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Sh1ro responds to the Sticker drama

Sh1ro was at the center of a storm in a teacup that quickly got out of control. neL, a CS reporter known mainly for his work about the french region, tweeted the following: 

For reference, this is this year’s sh1ro’s sticker. As you can see, there is a squiggle under his signature which can be read as a Z. As Richard Lewis pointed out in his twitter thread, there seems to be a belief that the Z symbol is a way of showing support to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. neL followed the previous tweet with this one:

He didn’t directly say any of what is written in this tweet, but the idea that the change could’ve been “provocative” implies at least a modicon of blame towards the player. Quickly big figures in the scene, especially Richard Lewis and Thorin, jumped into the discussion to point out how much of a stretch this is, and the consequences it can bring to sh1ro. 

It’s well known that Russian people are under scrutiny due to nothing other than their own nationality, anti-Russian sentiment is at the largest peak it’s been since the Cold War and these sort of allegations, malicious or not, only serve to feed the hate machine. 

neL has since changed his account to protected, likely due to the massive backlash he is facing now, and it seems that the community has sided with sh1ro. The sticker’s designer has come out and said that he was the one designing it, and that the design was sent before the invasion even began. Richard Lewis’ thread points out that sh1ro not only hasn’t shown any support towards the Russian invasion, he has publicly denounced it with all other Cloud9 (ex-Gambit) players. 

Today sh1ro has personally tweeted his view, in a very succinct and simple tweet:

Hopefully the matter will be put to rest. Russian players are already under a massive amount of pressure just due to the situation their country’s in, any unnecessary drama can just amplify the stress they’re in, making their lives harder than they already are. These are professional players playing a video game. Let’s leave the politics out of it, at least as much as we can.

Images via PGL