It’s been a weird week for the video game community. And I mean weirder than a normal week, which is usually pretty strange.
Things started with some surprising accusations about Destiny 2 streamer SayNoToRage which quickly spilled over into an emerging #MeToo movement which, in just a few days, saw many streamers and video game developers fall out of favor, including the director of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and other Ubisoft executives.
Twitch released a statement so generic that it really is not worth printing, but I will do it anyway because we have to do our duty as journalists even if the giant companies can’t be bothered by the slightest shred of transparency.
Great, how noble. However, truth be told, Twitch does not have a particularly remarkable reputation in this regard.
Most of what we know so far comes from a few with internal sources like eSports journalist Rod Breslau who is, in my humble opinion, one of the best video game journalists on the planet and someone whose work you must follow. He tweeted that the reason for the ban is not related to the DMCA and that his sources told him the reason, but he is not comfortable sharing it publicly because of the sensitivity of the subject:
Beyond that, mom is the word.
But now, Dr. Disrespect himself has spoken, sending a public tweet on the Twitch ban:
“Twitch did not inform me of the specific reason for its decision … Firm handshakes to everyone for support during this difficult time,” writes Beahm.
I have some problems with this. First and foremost, it makes no sense. There are two big reasons why it makes no sense and probably several other smaller reasons.
Reason # 1 – Why wait so long to tweet this very brief statement? If Twitch banned me, and I was a top streamer, and they didn’t tell me why. . . I would be on Twitter in a flash saying it. I wouldn’t let all of this mystery and gossip go wild online without at the very least saying “Hey, I have no idea what’s going on right now and Twitch won’t tell me.” Beahm waited a day before tweeting anything. There may be extenuating circumstances to this – he may be camping in a remote wilderness, perhaps – but for now, that makes no sense.
Reason # 2 – This statement reveals only one data point – that Twitch did not tell Beahm why it was banned. This leaves aside other important factors, such as whether or not Dr. Disrespect is aware of the reason. It goes without saying that whatever happens, he knows it. It seems incredibly unlikely, given reason number 1, that he is unaware and completely unaware of the reasons for the ban. whether Twitch contacted him directly or not. If sources tell reporters like Breslau what’s going on, the doctor himself is surely aware.
Unless . . . something worse has already happened and Twitch and the handful of people who know what’s going on are not allowed to say anything to Beahm. It brings up very bad scenarios that I won’t go into here – it’s not polite to speculate on something of this nature, after all. But it’s certainly strange, and Dr. Disrespect’s statement only adds to the confusion and fear that we all feel about it.
Frankly, I would like more transparency from all parties involved. All that this opacity and nonsense of silence feeds speculation and rumor and nobody deserves it. The truth will come out, as they say. It’s always like that. May as well tear off the dressing and finish it off. The fact that Twitch didn’t even tell Beahm the reasons (assuming it’s true) is absolutely absurd. It is certainly not a way to treat one of your biggest stars – even a star of which I am not personally a fan. It’s very, uh, disrespectful.
I hope that we will get to the bottom of this soon.
It was interesting to see the reaction of this article online. Some people seem to agree that everything is rather shady. Others have accused me of – well, I’m not sure what.
Write a horrible and ugly article that attacks Dr. Disrespect or, alternatively, that I am a fan of crazy Doc (the line “filled with terror” has apparently been considered by some to be very literal as opposed to the tongue in the cheek. Everything is lost in the translation).
Others have accused me of hiding an opinion piece as a simple story, but my blog is almost entirely made up of opinion pieces. I rarely report direct news. I am a critic and a thinker. I do not think I have drifted into idle speculation and I have certainly not made any accusations or posed theories. I just said that things don’t add up and that this whole thing is somewhat troubling. It’s hard not to drift your mind very bad things when we just don’t know anything and everyone who Is know that something will not be commented publicly on this subject, because it is so “sensitive”.
We haven’t yet heard anything substantial from Dr Disrespect or Twitch, either, without further statements from either side. This may be due to the fact that Twitch simply does not share information when issuing a permanent ban according to Breslau:
“food for thought,” Breslau tweeted on Sunday. “Twitch does not give specific reasons to streamers for permanent bans. MethodJosh was banned following a sexual assault report, and Twitch never commented publicly or privately. Josh and Ice Poseidon were informed of “other violations of the T & Cs”. “
Meanwhile, there is a big conspiracy going around this new Brime streaming service that streamers Ninja, Shroud and Dr. Disrespect were apparently going to move together. The theory is that Twitch got wind of Doc trying to poach streamers to get to Brime and that’s why he was banned.
I don’t think this theory holds a lot of water for a variety of reasons, and you should read Paul Tassi’s breakdown here explaining why it makes no sense (and has no verifiable sources).