Pro Star Craft 2 Player Makes Rape Comment About Female Opponent, Gets Booted From Tournament

10/10. Would boot again.
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I don’t know where people get the idea that the gaming community, despite many of its incredibly polite and welcoming members, is an uninviting place for women. Ha! Just kidding. It’s things like “one of the common ways to say you’re going to obliterate someone is still by using the word ‘rape,’ as though that’s somehow acceptable behavior.” As it turns out, this StarCraft 2 tournament isn’t accepting that behavior.

The comment in question came during a qualifying match at the Fragbite Masters tournament on Friday between pro player Mihaylo “Kas” Hayda and relative-newcomer Madeleine Leander. Leander wrote about the incident on ESPORT,

I was invited to play in the tournament Fragbite Masters. My first reaction was ”but I’m not good enough”. It was however not the first time an underdog was invited to a tournament. It would be stupid to say no, I thought. I saw it as chance and said yes. A few minutes into the first map the game was paused. I had no idea why but it was because of the tweet. The game went on and I lost 0-2. When the match was over I saw this. A tweet with the text ”Going to rape some girl soon #fragbitemasters” written by my opponent. I don’t even know what to say. I was very surprised to say the least. This coming from a pro player is scary. The organizers did what they could. They asked Kas to apologize and talked about it after. Now I’ll try to let go of this and focus on my next match vs SortOf in a few minutes.

The offending tweet has since been removed, but not before it got screencapped, because the Internet never forgets. And the tournament was thankfully swift with its retribution:

For his part, Hayda has apologized without any hint of justification and appears to fully understand how wrong he was.

But really, this incident isn’t just Hayda’s fault. Hayda is a Ukrainian player whose first language isn’t English, if I’m not mistaken. He likely picked up this particular phrase from the rest of the competitive gaming community without fully realizing just how bad it sounds, and that’s where the problem really lies.

I’ve spent some time in competitive gaming myself, and I can’t count the awkward confrontations I’ve gotten into over other gamers—friends, even—throwing around “rape” and other words that they shouldn’t. Unfortunately, most of the time the comments go unanswered, which leads to impressionable players getting the idea that they’re acceptable and even funny things to say.

It’s a general problem that the gaming community faces, and I suspect it has a lot to do with the relatively young age of many gamers. Hayda, for example, is only 25 and has been involved in competitive gaming for years. As an adult, I’m embarrassed by a lot of the things I would’ve said as a teenager, and I wish someone would’ve taught me better earlier in life. It seems Hayda is going through that transition the hard way.

That’s why it’s so important that the tournament organizers stepped up and did something about it. It’s not that Hayda is a bad person who doesn’t deserve to play games. It’s that we need to make sure that every time someone chooses words like this—whether it’s “I’m going to rape this person” or “stop playing so gay,” both of which I’ve heard all too often—the older and/or wiser members of the gaming community step up and make it known that the behavior is not tolerable.

Well done, Fragbite Masters tournament.

(via Polygon)

Previously in bad comments and the people who make them

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.