Although the original tweet received only 1,500 likes, it had a ripple effect on the industry. Others in the community saw his tweet, and began to share their own stories. “For a long time, I was afraid to say anything. I was worried it would ruin me as a content creator because my attacker had influence and a small place of power within the game industry.I’ve seen strong and brave women come forward about their experiences with assault, unwanted advances and discomfort forced on them by men and fellow content creators in our industry. It makes me angry and less afraid to share my story,” said Enola Leone, a content creator and graphic designer, in a Saturday statement on TwitLonger. Two of the most influential streamers accused of sexual assault were competitive game streamer Tom “Syndicate” Cassell and prominent Destiny 2 streamer Lono “SayNoToRage,” who has never shared his last name. Cassell is a streamer with three million followers who’s very publicly landed himself in hot water before — most notoriously after promoting a Counter-Strike skin gambling site called CSGO Lotto without disclosing that he founded it. Over the weekend, two women said that Cassell had forced them into sex while they were in relationships with him. (Cassell, who did not return requests for comment, called the allegations “false” on Twitter.)
Everyone memes Lucky but theirs someone else at the top of the d2 directory who is a a bigger scum lord and people don’t even know the awful things they’ve done— ʜᴏʟʟᴏᴡ (@Hollowtide) June 19, 2020
Later, a streamer who goes by the handle Snaps published a letter she wrote to Lono. In it, she recounted an April 2018 movie night that she and Lono attended, during which she said Lono, at various points throughout the evening, grabbed her hair, repeatedly stared at her, insisted on touching her despite her protests, and talked about how being inebriated made him feel “really liberated… sexually.” There are many cases like these where the victim has shared the story in the form of video, blogs, tweets in response to that here is how gaming industry responded: Facebook Gaming, in a statement, said, “We take all allegations of misconduct seriously and will investigate them thoroughly. We have a clear set of community standards, and we need to work together as a community to tear down toxicity in all forms.”While it investigates, it said it may suspend the account of the gamer in question. Ubisoft‘s three employees known for games like Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance, have been accused of misconduct. Ashraf Ismail, creative director of the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Valhalla game, stepped down from the project to take a leave of absence, according to Ubisoft. Ismail was accused of allegedly engaging in relationships with multiple women while married. “I am stepping down from my beloved project to properly deal with the personal issues in my life. The lives of my family and my own are shattered. I am deeply sorry to everyone hurt in this,” Ismail tweeted on Wednesday. His Twitter account is now deleted. Ubisoft apologized and said in a statement. “Concerning recent allegations raised against certain Ubisoft team members: We want to start by apologizing to everyone affected by this – we are truly sorry. We are dedicated to creating an inclusive and safe environment for our teams, players, and communities. It is clear we have fallen short of this in the past. We must do better.We have started by launching investigations into the allegations with the support of specialized external consultants. Based on the outcomes, we are fully committed to taking any and all appropriate disciplinary action. As these investigations are ongoing, we can’t comment further. We are also auditing our existing policies, processes, and systems to understand where these have broken down, and to ensure we can better prevent, detect, and punish inappropriate behavior.” Evil Geniuses, an esports organisation, also announced on Twitter early this week that it cut ties with two members, Grant Harris and Chris Gonzalez, after several women said Harris sexually harassed them, and racist comments from Gonzalez resurfaced.
I just wanted to play TLOU and now all I can think about is the time I played an entire card game with a notable streamer’s hand on my thigh the whole time and was then basically asked for sex oh and it was Lono so there you all go— JewelsVerne ?️? (@DawktaJawlz) June 20, 2020
Effective immediately, Grant “GranDgranT” Harris has been released and is no longer a member of Evil Geniuses.We have a zero-tolerance workplace policy, and take any accusation of harassment, or a violation of our policies handbook, seriously. — Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) June 22, 2020
Method, another esports organisation, announced Wednesday it would end its relationship with World of Warcraft streamer Method Josh, following accusations of predatory behavior. Co-CEO Sascha Steffens was also “placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the results of a third-party investigation,” it said.
Chris “NYChrisG” Gonzalez has been released and is no longer a member of Evil Geniuses.— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) June 23, 2020
Following allegations of misconduct, Co-CEO Sascha Steffens has been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the results of a third-party investigation.— Method (@Method) June 25, 2020
Twitch also put out a statement on Twitter: “We take accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct extremely seriously.We are actively looking into the accounts concerning streamers affiliated with Twitch and will work with law enforcement where applicable. We’re thankful for the bravery shown by those who have come forward to speak about their experiences, and we are committed to working to make the streaming community safer for everyone.”
Method statement on JoshRead: https://t.co/S8t5eCfeua — Method (@Method) June 25, 2020
Adding to the queue Dota 2 commentator and community figure, Toby “TobiWan” Dawson, has been accused of sexual assault and harassment too. Code Red Esports has dropped TobiWan from its representation, Beyond the Summit has cut ties with him, and Valve has removed his voice lines from The International 10 Battle Pass.
There’s been a lot of important conversation happening over the previous couple days, and I’ve heard your voices. I’d like to share the email I just sent internally to the company on the topic. pic.twitter.com/B1V34lT9EI— Emmett Shear (@eshear) June 23, 2020
Gaming scholars said the community may be more receptive to addressing allegations of sexual misconduct this time around after embracing social activism during the recent Black Lives Matter protests. If gaming leaders start taking action on such misbehaviour against sexual assault, harassment, abuse, bully with no tolerance then sooner it will be healthier gamespace.
Valve has removed Tobiwan’s voice lines from the Dota 2 TI10 Battle Pass following allegations from several women of sexual misconduct pic.twitter.com/tTIYbpRVxt— Rod “4475 SR & Immortal peak” Breslau (@Slasher) June 25, 2020