UK Esports Awards Presenter of the Year winner Frankie Ward used her thank you speech to call out homophobic behaviour on the weekend.
Her comments come after former CSGO pro player turned streamer Mohamad “m0E” Assad was temporarily banned by Twitch, after typing the word ‘faggot’ in-game and talking about the use of the word mid-stream.
“You’re not allowed to say faggot apparently,” he said. “I’m going to try to stop saying faggot, but it’s one of my favourite words of all time. It’s not a bad word, I find it has a lot of meanings.”
Following the ban, British esports journalist and analyst Duncan “Thorin” Shields wrote a series of tweets about the word mOE spoke about:
No matter how many times SJW types lie and state otherwise, the historical etymology of the word m0e used is not and has never been explicitly or solely homophobic in meaning.
— Thorin (@Thooorin) July 1, 2018
“It’s clearly a word you should avoid solely for the health of your own career, but the tyrants who try to tell you a word only has the meaning they decided,” he added, “even if they’re making it up on the spot or ignoring cultural context and history, can still fuck off.”
Frankie Ward then made some comments calling out the use of homophobic language in esports and gaming, after being named UK Esports Awards Presenter of the Year and thanking everyone for their support. You can see the full list of UK Esports Awards winners here.
“I want to pledge this right now by saying there is no room for homophobic or racist or misogynist language in the esports industry,” she said in the clip below.
“The UK is a proving ground for top esports talent and I therefore think we need to set an example, lead the way and call out behaviour when we see it. If I say anything wrong, you’re welcome to call me out on it too. Let’s have that conversation and try and make esports inclusive for all.”
The UK Esports Awards presenters Elle Osili-Wood and Ceirnan “Excoundrel” Lowe echoed Frankie’s comments after the clip.
Elle said: “If you are supporting homophobic [comments] or making excuses for bad behaviour in esports, you’re part of the problem and you are not welcome here. We are an inclusive industry and I’m hugely proud to be part of it.”
Thorin has come under fire for making controversial comments in the past, including making jokes about Poland, or using the word ‘retarded’ on Twitter.
He is however a respected esports journalist, and has a reputation for offering informed, engaging comments on the industry and trends, particularly around CSGO. Thorin won Esports Journalist of the Year at the separate Esports Industry Awards last year and is known for speaking his mind.
Thorin and fellow British esports journalist Richard Lewis were targets of a malicious hit-piece by PCGamesN last year, who issued an apology following its publication.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.