To celebrate the upcoming May Melee Overwatch League tournament, developer Blizzard has dropped a new legendary Mei skin that gives the Overwatch hero an MMA-inspired look. But the change hasn’t been well-received, as the community is torn between loving and hating Mei’s cornrows, with a segment of players citing this as yet another form of cultural appropriation from a big-name studio.
The skin, which is called MM-Mei, sees the Chinese character don a boxer’s robe, “Frost”-emblazoned gloves, and even an MMA-inspired belt. The point of contention, however, is Mei’s hairstyle. In the legendary skin, Mei is wearing cornrows, a type of braided hairdo typically associated with the Black community, often used to tame knots and foster growth.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) April 28, 2021
Players took to Twitter to respond to the skin. Some have demanded the Overwatch team “listen to the black people complaining that you gave her a black hairstyle,” arguing that the skin is shortsighted. Others cited the myriad ways Blizzard could’ve styled Mei’s hair while still evoking an MMA-inspired look, including a buzzcut, twin braids, and various kinds of ponytails.
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Source: Game Spot Mashup