The Dr Disrespect ban: One year later


Shawn Farner

Writer and Storywriter


Dr Disrespect once seemed untouchable. He once seemed like the guy who could say or do anything and, at the end of the day, still have a job. In that sense, he was a lot like the Tucker Carlson of Twitch. Sure — he brought a lot of negative attention to his network. He caused a disproportionate amount of controversy. But he attracted too many viewers for Twitch to cut him loose. He made the platform too much money to be jettisoned. And who would want to deal with those angry fans?

The Dr Disrespect ban: One year later

Then June 26, 2020 came along, and the world learned how wrong all of that truly was.

For those watching Dr Disrespect’s stream that day, there was a sense something was off when the rarely quiet Doc viewed a message on his phone. At that moment, his demeanor seemed to change. He watched a Roblox video in silence. No in-character rants about how stupid it looked. No words at all.

After a bit, he managed to say a few things. He attempted to assure his viewers — with a voice that sounded more uncertain than it ever had —  that things were tough but they’d all get through it. Then, following an expletive and a quick departure from his desk, Dr. Disrespect’s stream moved to pre-recorded promos. And then it went dark.

The channel would never go live on Twitch again.

What was behind the Dr Disrespect ban?

Those of us who weren’t watching live first got the news from the Twitter account StreamerBans. Most of the time, the accounts featured on this Timeline of Shame are unknowns. They’re either affiliate or partner streamers who boast sizable communities, but aren’t anywhere near the level of a Doc, or a Ninja, or a Shroud.

When Dr Disrespect’s name popped up, we immediately dug in to try and figure out what the Doc could have possibly done during his broadcast that day to draw the ire of Twitch. Strangely, we couldn’t come up with an easily identifiable reason on our own. And Twitch wasn’t willing to offer any specifics, either.

Of course, in the absence of solid information, theories often fill the void. And there were several, including one floated by Dr Disrespect himself.

A day after the Doc’s ban went into effect, esports consultant Rod Breslau tweeted that “credible sources” had told him why it occurred. Breslau said that, “due to the importance and sensitivity around the subject,” he would not reveal what he knew. It seems Breslau never did feel comfortable sharing what he was told. To this day, Breslau appears to have kept that top secret info all to himself (if he actually did know, that is).

Some clung to a conspiracy theory involving a new streaming platform in the works called Brime. They believed Dr Disrespect, Ninja, and other prominent figures in the streaming world were banding together to create their own service to take on Twitch, which would explain Dr Disrespect’s ban from the platform. However, cold water was poured on this theory when Brime itself stated that Dr Disrespect had nothing to do with its product.

Dr Disrespect appeared to drop a theory of his own, long after he’d moved his broadcasts over to YouTube (which he did without an exclusivity deal in place, by the way). He mentioned “three cadets” who had been signed to Twitch after he was expelled from the service, seemingly referring to Ninja, Shroud, and a third streamer some believe to be Logic.

Unfortunately, neither Dr Disrespect nor Twitch have offered up any sort of explanation that can be viewed as definitive. It is possible there could still be legal maneuvering taking place behind the scenes, and that is keeping everyone quiet. If that is the case, it could be a long time before we ever learn the truth about what happened last year; if ever.

365 days later, this is still a mystery

On the internet, we’re not used to things staying hidden for very long. The truth tends to find the light. In the case of the Dr Disrespect ban, however, all involved parties have seemingly moved on (from the outside, anyway) without any of us getting to the bottom of what went down.

Dr Disrespect is now streaming on YouTube, and is pulling in some really impressive numbers. The Doc would have you believe he is responsible for a flood of new viewers on the platform.

Twitch, meanwhile, seems content with its current stable of stars. It’s had to add some rules to get around accidental Dr Disrespect appearances, which is hilarious. But it seems fine with how things have played out, and hasn’t felt the need to go into more detail about why Dr Disrespect — at one time its biggest streamer — was suddenly given the boot.

It’s possible we may never get the full story about June 26, 2020. The Doc may not fire straight, even though many speculate he is very aware of why he was banned. Twitch may never offer its side of the story, and it wouldn’t be all that motivated to if the company acted in a manner some would deem “shady.”

We will continue to watch out for news about why this all played out the way it did, and why — a year later — we still don’t have answers. Seeing as all this time has passed without a peep, though, you shouldn’t hold your breath.


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