Popular Valorant Streamer banned after misogynistic rant

Valorant Youtube Streamer and Experimental Rapper IShowSpeed was banned (opens in new tab) of all Riot titles after a video of him verbally abusing a female player appeared on Twitter.

The video, which was posted to Twitter by FullSquadGaming co-owner Jake Lucky, shows IShowSpeed ​​triggering a verbal rant against a female player after receiving some mild criticism from another player over her performance. In the clip, IShowSpeed ​​repeatedly calls the player a “bitch” and asks “Is a woman talking to me?” before saying “get the fuck out of the game and wash your husband’s dishes”.

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Lucky’s tweet caught the attention of higher-ups on YouTube and Riot Games. Responding to Lucky, Riot Game Producer Sara Dadafshar he said (opens in new tab) “we don’t want players like that in our community”, before stating that she had “permanently banned” Valorant’s IShowSpeed ​​and “every other” Riot games. Meanwhile, responding to the same thread, YouTube’s global head of game creators said he was “In him” (opens in new tab)although at the time of writing this article, the IShowSpeed ​​YouTube account is still active and accessible.

IShowSpeed ​​has since issued an apology (opens in new tab) for his behavior, responding to Jake Lucky and Lester Chen with a video stating that he was “not having a good day” as he was getting “too many racist messages” and that he was “completely wrong”. Indeed, there are another video (opens in new tab) in replies to Lucky’s tweet, where IShowSpeed ​​asks how to heal in-game, to which both teammates respond that “Only white characters can heal”.

However, IShowSpeed ​​must have a lot of bad days, as this isn’t the first time he’s said deplorable things to women. Further down the thread are other videos of his antics. Inside 1 (opens in new tab), he says “Fuck you, you fucking bitch” to a player who tells him to “stop screaming”. Another video shows him asking a woman in a group video chat if she would “play” with him if they were together on a desert island. When she says no, he replies “who’s going to stop me?” before starting to yell at her.

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In fact, the whole IShowSpeed ​​gimmick seems to be a mixture of incandescent rage from the player and saying things of varying degrees of displeasure, which has seen his account become one of the fastest growing gaming accounts on YouTube, with over 7 million subscribers. Some elements of the gaming community came to the defense of IShowSpeed. Perhaps most notably, Daniel “Keemstar” Keem defended the statements of IShowSpeed (opens in new tab), saying “it’s small talk, in a video game” and “they’re not actual statements”. He also stated that IShowSpeed ​​is minor, though there is some uncertainty about his age, with reports ranging from 16 to 19 years old.

Talking trash has been a part of video game culture for almost as long as multiplayer games. John Romero’s famous phrase “suck it down” derives from smack-talking when testing Doom’s multiplayer with id Software’s bods in the early nineties. But just because something has a cultural history doesn’t mean it’s right, which is why we play video games for entertainment instead of going to the local bear hunting pit.

Also, regardless of whether or not IShowSpeed’s words have meaning behind them, such aggressive and obscene statements can be traumatic for the person receiving it, especially when you add in the broader context of the abuse and harassment women experience. in the gaming industry. Time. IShowSpeed ​​is also doing this on a massive platform with an audience of millions of viewers, many of whom are likely to be impressionable young viewers. In short, it’s a dark affair throughout and, as in many other cases, both Riot and YouTube probably should have acted long before that.

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