It’s been a while since we’ve seen any massive Twitch blunders from Dota casters. Casting live is an intimidating job because you’re not only required to be making in-game connections at the speed of light, but you also need to be verbalizing your thoughts, providing analysis, and inevitably filling dead air. I’ve had the pleasure of doing interviews, both live and recorded–it’s much easier to just say stop when you are recording and start over than it is to ‘wing it’ live during an interview. That being said, there are some things you should have the common sense to avoid saying out loud.
The Xyclopz Blunder
One of the biggest roster changes in 2017 is the addition of Axx to Newbee.Boss’s team. Axx is the first female professional Dota 2 player to enter the competitive scene. Her addition to the team demonstrates the growth of the Dota 2 competitive scene. Soon after the teams announcement of their team’s creation and composition, they played their first professional game. Beyond the Summit (BTS) hosted the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 China Qualifiers on their Twitch channel with Xyclopz casting some of the games.
During the Newbee.Boss versus Calvary game, there were a lot of comments that were made by Xyclopz that were sexist and demeaning towards Axx. This was Axx’s debut in the professional scene and Xyclopz’s commentary during the games was less than professional. He would refer to Axx as “that girl” instead of using her actual gamer tag, and made comments about ‘contacting her after the game.’ Xyclopz’s casting of the game was poor and very unprofessional. It didn’t take long for the community to start posting on social media about his behavior.
Setting the tone for the year
I was certain that the first game that Newbee.Boss played would either go really well or really poorly. The addition of Axx into the competitive scene is an amazing step forward, but it’s bound to trip some people up. What’s unfortunate about the situation is that Xyclopz set a standard by being the caster for her first game.
When he spoke about her in the way he did, he validated how a lot of people regularly interact with female Dota 2 players in game.
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When to apologize
It was clear that the Dota 2 community was upset about Xyclopz’s casting. The reddit post has over 1000 comments on it already. Many people demanded apologies from Xyclopz and some asked BTS to comment on the issue. BTS immediately pulled Xyclopz from casting the second game and had Lyrical casting instead. The community, myself included, waited for an apology.
— francesca (@ceschiii) January 12, 2017
What does it mean to apologize?
Before either BTS or Xyclopz apologized, I was curious as to how this situation would unfold. Flashbacks of the Shanghai Major danced in my memory while I tried to figure out how long it would take either party to apologize. An apology in the media is important because it acknowledges fault. In this situation, it would mean apologizing for remarks that I classify as sexist. And they did. They admitted that this behavior was unacceptable and that they will do their best to handle this type of situation faster in the future.
My apologies toward the Newbee.B match casting.
Cr. Reddit :… https://t.co/6KKQ1SU8so
— Xyclopz (@Xyclopzz) January 14, 2017
Xyclopz apologized for his behavior shortly after BTS made their statement on reddit. While his apology included some dubious excuses, and at times it seemed he was trying to minimize his behavior, it takes a lot to own up to your mistakes. His apology might have been the result of pressure from BTS, but his behavior affected both his personal following and the BTS fanbase. It was crucial that he dealt with the situation before it got worse. I applaud BTS and Xyclopz for doing the best they could with rectifying the situation. Time will tell if the apology was sincere enough or if the community can trust that Xyclopz won’t do this again.