Twitch fans are divided over a controversial incident that saw Mason, a former professional Dota 2 player, get banned for “accidentally” saying a homophobic slur while streaming.
Mason “mason” Venne has been a household name in the North American professional Dota 2 scene for a long time now. He’s best known for his brief stint with Evil Geniuses that saw them finish third in The International 2014.
He hasn’t played professionally since 2019. Instead, he’s been primarily streaming on Twitch and has developed a strong following with more than 150,000 followers and 1,500 active subscribers.
In that time, he’s already been banned from the platform three times.
The first one was due to pervasive racism in his chat, while the reasons for his second and third ban were less clear.
Now, he’s been banned again for the fourth time, but this time it’s for something a little more controversial than the others; it appears he may have — “accidentally,” he claims — said something that mainly believe was a homophobic slur.
— StreamerBans (@StreamerBans) April 12, 2021
The alleged slip-up happened when he was criticizing a teammate’s item choice on a hero. He started things off by saying, “I think the Aghs is a pretty terrible choice.”
For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s the nickname given to Aghanim’s Scepter, an item that enhances hero abilities and sometimes adds a new one.
He supposedly tried to follow it up by saying he was “never a fan of the Aghs” on that specific hero. But instead, he muddled the words ‘fan’ and ‘Aghs’ and said something completely different. It also happened to sound a lot like a homophobic slur.
Mason immediately realized what happened and tried to clear it up. “Oh my god! I didn’t mean to say that word… I think I just said the F word… I didn’t mean to say that.” However, that didn’t stop him from getting slapped with a ban.
Mason wrote about the situation on social media. He doubled down on his claim that it was an accident and confirmed he would appeal the ban.
If he isn’t successful, he’ll be unable to stream for seven days, which is the same duration he served on his third ban.
Appealing my ban for accidental usage of naughty word!! 😀 if appeal not successful, it's a 7 day ban. So see you soon or see you in a week 😀 <3 for all no one's fault be the best you you can be ^.^
— mason (@masondota) April 13, 2021
Either way, it’s sparked a heated debate between fans, haters, and neutral viewers about whether or not it was intentional.
Some are convinced it was clearly an accident, while others are less sympathetic given his track record. But in the end, the ball is in Twitch’s court.