March 9, 2012: “A culture’s icon reflects its core set of values.”
The above quote is from a statement posted by Evil Genius’s Alex Garfield upon the firing of Orb as an official caster for EG, after it became apparent he didn’t have a problem with bandying about the n-word here and there. Not only that, there were suggestions after the fact that Orb had tried to lie to EG about whether he had or had not ever even uttered the word, like a massive idiot that doesn’t understand this is the internet, full of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drews.
Following his statement, the oft-well-shoed Mr Garfield pleaded: “For those of you who complained to our sponsors: if you’re satisfied with what I’ve written here, please re-contact them to let them know you’re happy with us - really, please do it. For those of you who didn’t initially complain, but are satisfied with this post nonetheless, I’d also ask that you contact our sponsors to let them know you support us.”
August 29, 2012: The Spirits Are Ruthless In The Paths They Choose:
After some incredibly-fucking-public shenanigans from a woman scorned, who released dem dick pix™ and - the e-guillotine - an unfortunate chat log, Destiny is let go from ROOT.
CatZ stated: “In the last incident that Steven was involved in not long ago, our sponsors received a lot of negative feedback through e-mail about the whole situation, when it comes to Steven, we know that this isn’t the first or the last time this will happen.”*
August 9, 2012: So a Saint and a Magpie walk into a gay bar…
The AFL fines St Kilda forward Steven Milne $3,000 for a homophobic slur he made on field to Magpie Harry O’Brien, despite the fact O’Brien had made no formal complaint…
Sunset, what the fuck is the AFL?
The Australian Football League.
No, Australian football.
…what the fuck? Esports - do you speak it?
Shut up and listen.
A statement from the St Kilda Football club read as follows: “As a consequence of this breach, Milne will be sanctioned $3000 by the FC and be required to undertake an AFL Education Program to address the inappropriate nature of his comments.”
The statement also urged fans of the football club to contact sponsors they complained to and…
..oh, wait, no, sorry.
They didn’t do that.
They didn’t do that at all.
October 12, 2012: Topple you down from your sky, 40 stories high**
Evil Geniuses releases a statement via their website that Stephano has been suspended for the month of October due to his streamed in-game conversation with Bling, where he said a broken-English something about abusing a 14-year-old. They also state that the matter is “still under review” and that they “do not consider the matter closed.”
On Reddit, SemiProJoe wrote the following: “I work for Monster Energy and handle everything gaming related. I received a lot of emails on the Monday following the event, forwarded from our customer support email. Trying to explain this situation to my boss and the head of customer support is not easy. This can not only effect sponsorship plans going into 2013, it could get myself (or whoever is in charge of team sponsorship’s) in trouble or fired. Please have some common sense people. Without sponsor’s money, teams can not afford players or travel expenses.”
Can.ni.bal.ism (noun): The practice of eating the flesh of your own kind.
It’s hard to know where to even fucking begin with you people.
I could write an essay about the use of language. In fact, I did, and I removed it, because you’ve all heard it before, and I’ll either be preaching to the choir or banging my head against a brick wall, depending on your view.
Let’s get a couple of things straight.
Why YOU’RE Wrong:
When you are a professional representing anything, whether it be a progaming team or a company you work for in a normal job, you have to be mindful of how you act and the things you say in public.
Now, in esports land, a land that exists online for the most part (until a large live event brings us all together in a sweaty, drunken, nerdy mess), “public” means much more than it does in real life. Streams, forums, Twitter, Facebook, Twitch chats - these are all public places.
That’s just the way things are - fucking watch your goddamn mouth***.
If you want money and support from whoever you represent, that’s the trade-off. There’s no way around it. Suck it up, princess. Drink a cup of concrete and harden the fuck up. You’re not 12. That’s life.
Why People Who Mail Sponsors Are Wrong:
I wish we could get some kind of sociodemographer to get out their sociodemographic machine to work out the sociodemographic of the kind of person who directly mails sponsors immediately after an incident like this.
In fact, no, scratch that. That’s too fucking difficult.
I want to know what percentage got the idea from Reddit/TL/4chan.
No, no, wait, we can do better than that.
I want to know what percentage would email the sponsors of their favourite sports team if a player had said something they found offensive, and what percentage would just call on the team to discipline the player.
It’s not different because it’s video games and the internet, understand?
You all get overexcited in your anonymity, how easy it is to copy and paste and click “send”.
If you want to punish the player, go to the team.
Going to the sponsors only hurts all of us as a whole.
Do you enjoy your streams with high production value? You enjoy having Tastosis flown out to all the tournaments you want to watch? Do you enjoy predominantly free, high-definition streams?
Do you think magical esports fairies come down from the fucking sky, sprinkle their magical esport fairy dust, and this shit just appears?
It takes money, you asshats.
Why would sponsors want to stick around in the industry if they’re going to get an avalanche of emails every time something happens, like we can’t handle our own shit?
We can - you’re just children.
Why EG Are Wrong:
OK, so maybe “wrong” is a strong word. We’ll go with “inefficient”.
Trickling of information instead of definitive actions only feeds the stupid troll dolls, slobbering around with their hate full of slobber.
I don’t want to hear Stephano’s pulled out a tournament from fucking TLO on Twitter, then go on TL and see a statement from EG but delivered by the tournament organiser that doesn’t explain anything, and then a few days later get the actual statement that Stephano had been suspended.
What is that? Don’t do that to me, man. I love you. Why do you hurt me?
I’d say create some kind of policy so stuff like this can be dealt with quickly, but being EG, I’m sure they have, and perhaps it was the nature of the particular incident that greyed some areas ie: Stephano thought he was having a little joke about 14 year olds in private (AS YOU DO, YOU KNOW, HUHU), therefore he felt he wasn’t “on duty” for the navy blues.
It’s OK to be transparent about this shit. I understand it’s a business and some things need to be kept behind closed doors and pass me that tinfoil hat, it matches my eyes, but it’s OK to say something like “We have a policy regarding these issues. However, due to the complicated nature of what occurred, we are working to reach an agreement blah blah blah rhetoric rhetoric, Love, Evil Geniuses.”
That’s not only OK, that’s fucking brilliant.
What legs upon which will the trolls of the earth stand if there are definitive updates periodically if a decision on a punishment can not be reached immediately? No sponsors could ever argue you weren’t doing everything you could to resolve the issue.
Gosh, I’m so smart.
They should give me a job.****
I understand there’s a bit of an anti-movement around the professionalisation of esports.
And that’s cool, mate.
But, fuck, don’t you want to see where we can take this?
I understand it’s hard to stop the Troll Train when it’s going full speed ahead from Dissatisfied With Life, express to It’s So Bad I Have To Fuck With Everyone Else.
But I think one thing unites us - trolls and normals, together, in harmony.
I like competitive games.
I like competitive games a lot.
I’m shit at them, but I like them.
You could say I love them.
If competitive games were an attractive man - let’s call him Larry - I would’ve run off and married Larry when I was 16 and not told my mum.
Now, when I was 16 (ITWASAWHILEAGO), I could not have even started to dream about what the competitive gaming world has become. MLG, IPL, NASL! Real leagues, darn fuck it, with attractive commentators who wear ties and progamers who are quirky with such different personalities and stories of hardship and struggle and sky-high success and horrible falls from grace.
And I love seeing it all in high-definition while I sit in my ugly sweatpants.
Don’t you love it?
Don’t you want this to stay, to watch it grow?
Like an esports tree with esports fruit, providing esports shade for all the nerds?
So how about you try not pissing on it before it’s even begun?
*The editor in me is screaming that should be two sentences. CatZ is handsome, clever and talented, so I forgive him this indiscretion. If ROOT needs an editor, though, (AND YOU DO, I READ YOUR WEBSITE), you know where to find me. I swear a lot, but I don’t lust after 15 year old girls in public OR private, so you don’t need to worry about that. *mouths “Call me,” winks*
** I am so, so sorry for quoting Lana Del Rey lyrics - I can’t help it. You can practically hear how her lips look when she sings. Hnng. Call me hipster if you will. I drink enough lattes and live in Melbourne so I’m 80% there anyway. Come at me, brosephine.
*** I don’t represent anyone. Feels good, man. (Not really. No-one will ever let me do anything in esports for money. I am a liability. At least I know that. *SINGLE TEAR FALLS DOWN THE FACE OF SUNSET*)
**** They won’t.