Gaming has always had scandals among it’s more popular figures. This site has a whole section dedicated to a cluster of those issues known as gamergate.
Thankfully, pro-gamergate is avoiding many of anti-gamergate’s follies. They didn’t release a tool to block 1000’s of innocent people. They didn’t do a planned assault of “gamers are dead” across multiple websites in 48 hours. Some people, thanks to higher intelligence, or to be more frank, people who aren’t deluded on how the internet functions, have survived the Zoe Quinn ship. One of those personalities would be famous Dota caster, Andrew “Zyori” Campbell.
Learning About Zyori
Before you delve into the controversy, we should know the man behind a *gate incident. Andrew “Zyori” Campbell grew up in New Jersey. He was immersed in video games like many of us who were born in the 80’s/90’s. Zyori (his nickname) dabbled with casting Starcraft and Heroes of Newerth matches during the early 2010’s while in college. He went to college at Rowan University and graduated with a “B.S. in Entrepreneurship” in 2012. His casting was well known in the Heroes of Newerth scene.
He was offered a temp non-contracted worker for the HON casting studio Honcast from 2011-2012. Honcast during the spring of 2012 was sold to S2 games. This meant that the company behind the game owned the premier studio. He was offered full employment with the company and was even sent a contract. He was offered a chance to cast one of Heroes of Newerth’s biggest tournament at Dreamhack summer 2012 with Nick “BreakyCPK” Caras. Zyori took the opportunity for a paid trip to Sweden to cast but he held off on the contract.
Dreamhack Summer 2012 was a success for S2 games. They had record attendance and stream viewer numbers but Zyori had a feeling of intuition when he sat down to analyze the contract. He found many provisions that didn’t sit well with him. He told S2 games that he didn’t want to be a paid full-time caster. S2 games respected his decision and hired a retiring pro player Mark “Tralf” Seidl in Zyori’s place. Zyori decided to take a part-time job at Garena while being a free agent.
Garena licensed Heroes of Newerth for the C.I.S and South East Asia area. Garena would talk care of the localization and allow Heroes of Newerth on it’s popular game launching client. Garena at the time needed an English caster for its location-limited Heroes of Newerth. Zyori, being a talented and vetted caster, took the position. This job was location independent and he wasn’t forced to stick to one game. If he wanted to be part of the emerging Dota 2 and LOL scenes, he would be able to while not breaking his contract.
From the summer of 2012 to October 2012 he was doing well. He didn’t need a full time job as the Garena paychecks were enough to live on. Zyori focused on making content for the burgeoning League of Legends scene and Dota 2 Scene while casting Garena’s version of Heroes of Newerth. This all changed during an 8 hour cast in October.
Zyori’s streaming set-up meant that he didn’t know when the camera was off. Zyori, forgetting that the camera was on, decided to take a shower and check his man parts. He made sure his hygiene was on point and that was recorded on the internet. Archived versions of Zyori checking his nether-regions for odor was being passed around forums. The infamous sniffgate accident happened.
The trolls used sniffgate to humiliate Zyori. Trolls made a gif of him checking his groin hygiene. According to Zyori, people sent it to his parents, friends and other important people. Zyori was the laughingstock on the internet for about two weeks. His contract for Garena was ended because of an email sent to them about it. The worst part of this was the fact that this slump had hit him during his birthday. A man who spent hours trying to entertain people through producing content for videogames was hurt during the supposedly happiest day of his life.
Zyori had two options that he could of chose. One of those was go pariah and leave the gaming industry completely. This option would mean he would use his college degree to get a standard 9-5 job. This would validate the trolls and vindicate their psychopathy.
The second option would be to continue his ventures while not earning enough to live on his own. Zyori decided to go for both options. He would produce content part time while working a 9-5 job. Zyori was earning a decent salary but hated the bustle of a conventional 9-5.
Zyori decided to head back in to Dota 2. He quit his job and decided to cast full time. He even invented DotaTalk Radio, a concept that hasn’t been tried in video games before. Video game casts are dependent on having the visuals, but Zyori would cast the games like how baseball does its audio-only casts.
Many fans of the genres thought this was useful and Zyori propelled his prestige back to the summer of 2012’s level. He was able to get prominent Dota figures in his interview. Zyori was one of the hardest working casters in Dota. Zyori bounced back from sniffgate. The coup de grace of this moment was being contacted by one of the biggest Dota 2 studios “Beyond The Summit” to be a full time caster. Zyori was casting a game he loved with the prestige he deserved. Zyori was being invited to tournaments in foreign countries. He owned sniffgate and jumped to the top.
Gamers have been criticized for being narrow-minded and cruel. Yet, the story of Andrew “Zyori” Campbell shows that gamers are willing to forgive if the offensive party works hard. Zyori didn’t whine to the media about people oppressing Testicular Hygiene. He didn’t screech about puritan privilege or spend his time writing snarky remarks on twitter. Zyori worked hard to regain his prestige and did it in an admirable way. We need more Zyori’s in gaming and less Zoe Quinn’s.
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