Streaming has seen a week of upheaval, to say the least.
At the beginning of this week, Mixer - Microsoft's streaming platform - shut down and begun partnering with Facebook Gaming, leaving many to wonder what was the cause and what the future of streaming holds. Just last night, Twitch banned one of its most popular streamers, Dr Disrespect.
The streamer, real name Herschel 'Guy' Beahm IV, is frequently cited as one of the most-viewed channels on Twitch. Disrespect's games have included 'Escape From Tarkov', 'Fortnite', 'Apex Legends' and more recently, 'Call of Duty: Warzone'. The channel mixes gaming with Disrespect's anarchic comedy style.
In a statement sent to media, Twitch confirmed that Dr Disrespect was banned from the platform, but did not state whether it was permanent. Kotaku, however, has reported that sources inside Twitch say the ban is permanent. Twitch's statement also did not explain why Dr Disrespect was banned either.
Not only that, Twitch has begun refunding viewer subscriptions for Dr Disrespect's channels, and have also removed his emotes from the platform - something that usually only occurs when a ban is made permanent. Previously, Dr Disrespect was banned for two weeks from Twitch after he streamed from the bathrooms of E3, arguably the largest live gaming event of the year.
For his part, Dr Disrespect has not publicly commented on the ban on any of his social media channels, leaving many to speculate as to the reasons surrounding the ban. Only just a few months ago, he signed a multi-year deal with Twitch rumoured to be in the region of $10 million per year. Currently, the defunct channel owned by Dr Disrespect has over 4 million followers.
While he is clearly a character and an outsized, frequently bizarre one at that, Dr Disrespect's frequently had controversies. In the past few weeks, his streams began peddling coronavirus conspiracy theories and has been accused of making racially-tinged jokes in the past. However, Twitch did not take any measures to curb any of these, nor take steps to ban Dr Disrespect either.