Another major Dota 2 commentator and community figure, Toby “TobiWan” Dawson, has been accused of sexual assault and harassment.
In response, Code Red Esports has dropped TobiWan from its representation, Beyond the Summit has cut ties with him, and Valve has removed his voice lines from The International 10 Battle Pass.
After fellow commentator Grant “GranDGranT” Harris was removed from Evil Geniuses on June 22 following his own allegations, TobiWan tried to paint himself as an ally to the abused, asking men to learn from Grant’s story. But many women in the community fired back at that, saying they’d been warned about TobiWan when interacting with the Dota community.
The first of several people who came out against TobiWan was Meruna, a well-known cosplayer within the scene who’s also dating popular Dota streamer Troels “syndereN” Nielsen. That fact is particularly damning since TobiWan and syndereN have been one of the most consistent casting duos in the competitive scene dating back to TI2.
“The person who could not take ‘No’ for an answer and initiated sexual activity with me against my clear and repeated wishes is Toby ‘TobiWan’ Dawson,” Meruna said.
She went on to talk about several interactions with TobiWan, including one dating back to 2011.
Meruna also mentioned that while she and syndereN have been together for eight years, he was only informed of these incidents right before she went public with them. Since then, both syndereN and Austin “Capitalist” Walsh have said they’ll no longer work with Tobi and support anyone who comes out against him.
TobiWan has made two separate TwitLonger messages about the situation. He deleted the first one, however, after several people pointed out that it barely touched on the actual issue. And after his second post went live, more community figures, including Meruna, shut down the apology.
Following his second attempt at apologizing, TobiWan was removed from Code Red Esports’ representation and will no longer be welcomed at BTS events. Valve also acted by removing all of his voice lines from the TI10 Battle Pass. The developer could choose to delete the rest of his voice lines, too.
Several people also brought up other incidents with TobiWan, including a 2012 broadcast for an all-female StarLadder tournament where he made several sexist comments and constantly degraded the players throughout the broadcast. He even acknowledged that in his apology.
But he didn’t acknowledge his actions against current chief strategy officer at Alliance, Kelly “kellyMILKIES” Ong, who he “slut-shamed,” according to Meruna, resulting in years of the community attacking her. This was another incident that happened nearly 10 years ago and had women throughout Dota warning each other about TobiWan.
The Dota community is slowly becoming more aware of just how dark of a place it is for a lot of women. But people like Cap, syndereN, and others pushing for everyone to listen to victims and try to understand how difficult it is to come out with their personal stories are starting to make a real difference.