Matthew “Sadokist” Trivett, well known as a commentator on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive esports was suspended by Twitch following a personal livestream yesterday in which he used racist invective.
Yesterday Trivett, a celebrated and recognized CS:GO commentator who regularly calls grand final matches at major tournaments, held a birthday stream with some friends. Playing Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, Trivett can be seen taunting a friend about his playing capabilities and boasting that he is one of the best players in the game. Then Trivett uses a racial slur, heard at the end of the video below.
The moment was quickly clipped and spread on Twitter, where people immediately called out Trivett. Many noted that Trivett had recently condemned Overwatch pro Felix “xQc” Lengyel for using an emote known in the community for its racist connotations, which led to his suspension and ultimately parting ways with Overwatch League’s Dallas Fuel.
Things only got worse as the stream continued. Trivett addressed one Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community member Don Haci, by telling Haci to “go fuck yourself,” before saying, “Maybe put a belt around your neck and jump off a cliff with that belt still attached.”
“That would be better for everyone,” Trivett said, which was uploaded to Twitter by Haci.
FeelsBadMan Sadokist telling me to kill myself pic.twitter.com/WU60YB052e— Don Haci (@DonHaci) March 31, 2018
Clips of Trivett’s stream quickly made their way through two very popular subreddit communities — LivestreamFail, which monitors and captures notable moments in Twitch culture, and another go-to sub for CS:GO — which have a combined followership of more than a million.
On these subreddits, many called Trivett’s behavior the final nail in the coffin for his career; other visible members of the esports community seemed to defend his character while criticizing his actions at the same time.
MonteCristo, a very popular Overwatch League commentator, implied that Trivett was intoxicated while streaming. “If I could give Sadokist a birthday present, it would be to take away his ability to interact with the public while intoxicated,” he said.
David “Davey” Stafford, a professional CS:GO player, said that despite Trivett’s words, he doesn’t believe Trivett is a racist. Still, he condemned Trivett’s language.
“I don’t really need to comment on this but, I think it’s important to say that what sadokist did was stupid, wrong and unacceptable,” Stafford said. “But, let’s not start just saying he is a racist because of it. I’ve known Matt for a long time and a racist, is something he’s not.”
Still, the overwhelming response from the community was angry and disturbed.
Trivett’s behavior, which violates Twitch’s terms of service, comes at a time when the company and its community are making headlines for streamers using derogatory and racist terms. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, the most popular Fortnite streamer today and a generally beloved member of the community, recently came under fire for using a racist term while rapping on a stream. Blevins later apologized for the incident on Twitter, promising “there was no mal intent (I wasn’t even trying to say the word-I fumbled lyrics and got tongue tied in the worst possible way).”
Blevins’ language may not have warranted a suspension because Twitch’s community guidelines say the company “will consider its intent and context” when reviewing offensive behavior. As Blevins was mumbling rap lyrics, and claimed to accidentally use the wrong word, it seems he wasn’t trying to insult or abuse anyone, so that’s probably why he didn’t receive a ban.
Trivett’s case, on the other hand, clearly violates two of Twitch’s community guidelines on hateful conduct and harassment.
Using racist language violates Twitch’s hateful conduct policy. The policy states that an action which “promotes, encourages, or facilitates discrimination, denigration, objectification, harassment, or violence” based on characteristics like “race, ethnicity, or national origin” is prohibited. Trivett’s language when talking to Haci violates the company’s rules regarding harassment, which also prohibits streamers from telling “someone to hurt or kill themselves.”
Update (April 2): Trivett posted a statement on Facebook, saying he’s “disgusted, disappointed, and in disbelief at my own actions.” Trivett added that no formal action has been taken against him yet by the various esports leagues he often works for.
“So far my employers (of the ones who have contacted me) have bestowed enough trust in me to take the first step in handling the issue on my own accord,” Trivett said. “I respect and thank them for allowing me to do so. Certainly, there has been no shortage of opinions vocalized on various medias over the last day, and the sentiment of many of those are not lost on me. I respect understand the notion for further punishment, and will not appeal any decisions made by those that I have put in an awkward position.”
The full statement can be read on Trivett’s Facebook page.