Biggest Scandals in Streaming in 2018

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The year is drawing to an end, and that means it's time to take a look back at some of the things that happened over the past -- kinda crazy -- year. As with any year, there's been some good, some bad, some weird, and some straight up WTFery.

In this post, we take a look at some of that last category in the streaming community. Large communities have a way of having messed up things happen. And when people live their lives on camera, everyone else is going to know when they've done something questionable.

As with previous years, this one was a mixed bag for streamers. Some drew the ire of specific groups for things they said. Others picked fights with other creators. And some even lost their jobs due to their behavior.

In this post, we take a look at some of the biggest scandals that hit streamers this year. So, let's roll back the wheel of time.

Overwatch pro xQc suspended by Dallas Fuel for a homophobic tirade on stream

This particular event took place at the beginning of last year. The Overwatch League was just a week into its first season and player Felix Lengyel -- better known as xQc of the Dallas Fuel -- had already earned himself a four-game suspension from the league and a $2000 fine. His own team even suspended him from the remainder of the season's first stage.

So what did Lengyel do to earn his punishments? He used a homophobic slur against an openly gay player in an opposing team. Lengyel was reportedly set off when the player -- Austin "Muma" Wilmot of the Outlaws -- jokingly used one of Lengyel's catch-phrases after the Outlaws beat the Fuel in a match.

Lengyel later addressed Wilmot on his own stream, verbally attacking him and taking several jabs at his sexual orientation. (I won't post the quote verbatim here, but there is a video available at the link above.)

Obviously, Blizzard wasn't cool with this, and since they own the Overwatch League, it took them no time to dole out a punishment.

Unfortunately, Lengyel didn't learn from his suspension and was in trouble again just a few months later, prompting the Fuel to part ways with him permanently.

Streamer causes too much drama for a drama-based subreddit

When it comes to drama, it's rare for Reddit to ever get tired of it. But earlier this year they did, in fact, the members of the subreddit r/livestreamfail submitted a petition to have a streamer banned because he generated more drama than they actually wanted to deal with.

The consensus among the subreddit's members is that Jones -- who was obsessed with viewer count, reportedly complained about the success of other casters and even publicly rebuked viewers in his chat for not hitting the subscription button. 

Interestingly, Jones' behavior drew the attention of one of the other streamers on this list -- xQc, who stated he needed to focus on the content. Although, not in those exact words.

Jones eventually addressed the drama, speaking to Polygon who wrote a rather lengthy piece on everything that happened. According to Jones things like his comments about subscriptions were taken out of context and were meant as a joke. He even stated he doesn't try to make drama, that it happens naturally.

Ninja draws ire for saying he doesn't play with female streamers because he wants to avoid the drama

Tyler "Ninja" Blevins is the streamer of 2018, a top Fortnite player who's played with Drake and -- even more recently -- appeared on The Game Awards with a muppet. But that's not to say he doesn't have his detractors, or that he hasn't had his share of gaffes.

Earlier this year, Twitter practically blew up after he explained why we never see him teaming up with any female streamers. Blevins, who is married, hopes to avoid any gossip or drama that might upset his wife. It's not an unreasonable concern. The internet loves to speculate about what celebrities are getting up to, particularly if it seems like there's some form of attraction or flirting.

That said, while his logic might seem sound, it still drew the ire of many for being exclusionary. As many pointed out, Ninja has a massive platform and anyone he elects to team up with gets a big boost.

But it's not just the boost that people were concerned with. Many felt that even if it's not what he intended, Ninja was sending the wrong message regarding women streamers -- especially when female streamers already deal with harassment from viewers and male streamers who are convinced that they're simply cam girls out to use their looks to separate men from their money.

Ninja did try to address the matter, noting that his intent was to avoid online harassment himself, but for many his stance continues to be a problem.

Streamer "Gross Gore" investigated by Jagex after an incident at Runefest 2018

It's only been a few short months since Jagex's annual love fest for all things RuneScape, Runefest took place. Unfortunately, what may stand out the most about the event for some people involves a public altercation between two attendees --  Ali "Gross Gore" Larson, and a RuneScape content creator who goes by the name of "Skiddler".

Since the altercation happened in person, rather than online where everyone could make clips of it and post it to their YouTube channels, there's a bit of "he said, he said" to the situation. That said, Jagex thought it was serious enough to investigate.

News about the encounter between the two personalities hit the internet almost immediately and Skiddler took to his Twitter account to tell his side of the story -- which involved Gross Gore sexually harassing a friend of his. According to the account,  Skiddler's friend told him what happened, so when he ran into Gore outside he pulled him aside to discuss the issue.

Gore then escalated things by pushing one of Skiddler's friends, and a scuffle broke out that resulted in two of Gross Gore's friends holding Skiddler down and kicking him -- after throwing him into the side of a moving car.

Gross Gore, for his part, responded to the whole thing with a video, where he said he didn't mean to offend the woman, but "she was wearing a really, really, really revealing top." He went on to add that, "if you're going to wear something so revealing, people will comment on it."

As for Jagex's investigation, they simply stated that they "found that the content creators concerned did breach [their] code conduct," and that they wouldn't be working with them or inviting them to events in the future.

Gore was also banned from TwitchCon following the event.

Twitch streamer Alinity threatens to copyright strike Pewdiepie for calling her a "thot"

As mentioned elsewhere in this post, a lot of assumptions can be made about female streamers -- particularly any that might be considered attractive. The general consensus among certain groups of (mostly) male streamers is that these girls wouldn't be popular if they weren't using their bodies to attract male viewers.

A popular term used among those that feel negatively about these girls is "thot", an acronym for "that ho over there". It's thrown about often -- and by other streamers and content creators who make some -- or all -- of their living talking about their fellow creators.

Earlier this year, Pewdiepie -- whose seen his own share of scandals the last few years -- drew the ire of Twitch streamer Alinity when he showed a clip of her stream and referred to her as a "thot" in one of his videos. Seeing the video, Alinity addressed it the way all content creators do, by commenting about it live on stream, saying, "Just for that word. I'm going to copy strike him," before telling someone offscreen to do just that.

Following the copyright strike on Pewdiepie, channels reporting on the situation also received copyright strikes from Alinity, who used an agency called CollabDRM to strike any video using clips from her stream.  At one point she's reported to have bragged about how much money she pulled in from the copyright strikes. Even prominent YouTuber Philip DeFranco decided to investigate the whole thing, due to the apparent abuse of the copyright claim function.

Of course, there was the obligatory back and forth between Alinity and Pewdiepie before the whole thing was over. Some spectators continued to take issue with Pewdiepie's use of the word "thot", while others  -- particularly those in the YouTube community -- voiced concerns over the abuse of the company's less than stellar copyright system.

It's not at all uncommon for companies to make dubious copyright claims, and take in all of the revenue from the videos while the creators work to get the claim removed. When that happens, the content creator is just out that money. So you can see why this would be such a huge issue.

That said, it's easy to see why any streamer would be upset at having such a derogatory term used to describe them. But, it also stands to reason that abusing the YouTube copyright system is not the way to handle it.

And there we have it. Some of the biggest streamer-related scandals of 2018. Of course, some of you may have heard of other incidents and wonder where they're at. Well. If they're not here, there are two reasons.

First: Some of what might feel like this year's scandals actually took place in 2017 -- and in one case 2016 -- and there's just been some followup since then.

Second: Yes. There were far bigger things that happened. But to be frank, they were so serious that adding them to a listicle like this one didn't feel right.

 

Published Dec. 20th 2018

Featured Correspondent

Quintlyn is a freelance content creator currently working who also writes for MMOBomb. Formerly, she held the position of General Manager and Editor-in-Chief of Gamebreaker.tv. Quintlyn loves JRPGs, dungeon crawlers, and platformers, although she's an avid MMO fan as well. She can occasionally be found streaming here: https://mixer.com/Miscreation-Q

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