to antagonize the crowd and his opponent.
This time around, however, it seems the Filipino eSports player took the bad guy routine a bit too far. Amid racial tensions in the United States and Black Lives Matter protests sweeping the country, Fchamp posted an insensitive tweet jokingly referencing a known black stereotype.
Last week, Fchamp posted a picture of a watermelon on his Twitter account, accompanied by the hashtag “WaterMelonLivesMatter.” It’s no secret that associating African Americans with an unusual affinity for watermelons has long since been a racial stereotype against the black community in the U.S.
It’s safe to say that the backlash to the social media post was enormous, with people taking to Twitter to voice their disapproval of Fchamp’s antics
Legendary fighting game developer and publisher Capcom was swift to take action, indefinitely banning the fighting game veteran from entering “all Capcom-owned and/or operated events”. This, of course, includes the prestigious Capcom Pro Tour and Street Fighter League.
While Capcom’s ban is certainly the more significant one, Capcom competitions aren’t the only events Fchamp is no longer welcome to.
Prior to the Japanese video game company publicly instating the ban, illustrious fighting game tournaments Combo Breaker and East Coast Throwdown also barred the eSports player from attending their events moving forward.
The bans will undoubtedly have major repercussions on Fchamp’s professional career since all of the games the eSports player specializes in are Capcom games, some of which are featured in Combo Breaker and East Coast Throwdown.
While the veteran Street Fighter player received quite a bit of flak for his ill-timed joke, there have been a surprising number of people coming to Fchamp’s defense. Even people who aren’t fans of the self-proclaimed villain and his antics feel that the bans were a bit excessive.
A common topic of debate regarding the issue is the double standard of condemning the fighting game professional for his insensitive remarks, while other eSports professionals within the same scene have gotten away with far worse in the past.
Fchamp has since apologized for his tweet and has been publicly reaching out to Capcom to clear the air.
Featured image courtesy of Red Bull Gaming/YouTube Screenshot
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