Sentinels Valorant Star zekken apologizes to fans after mistranslation led to hate comments

Declan Mclaughlin

Sentinels Valorant star Zachary ‘zekken’ Patrone apologized on social media after Chinese fans hounded him online over a mistranslated clip from his stream where he called himself a “China hater.”

The clip in question was from a May 27 stream in which zekken chose how he thinks the bracket stage of VCT Masters Shanghai will play out in a pick’em.

The Sentinels player hovered over the first-round matchup of EDward Gaming vs. Team Heretics and said: “I’m a hater. I’m a China hater. F*** man, I got Heretics.”

This comment spread around Chinese social media with fans misinterpreting zekken’s words, thinking that he said he hated the country and Chinese people.

People flocked to his Twitter/X page where they left some disturbing comments under his most recent post at the time, along with photos of the pro’s face over a monkey or calling him “bobo.”

“Your mouth is as bad as your origin,” one social media user said according to a machine translation.

The player’s agent, and Valorant esports fans in the game’s subreddit, were quick to set the record straight after the clip blew up.

“To clarify: his words on stream were about the “Chinese VCT League” (VCT CN) and not China as a country or people from China. And we are very sorry to all the people in China if it was misinterpreted. It’s more of a cultural/translation issue, as by using “Hater,” zekken simply meant that he doubts the VCT CN Region can win the matches he was predicting, or the Masters, due to their previous results – and nothing more,” Jérôme Coupez, the CEO of esports agency Prodigy, said on social media.

The stream in which he called himself a “China hater” has since been removed from his Twitch channel.

On May 28, zekken took to social media to apologize to any fans he may have offended through the misunderstanding and explained his comment in depth.

“Yesterday during my stream I was doing predictions and said “I’m a China hater” when I picked heretics over EDG. I had no racist intention in saying that, in easier terms, I was saying that I don’t believe in VCT CN this tournament. I have absolutely nothing against China or any of its players,” he said.

“I understand how when translated what I said can come off as very hostile. I apologize to anyone who may have interpreted it in that way as it wasn’t my intention at all when I said it.”

X users praised zekken for addressing the issue and also said the controversy wasn’t his fault.

“Things just get lost in translation sometimes man. hope they understand it wasn’t meant maliciously,” One social media user said.