Dota 2 Casters Accused of Sexual Harassment
On June 21st, multiple prominent female Dota 2 personalities made several allegations about instances of sexual harassment that they have encountered in the esports community. Popular Dota 2 casters, Andrew "Zyori" Campbell and Grant "GranDGranT" Harris were called out during the discussion about this matter.
Ashnichrist’s Allegations against Zyori
Twitch streamer and founder of Stream Coach Ashnichrist, in a Twittlonger post, alleged that Dota 2 caster Zyori had harassed her in the aftermath of The Summit 2. After these allegations were made public, Zyori responded to these comments on his Twitch stream.
The Summit 2 After Party and Zyori Lying About Sleeping With Ashnichrist
According to Ashnichrist, Zyori invited her to the Summit 2 after party. They slept together in the same bed since they were both intoxicated. While nothing happened between the two, Zyori asked if he could lie to the community and state that something did. Ashnichrist says she agreed because she felt like she owed Zyori something for hiring her for this event.
According to Zyori, during The Summit 2 after party, after hitting it off and confirming that she was indeed interested in him through a mutual friend, they slept on the same bed. He too confirmed that since they were tired from the event, nothing happened. He acknowledged asking her if he could lie to his roommates (he clarified that it wasn’t the community) and say that they something did indeed happen that night in order to look cool in front of them. She agreed to this proposition.
Christmas at The BTS House
Ashnichrist said that she was invited to Christmas at the BTS house, following this incident. She said she knew he was going to try (to sleep with her) but she went through with it. She got her period on her first day and stated that she could only hang out with him. However, she claims that he pressured her into having sex for the entire week even though she thought it was wrong.
Zyori, on the other hand, corroborated that he invited her over to the BTS house for Christmas and that she agreed. He acknowledged that Ashnichrist said that she was on her period, so she says they can still hang out, but nothing more. He stated that he said the period wasn’t a big deal for him.
“The whole period thing in this (Ashnichrist’s Twittlonger) is construed. Me saying that it is not a big deal is not ‘a pressure you into sex’ thing. It was a ‘you don’t need to feel weird about it’.”
He confirmed that they did sleep with each other during this period but that he thought that it was mutually consensual up until now.
The Bloody Bedsheet Picture
On her flight back home, Ashnichrist was allegedly sent a picture of a bloody bed sheet. She did not speak out about this before because she thought that he would use the picture if she ever said anything.
Zyori said that he remembered sending the pictures, but he doesn't remember the context. He says that he probably sent it because he thought it was funny and that he never meant for it to appear as a threat.
Ashnichrist made some strong statements in her Twitlonger post, stating:
Looking back, I wish I knew so many things. I wish I knew if it felt off, it probably was. I wish I knew if it wasn't a "Hell yes" it was a "Hell no". I wish I knew rape could be subtle.
She also added that she doesn’t want to hear a response from Zyori. According to Ashnichrist, she was also harassed by other members in the esports community, but that she couldn’t reveal their names since they had “a level of influence over her current career” and hence she is still scared.
In Zyori’s livestream, he stated that he felt used as a result of this and that he did not know that Ashnichrist harboured such feelings.
It would have been great if we could have had any conversation, any dialogue or anything about this. Even if it was, right after she went back home after Christmas. It makes me sad that she never communicated any of this negativity to me to even give me a chance to try and empathize or apologize or have a moment of "holy shit dude, I am so sorry".
Waiting five years, then dropping this bombshell, it makes me feel guilty, but it feels like it is kind of by design.
Update - 28th June 2020
Since then Ashnichrist has apologised for using the word 'Rape' in her Twittlonger and added that Zyori doesn't deserve that tag. However, she also added that she stood by everything she has said.
Zyori's Follow Up Video in Response to Kips' and Ashnichrist's claims
- Zyori asked everyone to empathize and reflect on the stories that the victims share. He also requested everyone to not attack the brave people sharing the stories of their harassment to strive for a bigger change.
- Zyori first talked about the Ashnichrist incident, specifically the portion about him asking her if he could tell people at Beyond the Summit that they had sex even though they did not. He explained that this happened because of the social pressure in the work environment at BTS. Being bisexual, Zyori also explained how he let himself gave in to the social pressures brought by the “bro culture” even though he felt uncomfortable in that male-dominated working setup. It was a difficult process to accept himself and knowing that he passed this pressure to someone else made him feel terrible.
- He added that he was unaware of power dynamics back when it happened. Even though he was just a struggling caster at that time, Ashnichrist felt that he may have the power of ruining her career – which was why she was pressured to say yes. He states that he has realised this now, after conversations with multiple people in the industry.
- Zyori also denied the allegations of having a systemic predatory behaviour, saying that he hired people solely based on the merit of their work and not on any ulterior motive.
- Zyori once again stated that he thought the thing with Ashni was mutual and felt that he had all green lights to make a move. He also talked about how it was the same with Kips, saying that he felt a mutual attraction between them, that was why he invited her to an after-party. “The pattern here is just that I had a desire to try to meet people that had the same interests as me.”
- To conclude he stated that even though he was unaware and surprised of the allegations, he hoped that these stories will help the gaming community be a safer place. He also reminded everyone in the industry to be aware and responsible of the power dynamics that they may be unaware of, as well as taking this time to learn and be reflective of their actions.
Allegations Against GrandGrant at TI7 After Party
In an entirely separate thread, popular North American caster GrandGrant was accused of inappropriate behavior at The International 7 after party.
@cofactorstrudel, a Mobile game scenario writer, who attended the International 7 after party claimed that an intoxicated caster slurred at her and literally wouldn't let go of her hand until she wrenched it off him with all her strength. She later revealed that this person was Grant Harris a.k.a GrandGrant.
GrandGrant publicly apologized to her for this incident and stated that what he did “is inexcusable, alcohol or not” and that he wants to talk and learn what he could do to help the community.
Other Dota 2 esports personalities including Sajedene and Reinessa have also talked about instances where they were sexually harassed.