The Collapse of "Dr. Disrespect"
On June 26, 2020 one of the top ten streamers on twitch.tv was permanently banned. This was Dr. Disrespect ("The Doc") who was known for creating a unique character among the streaming service. This character rocked a mullet wig, tactical vest and large reflected glasses (shown below).
In early 2010, justin.tv (now Twitch) was the home to the climbing persona. While most streamers just pointed a camera at themselves, The Doc took more of an entertainment approach to the service. Rocking transitions and multiple green-screen backgrounds separated The Doc from the rest.
The Doc popularity kept growing as he switched between games like H1Z1, PUBG and Call of Duty.
As of 2020, he was the only streamer to win the Esports Industry - Streamer of the Year for both 2017 and 2019. So I'm basically trying to set the stage that while Dr. Disrespect was not the most followed streamer, he indeed seemed to be the most decorated.
Being in the limelight of millions of folks is not easy, but does not excuse some of the mistakes that The Doc found himself in. The first major incident was exposed when Herschel (Dr. Disrespect) uploaded a video out of character.
It was a rough video to watch as the goofy character was gone, it was just a sad discussion about cheating on his wife. He mentioned he would be gone for a few months to repair his family and he disappeared.
When he returned to Twitch, it was an explosion of popularity with the return stream launching into a peak of 388,000 viewers. Just imagine being a single person streaming from your home and having near 400,000 people watching you and a couple million being notified of everything you do.
The Virtual World Escapes
This led to scary moment where someone connected the virtual world with the real world and discharged shots into the real home of Dr. Disrespect.
This became known to viewers as he disappeared from the stream and returned partially out of character to abruptly end the stream. The police identified the bullets from a BB gun shot on two different days, but never identified the culprit.
As streaming in real life became more popular, The Doc found himself streaming with a crew at the E3 conference. The camera crew followed him into the bathroom, which violated Twitch's rules and of course the laws in California. This led to a two-week ban from Twitch.
The Permanent Suspension
The final stream of Dr. Disrespect on Twitch was riddled with strange messages in the final minutes. (Start at 7m 30s)
My guess is the video above won't be working at some point when you are reading this article, so some important phrases to note.
- "Life is weird right now."
- "We will get through this, ok?"
- "We will get through this Champions club."
- "Fuck" (Stream end)
So whatever "The Doc" saw off stream had some realization that things were seriously wrong. I imagine anything ending your estimated 80k a month in revenue would be life changing to see.
This news absolutely exploded online (Probably due to the streamer being a two time streamer of the year)
The news continued further with rumors saying the ban came from outside of the Trust/Safety team. So something major happened that pushed Twitch to just abruptly end the account.
In the era of the sexual allegations movement, perhaps we don't know the truth about "The Doc". Though, everyone is innocent until proven guilty so I cannot even hint at that.
His wife posted an Instagram message thanking the fans for the support, so if it was something so heinous maybe his wife would not be supported him.
News sources way more powerful than my little blog - Forbes, ESPN, TheVerge, Insider, Kotaku and Polygon have all covered the story - all missing the same curious point of why.
Though, lets just summarize what has happened in 24 hours on June 26.
- The Doc permanently banned from Twitch.
- Sources say it is not DMCA related.
- Sources say it is not related to Trust/Safety.
- Discord partnership pulled/ended.
- Twitch subscriptions refunded for current month.
- Twitch custom emotes removed.
Twitch went public with a statement to reporters of:
As is our process, we take appropriate action when we have evidence that a streamer has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. These apply to all streamers regardless of status or prominence in the community.
This comes 2 days after a blog about Twitch cracking down on sexual abuse. Who knows when the truth will come out, but one of the top streamers has fallen.
All we have now is an announcement from the man himself.
Champions Club, Twitch has not notified me on the specific reason behind their decision... Firm handshakes to all for the support during this difficult time. - Dr Disrespect