A Genshin Impact streamer recently drew public criticism after using anti-Chinese language against an ethnically Korean streamer in a disagreement about gameplay.
The incident started as a tame Twitter disagreement about gameplay builds and video usage rights on September 5. It escalated after Kylorren_Lol went on stream and racially berated the creator that he was disagreeing with.
Tenha is a streamer who is known for creating Genshin Impact gameplay videos for YouTube and Twitch. He has been creating videos for the game since launch, which are mostly gameplay guides. He is Korean, but he stated in his video that he admires Genshin Impact-maker miHoYo for breaking global expectations about Chinese games.
Kylorren_Lol is a streamer from Argentina who makes Spanish-language videos for League of Legends, but recently started creating more content for Genshin Impact. A lot of his recent videos feature the character Keqing.
On September 5, Tenha made a video titled “How I accidentally made the BEST Keqing on YouTube.” In a now-deleted tweet, Kylorren said that he intended to create a reaction video to it. Tenha responded that he didn’t give Kylorren usage rights to his video, suggesting that he should use screenshots instead.
Within a day, Kylorren uploaded a Spanish-language stream where he said, “Asians are like that…I’ve worked for Chinese people and they are the worst. The worst people in the world.”
He also said he wanted to send Tenha some Twitch currency so that he could tell him: “What the hell is wrong with you, you shitty Chinaman?”
Kotaku was able to independently confirm the accuracy of the translation, and Spanish speakers did not dispute the content of his now-deleted stream on Twitter. Many of them were apologetic for his behaviour.
The incident has sparked a larger conversation about anti-Asian racism within the Genshin Impact community. On September 7, a different content creator named Atsu, who goes by AsianGuyStream, made a video that directly addressed the incident and condemned the anti-Asian racism in the Genshin Impact community. He asked for viewers to confront racism and to hold content creators accountable for their actions.
That same day, Kylorren stated on YouTube that he intended to put out a public apology. Tenha pointed out that, in the apology video, Kylorren called him Chinese no fewer than five times. The problem is, Tenha is ethnically Korean. It’s already awkward for someone to assume that a streamer is a specific ethnicity from their physical appearance. It gets worse when it’s in an apology video for racial abuse.
Most of these streams and screenshots came from Tenha and Atsu’s social media accounts since Kylorren had deleted most of his accounts. Kotaku was not able to find his apology video or the racist video in question.
Yes, Chinaman is a slur that conveys racist disdain towards Chinese people (or in this instance, anyone who looks Asian). It’s disappointing that Kylorren would tell his community that “Chinese people are the worst” while benefiting from the success of a popular Chinese game. I can’t help but wonder if he thinks that Keqing is also “the worst” because she’s Chinese, or if he only brings out racial slurs against Asians that he disagrees with.
Genshin Impact has been an important piece of media for educating non-Asian players about Chinese literature, culture, and aesthetics. It’s a shame that all of that was lost on Kylorren, who thinks that his proximity to Chinese people gives him the expertise to racially abuse Asian people. It’s clear that Genshin Impact’s global success won’t solve anti-Asian racism alone. Which makes it even more important for the Genshin community to hold their own creators accountable.