In 2016, Jae-mo “Xepher” Koo was part of the Korean Overwatch team that wrongfully accused Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon of cheating. Just two years later, Xepher is a flex tank player for the Overwatch League’s Seoul Dynasty, while Geguri is the league’s first woman.
Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon. Photo: Shanghai Dragons
According to the manager for the Korean team, Dizziness, the accusing players promised to apologise to Geguri and retire from pro Overwatch if she could prove she wasn’t using illicit hacks. After Geguri proved she wasn’t cheating, three players wrote apologies and quit (here, here and here). The team manager also wrote an apology in which he defended the remaining three players on the team: “The other team members Friez3, Flow3r and Janus are not at fault.”
Back then, Xepher used the gaming handle Friez3. Both Flow3r and Janus have kept their gaming handles and both ended up on New York’s OWL team. Despite their former manager denying the involvement of all three, Xepher was the only one who couldn’t shake his past when he tried to join a new team.
In January 2017, Xepher got signed to KongDoo Panthera’s Overwatch League team, but the celebration didn’t last long. Just hours after announcing the signing, the team recanted its decision. KongDoo’s coach made a statement via Inven Global that “pro players and teams should be responsible for not only their performance, but also how they speak and act”.
The next day, Xepher posted an apology on Inven in which he admitted partial involvement in the cheating accusations back in 2016:
While it is true that I agreed with the former Dizziness team members in calling for Geguri to post her video regarding aim hacks, apart from that I have not participated in or contributed to any other controversy. I am still reflecting on my actions for causing Geguri harm by agreeing that the video should be posted.
Xepher concluded the letter by apologising and saying that he still hoped to continue his professional career – unlike the other accusers, who apologised and retired as promised.
Jae-Mo “XepheR” Koo. Photo: Blizzard Entertainment
The following April, Cloud9 picked Xepher up for their team. By the time Xepher signed on with Seoul’s Overwatch League in October 2017, his former association with Geguri seemed to have been mostly forgotten.
Since Geguri Se-yeon joined the Shanghai Dragons Overwatch League team last February, though, she’s gained an influx of new fans who have been looking into her history and the false cheating accusations. Whenever Shanghai plays Seoul, fans post about the supposed rivalry between these two pros.
Last week, however, the Shanghai and Seoul teams’ social media accounts posted photos of their players hanging out – including images of Geguri and Xepher sitting at the same table (along with their teammates), as well as standing next to each other in a group shot of both teams.
Geguri put the beef to rest in a Twitch livestream this week, saying:
I think there’s been a lot of talk about Xepher recently. Our relationship wasn’t bad in the first place, nor did we ever talk to each other. He never did anything to personally harm me, and I don’t think it’s right that the controversy around him started because he was on the same team (as the accusers).
It’s all in the past, and I don’t have any ill feelings towards him, and I hope we can all get along. Since we’re both in the OWL and play the same position, I think we’ll just motivate each other. I really don’t have any ill feelings, you know? But the media was being negative.
Really, our relationship was never bad? Really. I’m really OK. Don’t worry, and just have fun watching OWL. We both play the same position, and he plays DVA really well. I have a lot of things to learn from him.
I also learned a lot from Zunba. There was even a time where I prayed about wanting to play as well as Zunba before a match. Also I ate with Xepher recently (with the rest of Seoul) and we talked. His eyes were very sparkly, it was cute.
Geguri has seemed immune to drama since joining the league. She even plays casual matches with fired Overwatch League pro and notorious shitstarter Félix “xQc” Lengyel.
Still, if this all seems like an improbably rapid and peaceful resolution, remember this: Geguri was 16 when the allegations were levelled, and Xepher was 19. To a teenager, two years may as well be a century, but retiring “forever” is still just too damn long. Xepher’s lucky that Geguri let him have the anti-climactic ending of becoming friends instead.