Professional gamers who treated their fans like trash

Fans are fundamental to professional gaming. Think about it — without someone sending in Twitch donations or rooting on their favorite esports team, people who play games for a living couldn’t follow their dreams. Unfortunately, some streamers and esports stars have taken their fans for granted and failed to return the good vibes sent their way.

These professional gamers mistreated their fans in a number of different ways. Some apologized and promised to do better. Others seemingly moved on and either kept on playing or found some other line of work. If there’s something everyone on this list has in common, though, it’s that they all learned this: what happens on the internet typically stays on the internet.

Be warned: some of the content below delves into tough topics like sexual harassment and suicide. Also, people can change, so something that a gaming star did in the past may not reflect their actions now. With that out of the way, here are professional gamers who treated their fans like trash.

mmDust said he was 'bigger' and 'better' than the average person

Speedrunner mmDust called himself “bigger” and “better” than his viewers at a TwitchCon 2018 panel, turning many fans off of his content. During Q&A, an audience member told him that she valued streamers that she could relate to. He responded that his viewers “shouldn’t relate to him” because he thinks of himself “as above the average person.”

The statement came off better in the context of the panel, but it cemented an unfriendly reputation that began with his branding. According to Dexerto, the “sub perks” panel on his channel at the time stated that as a sub, you could use his emotes — that was it. There were no other rewards to speak of, and mmDust was apparently eager to let visitors to his channel know, “I DON’T WANNA HANG OUT WITH YOU ON DISCORD.”

However, it is worth noting that mmDust made his statement in an environment that would encourage a hostile response to his viewpoints. When talking to The Verge, he mentioned that he knew from the start TwitchCon had him on the panel because of his controversial views. He also clarified his position, saying that he appreciated his chat and simply wanted to set healthy boundaries with his viewers.

InvaderVie said non-subscribers were bad with money

InvaderVie stated on stream that anyone who had time to watch her Twitch channel should be able to afford subbing to her channel. “If you have time to watch Twitch, you have $10,” she argued while hanging out with her chat. She mentioned that anyone who didn’t have the $5 to $10 to sub to her wouldn’t have time to watch Twitch because they “should be working.” In InvaderVie’s eyes, apparently, if you consider yourself too broke to sub to your favorite Twitch channel, it means you’re irresponsible with your money.

To add salt to the wound, she said this during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic with the world on the brink of an economic crisis. The clip dates back to April 2020 — about a month after the coronavirus began to hit North America and a few months after it had visited other parts of the planet.

As fate would have it, InvaderVie’s comments caught the attention of Pokimane. The popular streamer tweeted, “if 5$ is an irrelevant amount of money, then she shouldn’t need the 5$ from your subscription

Smite streamer DM Brandon berated a donor after they mentioned attempting suicide the previous year. The viewer tipped $5 and thanked him for making Smite a “positive outlet” for them when they discovered his videos after getting released from care. DM Brandon responded that while a lot of streamers would appreciate the message, he was just going to call them “an a—hole.”

He called suicide a “selfish, stupid thing to do” and told his viewers to watch someone else to watch if they didn’t like his opinion. According to DM Brandon, everybody has anxiety and depression, and a lot of them get through the day without putting a burden on others. “You’re putting a burden on me that I don’t deserve,” he said.

DM Brandon was a professional caster for Hi-Rez Studios, the developer of Smite, at the time of his statement. After he made these comments, he left his position at Hi-Rez due to the backlash. “I couldn’t believe what I said. Because I didn’t mean it and I certainly did not mean for it to come out as it did,” he explained in the Twitlonger announcing his departure.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Gross Gore harassed and assaulted fans and fellow streamers

Runescape streamer Gross Gore reportedly made several fans of his work and of Runescape uncomfortable at RuneFest, the official RuneScape convention. Fellow streamer Skiddler also attended the event that year and claimed to have heard several accounts of Gross Gore’s actions.

“I had heard from various women who were there that Gross Gore had made inappropriate, sexual remarks to them, which made them feel incredibly uncomfortable,” Skiddler wrote on Twitter. 

One of Skiddler’s friends was reportedly harassed by Gross Gore. Even after the friend made it clear that she felt uncomfortable, Gross Gore allegedly kept making comments, going so far as to involve other people in the harassment, as well. The situation reportedly escalated to the point that Gross Gore got in a fight with Skiddler over his behavior. After Skiddler told him that his actions were unacceptable, Gross Gore became hostile. Skiddler tried to deescalate the situation, but Gross Gore shoved one of Skiddler’s friends. When Skiddler tried to protect his friend, Gross Gore and some of his friends physically assaulted him.

After hearing reports of Gross Gore’s treatment of fans at RuneFest, Twitch punished him for his actions. He received a 30-day suspension from the platform and was banned from attending TwitchCon.

SavageBabyDoll didn't want poor people watching her stream

Streamers in the Twitch Partner program often run incentives to get viewers to subscribe and encourage support from their fans. However, a streamer named SavageBabyDoll took this attitude to the extreme. In December 2019, SavageBabyDoll streamed a custom “boxfight” lobby in Fortnite, and Twitter user gh0stty_ reportedly posed a message asking if only subscribers could join. He asked in chat, “Do I have to be a sub to do these boxfights?”

After reading ghostty_’s question, she told her mods to look at the chat and “ban every little poor person who can’t afford a sub.” They followed through with her directions, and shortly afterward, ghostty_ was banned from her stream.

Someone in ghostty_’s Twitter thread with the clip screencapped a statement from SavageBabyDoll on the matter. She stated that ghostty_ was acting rude to her and that she meant to tell her mods to ban him in particular. “I’m sorry it was clipped wrong, but I didn’t mean it like that,” she explained. It appears the damage was done, though — at some point, SavageBabyDoll’s Twitch channel was taken down.

RealMKTomBrady stole hundreds of dollars from his fans

In one of the biggest lies in streaming, pro Mortal Kombat player Tom Brady (not to be confused with the football player of the same name) reportedly scammed his viewers out of $600 in donations. YouTube channel theScore esports reported that, after raising the money to attend a tournament in Philadelphia, he didn’t show up.

While Twitch Partners often take general donations to use as they please, Brady’s fans earmarked the money for the tournament. Since Brady didn’t use the $600 as he promised, fans demanded to know where it ended up. Brady told them that after paying the hotel and venue fee, an expensive Uber ride used up the rest of the money, so he couldn’t compete.

Another streamer reportedly called him out on his statement, and it turned out that Brady had lied about his Uber ride. He admitted to forging a receipt that he shared as proof of his expenses and said that his fans wouldn’t get the tournament fund back. Right after the incident, more people alleged that Brady had conned them in the past.

zilianOP didn't actually need wheelchair donations

In 2013, Diablo and World of Warcraft streamer zilianOP unintentionally revealed that he had been scamming his fans for his entire channel history. After becoming known as a streamer who used a wheelchair and asking for donations for disability-related expenses, he suddenly got up out of his wheelchair and walked away on-stream.

A clip from YouTube shows the incident happening. “I’ll be back,” zilianOP said, then walked away from his wheelchair. You can hear his girlfriend shout “oh my god” when she realizes his mistake, then try to distract the chat with a story about going to the fish store. When zilianOP returned to his keyboard, he explained in chat that he “pushed off [his] chair and ate it.” According to him, his dog dumped water on his wires and he threw himself out of his wheelchair in response.

zilianOP ended up losing his channel as a result of his lies. In response to Kotaku’s request for comment on the situation, Twitch stated that “The Twitch broadcaster, Zilianop, did indeed have his channel closed and his partnership contract terminated on the basis of fraud.”

Kuku disrespected his Chinese fans

The South China Morning Post Abacus reported that Professional Dota 2 player Kuku angered his Chinese viewers — who made up a large number of his fans — when he posted a racial slur against them in chat during a game. The backlash was so significant that Valve banned him from attending the Chongqing Major tournament in China.

In response to Kuku’s actions, his team, TNC Predator, became adamant that the Chinese government was trying to discourage him from playing the Chongqing Major. These statements and Kuku’s post angered Chinese fans to the point that they review-bombed Dota 2.

Valve ended up taking accountability into their own hands. As Valve reportedly stated at the time, “responsibility resides with teams to handle these types of issues professionally. When they fail to do so, we will step in.” Since it did not seem that TNC Predator would hold Kuku responsible for his words, Valve required TNC to replace him for the tournament. Valve also emphasized that the Chinese government was not involved in its decision.

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