Apologies for my social media absence as I have been sick in bed and for the most part offline for the last week following the end of the MLG Anaheim Championships. I was taken out by all the great games from Smash, StarCraft and Call of Duty that weekend.
This will be my second op-ed during my time at onGamers and GameSpot, with the initial offering coming when I first joined on board the team two and a half years ago to tell what the state of eSports was to begin 2012. “I am more confident in eSports/professional gaming/competitive gaming than I ever have been since entering this amazing world”, I wrote then, boasting about over $6 Million in combined prize money for all tournaments and games combined. How things have changed and progressed, the industry catapulting forward in such a short period of time compared to the 15 years prior. An industry responsible for packing stadiums across North America, Europe and Asia, multi-billion dollar acquisition rumors for Twitch, and a looming Dota 2 International Championship that will make several players instant millionaires and teams instant legends.
This will sadly also be my last op-ed during my time here, as this is my last day at onGamers.
I was notified yesterday that I had been site-wide banned on Reddit, along with the onGamers domain. Reddit administrators notified onGamers that this was due to me messaging Reddit users asking if they would submit content, with titles, to the site, and that both I and the onGamers domain are now banned for one year. This comes after already being on thin ice as the site and user accounts of colleagues were banned and unbanned for Reddit infractions. This includes a lengthy meeting I had with Reddit General Manager Erik Martin in New York about the current state of eSports on Reddit, eSports content on Reddit, the onGamers situation and my own situation. Erik is a man I have spoken to for many years about Reddit's powerful and important influence on competitive gaming, and is the one who advocated for both the site and myself personally to reverse the first decision.
One of the stipulations to come out of change in heart was that no onGamers journalist could submit their own or onGamers content to Reddit, including any and all subreddits, eSports included. I admit to having sent messages to users with instructions on submitting content, and then upvoting my own content thereafter. I tried to be open about this in subsequent threads that popped up after a user took my message to them and submitted it as a discussion thread on Reddit.
I acted alone in this matter without the knowledge of any of my colleagues, including senior editors. They have followed the rules since the reversal of the last ban, they did not upvote on Reddit or participate in any manner, and there has not been any manipulation of votes from employees beyond my own singular vote. I take full responsibility for these actions and my Fargo-like run on that ice, and plea to Reddit to absolve my hard-working friends and the onGamers domain ban for what I alone have done. I will gladly take an additional year ban to rightfully keep good people from potentially losing jobs. My friends nor CBS interactive and GameSpot asked me to write this, and they are reading this just now as it is published.
I am sorry to Erik, who has put himself out there for me on multiple occasions including his help in recent problems, and trust in me that there wouldn't be further issues. Erik did that for me and I haven't returned the same respect here. Because of that I cannot continue to contribute to Reddit, a place that I've advocated for its legitimate importance in the aforementioned continued growth in eSports, and also the several diverse, vibrant competitive gaming communities on the site.
I am sorry to those out there who are fans of me and my work, and those who respect what I do. I have tried to maintain a certain level of integrity, and the results of these actions don't reflect that.
Most importantly, I am deeply sorry to my team whom I've now put in jeopardy for their careers and future. These are not just my colleagues but my friends, and the last thing I want or can do is put them in this position. I am and was a true believer of the team, personally investing myself to bring together the best journalists, editors, and reporters that eSports has to offer. Most definitively with the core crew of Duncan 'Thorin' Shields, Travis Gafford, Matthew 'Cyborgmatt' Bailey, and myself as senior editors of onGamers. I have seen myself as a leader in this way, and have not demonstrated those same leadership qualities here.
I believe we have set the bar on several aspects of our eSports coverage, and that we have put out great work on the large scope of competitive gaming that spans over several games, genres and communities. This has come in the form of breaking news, extensive interviews, exhaustive written and video features, player and team signings, event coverage, hosted talk shows, in-depth reporting, statistical analysis, mainstream access and insider insight into the industry at large. I believe our work has spoken for itself, and that our readership has echoed in that belief. The team has been responsible for traffic only having increased month over month, with a quite respectable number of unique views and video views compared to other gaming destinations that cover video games as a whole. I'm very proud of what we have been able to accomplish, and could not be more saddened right now that I can't keep kicking ass with my team.
My heart goes out to my guys Duncan, Travis, Matt, and the team of Kim, Hunter, Adam, Daniel, Sully, and several contributors along the way. Special thanks go out to Benito Gonzalez and John Davison who brought me to GameSpot to begin with, and to represent GameSpot as their only ever eSports editor. Benito and Erick Tay covered dozens of major events with me, working tirelessly into the morning hours every weekend to make eSports coverage at CBS Interactive a reality. Without Benito, Erick, and John's help, GameSpot eSports would not have had the opportunity to transition into onGamers.
I don't know what my future holds, but I am sure to continue in this industry that I love, and spent more than half my life dedicated to. I hope you all stay with me through it.
Rod 'Slasher' Breslau