C9 White Bob Addresses Hate Received During Game Changers Championship

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
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Cloud9 White player Bob took to Twitter to voice her thoughts about the hate she received during the recently concluded Valorant Game Changers Championship.
Bob was on the receiving end of many transphobic comments during the tournament.

The Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) Game Changers was created by Riot Games to provide new opportunities and exposure for women and other marginalized genders within Valorant esports. Recently, Riot Games hosted its first-ever Game Changers World Championship in Berlin, Germany where teams from around the world participated. One of the tournament favorites Cloud9 White was eliminated early on in the event and G2 Gozen went on to win the Championship. However, last week, despite the good reception and positivity the tournament saw in general, the main broadcast saw numerous transphobic comments. On 22nd November,  Cloud9 White’s Bob “Bob” Tran spoke about what she had to endure during the Game Changers Championship. 

Bob took to Twitter to state that the hate she received during the tournament was hurtful and that she was also human.

Bob talks about her Game Changers experience

On the first day of the Game Changers Championship, there were many transphobic comments on Twitch chat and many people quickly took to Twitter to compile them. Most of the comments were directed mainly at Bob, who is a transwoman. After seeing the hurtful comments, many prominent Valorant personalities and players voiced their frustration and lent support to Bob. 

On 22nd November, Bob wrote, “I don't know if I should even be sharing this publicly but the hate I was getting during Berlin was unbelievably hurtful and for the first time, I struggled to ignore it and even felt like I deserved it. I try my best to control my emotions but at the end of the day, I'm human.

Twitter user lolyx first pointed out the evident transphobia in chat on 16th November. They wrote, “This is sad. People still haven't changed after years of women in pro esports/sports. I feel bad, especially for Bob, with over 75% of hate comments toward her. (This was only half of the last series after most people had already been banned for sexism/transphobia.)

In a reply, one of the Twitch chat moderators for Riot Games broadcast wrote, “Please send me or direct message me ANY individuals you feel were breaking any of Riot Games ToS (terms of service). I will handle it appropriately - Riot Games Mod Squad.” The moderator also explained they are a team of 50-75 and that they’re confident they can still do the job.

Quote Tweeting this thread, host Yinsu Collins wrote, “This is just a fraction of what women and marginalized gendered players have to deal with and it’s absolutely unacceptable. These competitors are putting themselves out there for a shot at a trophy and there is nothing but admirable about that, also Bob owns you.

Yinsu added, “That chat 100% needs to be moderated better, on a positive note though all of the behind-the-scenes support Riot has put in for this tournament has been amazing, a lot of great effort coming from them to uplift and hero build the girls.

Despite the tournament being successful on paper, appalling comments like the ones directed at Bob and other marginalized players show the true state and mentality of the community. Game Changers was created to smash the deeply rooted issues of sexism and gate-keeping in esports. Instances like this only echo the need for more inclusive support circuits for women and marginalized communities in esports and gaming.

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Sadakshi has been a gamer throughout her life and has followed League of Legends since Season 3, immediately falling in love with the esports scene. Bringing in her print journalism experience, she focuses on content that is both informative and innovative. While her heart still remains with League, her love for competition has pushed her to explore other titles such as Valorant and Apex Legends.

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