Blizzard Releases New Legendary Mei Skin for ‘Overwatch,’ Gets Accused of Cultural Appropriation

Blizzard is being accused by social media users of cultural appropriation for its exclusive legendary “Overwatch” skin for Mei.

Blizzard announced the new skin on Thursday to commemorate the first Overwatch League tournament for the year, dubbed as May Melee.

The company unveiled a new legendary skin for Mei, a Chinese hero, in honor of the tournament that is scheduled from May 6–8, where she is dressed as an MMA fighter with a cornrow hairstyle.

The skin was inspired by the “intensity” and unique “fashion” of the sport, the company continued.

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“Since the May Melee is the first Overwatch League tournament of the year, we wanted to design a skin that represents the peak of competition,” Blizzard said in a statement. “We felt combat sports like boxing and MMA embodied the theme well and used this to begin designing the Legendary skin. Last year we saw others in the community having fun with the May-Mei pun, and therefore felt Mei was the obvious hero choice for a May Melee skin.”

Frustrated fans took to social media to express their dislike of the new MM-Mei skin’s cornrows, which is a traditionally Black hairstyle, according to PC Gamer.

Another user also pointed out that Blizzard introduced a Black hairstyle into the game, worn by a non-Black character, before a Black playable character.

Other fans defended the “Overwatch” skin, explaining professional MMA fighters wear their hair that way to protect it from getting pulled during fights or from getting it all over their faces.

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Feature Image via Overwatch League (left) and @overwatchleague (right)

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