TobiWan withdraws from esports after allegations of sexual assault
UPDATE: TobiWan has issued a statement on July 2 announcing his withdrawal from the esports industry.
After almost a week since his initial response to the accusations commentator Toby “TobiWan” Dawson has taken to Twitter again.
— Inactive (@TobiWanDOTA) July 2, 2020
In his statement he decried the accusations levelled against him as “stripped of all context” and “warped with fiction”. He further states that he is innocent of any criminal offense and urges those with serious accusations to “follow the proper process through the law”.
He also issued an apology to people offended by his prior actions. TobiWan continues his statement by calling out the outpour of toxicity aimed at him since the first allegations. Finally he closes his statement by announcing his retirement to protect himself and his family from further abuse and thanks his supporters for helping him in his time of need.
After the departure of Grant “GranDGranT” Harris on June 23, TobiWan’s exit is the second high profile Dota 2 caster that has withdrawn after accusations. Together with Paul “Redeye” Chaloner’s retirement earlier this week this marks the third talent that left the Dota 2 scene in the wake of the recent revelations highlighting sexism, abuse and misconduct in the industry.
- GranDGrant leaves esports after accusations of sexual harrassment and assault
- Redeye retires amidst allegations of abuse of power
- SirActionSlacks appeals to the community: “It’s not hard to be good to other people.”
As the current movement against sexism and abuse continues to reveal the darker sides of esports and the wider gaming scene in its entirety, TobiWan’s departure heralds the end of the career for one of the most decorated casters in the scene.
ORIGINAL UPDATE FROM JUNE 28:
Update: Meruna has released further details concerning the allegations against TobiWan via Hot_Bid on June 28.
While the majority of community figures have been quick to condemn Tobi over the first batch of allegations against him, a sizeable number in the community remained sceptic. Via Hot_Bid Meruna has released more details regarding her experiences with the accused caster.
— Ken Chen (@Hot_Bid) June 28, 2020
Tobi has not responded or provided a statement since last tweet. If there are further developments we will keep you updated.
Original article from June 26:
One of the most prominent Dota 2 casters Toby “TobiWan” Dawson faces allegations of sexual harrassment and assault. On June 25 these accusations were made public via Twitter.
Since the beginning of the current wave of revelations in regards to sexual harrassment and assault in the scene rumours had been circulating about TobiWan. These have now come to a head on June 25.
TobiWan did not take No for an answer
— Meruna (@Meruna_) June 25, 2020
In a series of Tweets as well as a TwitLonger cosplayer Meruna laid out accusations of sexual assault and harrassment against the popular caster. Her statements resonated deeply in the community as she is also the girlfriend of Dota 2 caster Troels “syndereN” Nielsen, who had been an iconic casting partner of TobiWan during much of Dota 2’s history.
syndereN himself was only informed of the incidents just before Meruna went public with them and since then has cut his ties with TobiWan.
Just like @DotACapitalist, I believed he was just socially awkward. This, however, is just completely unacceptable.
My plead to everyone: please, listen to victims and try to understand how difficult it is to deal with issues like these.
— Troels Nielsen (@syndereNDota) June 25, 2020
He was among the first to break with Tobi along with caster Austin “Capitalist” Walsh and casting studio BeyondTheSummit. TobiWan’s agency Code Red Esports has also cut ties with the caster and will not be representing him in the future.
In light of the information published today, we will no longer be representing Toby “TobiWan” Dawson.
— Code Red Esports (@CodeRedEsport) June 25, 2020
TobiWan has repeatedly responded to the statements against him. His first TwitLonger was deleted after he was criticized for barely talking about his alleged misconduct and the second TwitLonger he has since published has not been convincing to many community members, including Meruna herself.
Earlier today I tried to write a response to the women who have been speaking out about what has happened to (cont) https://t.co/BQuCMMSETz
— Toby Dawson 托比道森 (@TobiWanDOTA) June 25, 2020
Valve takes action
Several hours after the allegations went public Dota 2 developer Valve took action and removed TobiWan’s voice lines from the game client. One of the highlights of each year’s Battle Pass has been the caster voice lines players can unlock. As a casting veteran that was once counted among the faces of Dota 2 TobiWan had several voice lines which have now been replaced.
The following Chat Wheel lines have been replaced for the TI10 Battle Pass.
— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) June 26, 2020
In the wake of the accusations against TobiWan older instances of racist and sexist behavior were also brought back to light. Such as one case in which he made deragatory comments against women in a cast or a racist remark against black people in a Dota 2 game.
tobi, did you think we forgot about your cast of the women’s finals at starladder 2012? were you held accountable for your disgusting comments? https://t.co/SpqgIlnrgy
— alleged contributor to human progress (@hrfngdsngs) June 23, 2020
As Dota 2 continues to struggle with the darker side of its community the case of TobiWan is the most prominent so far. There might be even more revelations coming as there are allegations against Jimmy “Demon” Ho, Andre “Zyori” Campbell and others for abuse of power and misconduct.
- Slacks appeals to the community: “It is not hard to be good people”.
- GranDGranT exits esports amidst allegations of sexual assault and harrassment
Once lauded as the “Voice of Dota” and being the only english caster to have worked at every The International so far with many memorable casting calls over the years, his case has shaken the Dota 2 community to its core.
TobiWan has not responded to the allegations since his last TwitLonger. We will update the article as necessary if he does.
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