TIME Magazine has named Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon a “Next Generation Leader” of 2019. The Overwatch League player is joined by notable figures such as actress Tessa Thompson and activist Greta Thunberg on this year’s list.
Geguri has come a long way since she was infamously accused of using an aimbot hack in 2016. Since signing with the Shanghai Dragons last February, she has remained a consistent member of the team’s roster and was selected for the 2018 OWL All-Star Game. Her TIME article highlights her unusual position as a top-level female esports competitor, quoting Geguri herself to provide a rare insight into her feelings surrounding the cheating scandal.
Match notifications, latest esports news, and more. Get the Upcomer app now.
“The one thing I learned after the hacking incident is that you should never accuse somebody without proper proof,” Geguri told TIME through a translator. “I was able to get through this whole fiasco with the help and support of my [UW Artisan] teammates at the time.”
Though Geguri is a household name within the Overwatch community, her involvement in a Chinese team makes it difficult for her to reach a broader audience in the United States. As the viral response to TIME’s tweet shows, a profile in the popular magazine will surely increase American awareness of Geguri—and about the adversity that she has faced in order to succeed in esports.
“Since I am the only female player in the whole league,” Geguri told TIME, “I think there are a lot of people who look up to me and see me as a role model...I’m trying a lot harder to inspire others to get to where I am today.”