Japanese pro gamer released from team for body shaming remarks [Update: another member has been released]

Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-02-17 16:16 JST)


[Original Text 2022/02/17 17:28 JST]
Japanese eSports team CYCLOPS athlete gaming has released former member Tanukana for inappropriate remarks made during a livestream.

CYCLOPS athlete gaming is an eSports team that was established in 2016 and is based in Osaka, Japan. The team has performed well in FPS events for games such as PUBG BATTLEGROUNDS and Rainbow Six Siege and has competitors active in the fighting game scene for games such as Street Fighter V and Dragon Ball FighterZ.

Tanukana was a member of CYCLOPS athlete gaming as a Tekken player. She placed 3rd at ComboBreaker 2017 and was the runner-up at Tekken World Tour Online 2017 (Asia-Pacific East) along with a host of good results at other events.

However, it was pointed out during her livestream on February 15 that she had made inappropriate and body shaming remarks when she repeated, “men under 5′ 6″ don’t deserve human rights (人権),” and “women with A cups don’t deserve human rights.”

The key here is the Japanese word jinken(人権), which means humans rights. In gaming circles, it refers to game characters or items that are considered must-have in order to progress. The word is also used to troll those who don’t have these jinken characters or items.  Perhaps Tanukana took the word lightly due to how it’s used as slang, but even so, she later repeated critical body shaming statements making it seem like more than just poor word choice or exaggeration.

The following day, CYCLOPS athlete gaming released a statement apologizing for such statements coming from one of their members. Later that evening, Tanukana apologized as well, tweeting, “Those statements were unbecoming for an eSports competitor and an adult.”

And then on February 17, CYCLOPS athlete gaming announced the termination of their contract with Tanukana saying her words and attitude weren’t something they could approve of which led them to the decision. The eSports team also emphasized that discriminatory and insulting language isn’t acceptable, and that diversity is important for everyone.

Tanukana is also sponsored by Red Bull, but her information has already been removed from their athletes page. It seems possible this incident could impact other contracts with the competitor as well.

Tanukana’s harsh remarks regarding body and gender up to this point are well known among fans, but perhaps repeating these offenses also contributed to her contract termination. As of now it is unknown what Tanukana’s next move is.

[Update 2022/02/18 17:05 JST]
Following the release of Tanukana, CYCLOPS athlete gaming announced they have also terminated their contract with Kbaton. Kbaton was active as a content creator and manager of the team’s Call of Duty division.

While they haven’t stated their reason for releasing Kbaton, it’s thought to be due to past problematic remarks. After the uproar over Tanukana, Twitter users went through past tweets from Kbaton revealing repeated discriminatory statements regarding homosexuality and disabled people. Kbaton has since deleted their Twitter account.

Whether these statements were the reason behind Kbaton’s termination has not been confirmed. At any rate, CYCLOPS athlete gaming competitors and eSports competitors in general may find their words coming under harsher scrutiny. There are also some calling out Ayagator, another CYCLOPS athlete gaming competitor, for past discriminatory remarks.

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