Dota 2 commentator Toby “TobiWan” Dawson said he’ll “cease to have any public image in esports” today after being accused of sexual assault and harassment last week, despite saying he’s “not guilty of any criminal offense.”
Dawson released a seemingly final statement today in which he said it’s been “horrifying, watching my personal history being stripped of context, warped with fiction then presented to the internet as fact.” He also said anyone who made allegations against him should have pursued the manner legally and “not rely on innuendo or evidence void of scrutiny and both perspectives.”
Due to what he described as a “toxic” situation, Dawson said he’ll never commentate again and that he’ll focus fully on his family and the rest of his life.
For many years, Dawson was one of Dota 2’s top commentators and had made inroads into other esports, such as PUBG. On June 25, however, Dawson was accused of sexual assault by Meruna, who’s dating Dawson’s longtime casting partner, Troels “syndereN” Nielsen.
Meruna alleged Dawson “could not take ‘No’ for an answer and initiated sexual activity with me against my clear and repeated wishes” and that he “admitted to doing this in a private conversation.” Dawson also allegedly “slut-shamed” Kelly “kellyMILKIES” Ong, the chief strategy officer at Alliance, several years ago.
After Meruna went public with the allegations, syndereN and Austin “Capitalist” Walsh said they would no longer work with Dawson. Shortly thereafter, Valve removed Dawson’s voice lines from The International 10 Battle Pass, and companies such as Code Red Esports and Beyond the Summit cut ties with him.
Dawson’s departure from esports comes just days after veteran esports desk host and commentator Paul “Redeye” Chaloner announced he was leaving esports as a result of allegations of abuse of power and blackmailing. Another Dota 2 commentator, GranDGranT, also allegedly sexually harassed multiple women, which resulted in him being released by Evil Geniuses on June 22.
These assault and harassment allegations coincide with dozens of other allegations within the livestreaming, fighting game, and broader esports communities, signifying that esports is having its #MeToo moment.