#MeToo hits esports: Gamers allege predatory behaviour in industry

An accusation against a famous gamer has opened the Pandora’s Box in online gaming community

Anthony ‘Scantzor’ Hodgson, former coach for Entity Gaming, a top Indian ‘Dota 2’ team, has also opened up on this issue | Representative Photo: iStock

The #MeToo movement has now rocked the online gaming community with women involved in the professional esports industry now speaking up about incidents of predatory behaviour.

Recently, Grant ‘GranDGranT’ Harris, a well-known figure in the world of ‘Dota 2’, an online battle game, was accused for his “questionable behaviour” towards women in the industry. And it was this accusation that opened the Pandora’s Box in the online gaming community.

A Twitter user, using the handle @cofactorstrudel, first claimed on June 21 that she was put into an uncomfortable position by a caster (a commentator in online gaming) back in 2017 at the after-party for ‘The International 7’ (TI7), an annual ‘Dota 2’ tournament. The tweet led to a string of events and she finally revealed that the person in question was ‘GranDGranT’.

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Following this, ‘GranDGranT’ apologised to her and admitted to the transgression made by him while replying to the tweet. He has now taken a break from ‘Dota 2’, and has been removed from his position of a ‘streamer’ (a player who streams his game online) at North America’s biggest esports organisation, ‘Evil Geniuses’ (EG).

The incident prompted many other women, who faced similar situations with ‘GranDGranT’, to open up about their experiences. Anthony ‘Scantzor’ Hodgson, former coach for Entity Gaming, a top Indian ‘Dota 2’ team, has also opened up on this issue.

‘Scantzor’ claimed that such behaviour by ‘GranDGranT’ is quite well-known in the world of professional ‘Dota 2’. He further alleged that ‘GranDGranT’ is a repeat offender who has shown a pattern of harassing and degrading women.

He said that the best known example of GranDGranT’s behaviour was the incident he had with ‘LlamaDownUnder’, a fast-rising caster in ‘Dota 2’ who had to eventually leave the community due to his behaviour.

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GranDGranT’s predatory behaviour was even proven in court and it’s a fact that he was supported by several senior talents in the field. ‘Scantzor’ added that he has permission from ‘LlamaDownUnder’ to mention the incident even though she was not comfortable coming out in the open about it herself.

In another latest revelation, Kelly Jean, a cosplayer, accused her boyfriend ‘Henry G’, a famous caster, of sexual assault. Cosplay, or costume play, refers to the hobby of dressing up in costumes to represent a specific character that is meaningful to the wearer.

‘HenryG’, a caster and analyst for ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’, however, refuted the allegations, and defended himself saying that it was the trauma due to another incident, which is not related to him, which prompted Kelly Jean to make this accusation.