Esports

Veteran host Redeye walks away from esports following abuse accusations

by Michael Gwilliam
ESL

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British commentator Paul 'Redeye' Chaloner has announced his retirement from esports after abuse accusations were made against him by fellow host James Banks.

Redeye is known for his commentary in games such as Counter-Strike, Call of Duty 2, and Starcraft 2. He has broadcast in many countries since his start in 2002, and in both 2018 and 2019, hosted Dota 2's The International tournament.

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The 48-year-old announced his retirement on June 29, citing the "attacks on his character" as the reason for his leaving. He called the allegations a "mix of half-truths" that he may have been able to deal with until his children were brought into it.

He also claimed that while his mental health was already in a bad state due to the lockdown, these recent accusations have caused him to come close to "taking his own life" – and also added that stepping away was only way he was going to "survive."

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On June 27, caster and host James Banks accused Redeye and his agency Code Red esports of "abuse of power" and threatening his career and journalists who tried to tell the story. Banks has been involved in the Counter-Strike scene for many years, and is an established host and presenter.

Additionally, he claimed that Redeye went out of his way to stop him from being hired, going so far as contacting tournament organizers and telling them not to use him.

He also included screenshots of others within the industry claiming to have suffered verbal abuse or had their careers held back because of him.

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Redeye went on to deny the allegations in his own document, but after that, Banks posted more allegations detailing more abuse.

"Further information on Paul 'Redeye' Chaloner & Luke Cotton. Info on his court case including Redeye's trial for child abuse & assault. I am leaving this all for the journalists to work with and will help them contact the people involved," Banks tweeted, along with a link to the document.

Bringing up the court case, of which Redeye was found not guilty, seems to have been the last straw for Chaloner as he retired shortly thereafter.

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Kevin Chang for Team Liquid
Redeye announced he would end his time in esports.

Before closing the chapter of his 18-year career in esports, Redeye gave an apology to those he might have wronged in the past.

“I would like to offer those who I have not treated very well an apology,” he said. “I never intended to upset you and hope that you have long and successful careers.”

He said he would be learning from this exchange to better himself, but noted any change that comes from it will follow into his new career outside of the esports industry.