Dota 2 Caster Zyori Accused of Pressuring Kips for Sex
As more people in the Dota 2 esports scene share stories of being abused, Murielle "Kips" Huisman (former coach of Mineski, TNC and Complexity) has backed Twitch streamer, Ashnichrist’s allegations against Andrew "Zyori" Campbell.
Kips claimed that Zyori had pressured her for sex, twice. She stated that she was making these allegations because she wanted to support Ashnichrist who alleged that Zyori had raped her.
Disclaimer: Zyori has not publicly responded to these allegations at the time of writing this. AFK Gaming has not been able to independently verify these allegations.
Kips’ allegations against Zyori
- Kips stated that Ashnichrist’s story about Zyori was true and that he tried the “exact same thing” with her at TI5.
- She alleges that he pressured her at the TI5 afterparty, to which she claims she was invited by Zyori himself. She stated that Zyori invaded her personal space by “basically slow-dancing while pressed all the way up” to her when Kips thought this was a friendly gesture and not a date.
- Kips added that she felt indebted to him (because of the invite to the afterparty) but that she said no.
- She also stated that Zyori tried this once again at Kips’ home in the Netherlands when he stopped by, where he was firmly told no once again.
- Kips added that she had spoken to Zyori about this yesterday (June 23rd) and that she understood why this happened. She published this story to illustrate that “these things happen on a spectrum and therefore also never, ever stand on their own.”
- She also said that she did not consider Zyori as a friend (because of these incidents) and that she considers him simply as a colleague.
AFK Gaming reached out to Zyori for his response before publishing this article, but has not received one at the time of writing.
Update - 28th June 2020
- 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.
Kips' Response To Zyori
Kips also wrote down her thoughts in response to Zyori and shared it on her social media pages. She stated:
- She stated that she felt morally obligated to support Ashni since she had "also experienced Zyori engaging in predatory behaviours."
- She states that it is important to have these conversations and that there needs to be a nuance about it. She states that this lack of nuance is 'cancel culture'. Kips added that there are many conversations to be had that don’t involve “cancelling” either Zyori or herself and that these conversations were necessary to build a better community.
- She states that none of her statements accused Zyori of rape and that she (and Ashnichrist) do not want him to be removed from the community. She also added that she spoke to HotBid from BTS and Zyori's co-caster Trent about this.
- However, she also stated that this did not mean that Zyori did not abuse his position to pressure Ashni or her. She, however, admits that Zyori didn't seem to have done knowingly or with malice.
- She also stated that if Zyori was given this example ten years ago, he wouldn’t have made the mistakes he now regrets. She added that his example is vital for making a stronger community and for changing the underlying work culture which contributed to his behaviour.
Over the last 48 hours, various personalities in and around the Dota 2 scene have shared their stories about abuse.
On June 21, Twitch streamer and founder of Stream Coach Ashnichrist, in a Twitlonger post, alleged that Dota 2 caster Zyori had raped her in the aftermath of The Summit 2. After these allegations were made public, Zyori responded to these comments on his Twitch stream stating that he thought that the relationship was mutually consensual up until this point.
North American commentator Grant “GrandGrant” Harris was fired from Evil Geniuses following multiple allegations of sexual harassment. A rape accusation was also made against the caster by an anonymous person via cosplayer Wicked.
Several other members in the Dota 2 esports scene including former J.Storm coach Jimmy "DeMoN" Ho and former Digital Chaos co-owner Thomas Hancock were also called out in harassment claims. Other prominent members of the Dota 2 community including TI3 Champion Joakim "Akke" Akterhall, streamer Lara “hoxieloxie”, Ken "Hot_Bid" Chen and former streamer TheFluffiestBunny also talked about instances where they went through harassment.