Storms are brewing all around the gaming and esports scene these past couple of weeks. All sorts of allegations have resulted in all sorts of justifications and, at times, cancelations. Esteemed esports figure Paul “Redeye” Chalonar has taken the drastic measure of leaving esports altogether amid the accusations of threats, power abuse and physical assault made against him predominantly by James Banks.
Redeye departs esports on a low
Redeye is one of the rare instances of a “backstage” persona becoming a frontstage personality. Well-known in the esports community for his straight-to-the-point approach, Redeye was faced with heavy accusations circling around precisely that part of his nature.
At around the same time sexual assault and rape accusations were overtaking the gaming social media stream, caster, desk host and interviewer James Banks came out with different type of accusations.
Banks claimed that Redeye has directly threatened to end his career if he didn’t take a certain role at his then-workplace Gfinity (where Redeye was managing director at the time), that Redeye has physically assaulted another Gfinity employee, that he and other Code Red members (namely Luke Cotton) have tried to shut down Banks and others who have tried to speak up against Redeye, and finally, that sir Paul is what you would call a general arsehole.
Initially, Chalonar responded to the main accusations and tried to clear things out, admitting outright to just that last arsehole part, but a couple of days later, he changed his tune. Redeye announced that he will be departing the esports scene as a whole to deal with his mental health and that he will seek career opportunities elsewhere upon return.
That strangely coincided with the emergence of the dude that got assaulted by Chalonar at Gfinity. Anonymous statements don’t hold the same weight as those made by real people with real names and that’s what happened when Sam van Tilburgh revealed that it was him that got punched by Redeye at the workplace after trying to stand up to the man.
This contradicts Chalonar’s explanation of the incident, which goes in a completely different direction and paints a different situation altogether. While we don’t want to cast the first stone, it does seem fishy that Redeye did a 180 immediately before the alleged assault victim went to Twitter with his story and, more importantly – his name.
As gaming and esports fans, it’s always sad to see those type of allegations be thrown around and it’s even worse when they are pretty much confirmed, meaning we still have a lot of problems to solve before we get where we need to be as a community and a working environment.
We bid Redeye farewell and wish that he would address his issues, whether he is guilty or not, and become a better person as a result. Better people make better societies and better societies create better people.