Twitch is easily the most popular livestreaming platform in the world, and while it's a gigantic corporate entity owned by none other than Jeff Bezos himself, that wasn't always the case. Prior to Amazon forking over a whopping $970 million for Twitch, it had some pretty humble upbringings and has helped to create some verifiable web stars — like Tyler "Ninja" Blevins and the infamous Dr. Disrespect, who has been banned from the service yet again in 2020.
Why was Dr. Disrespect banned from Twitch in 2020?
The "doctor" with the mullet and 'stache has a troubled history with Twitch, and that's mostly due to his willingness (and seemingly absolute need) to push the envelope.
For some fans, Dr. D represents the same kind of attitude and humor that made Twitch so popular in the first place. The gaming community embraced the medium, in part, because of some legendary collaborative web-experiments, like the Twitch Plays Pokemon saga.
The barrier to entry for using and streaming on Twitch was pretty low and getting up and running for anyone with a solid internet connection was entirely possible. While tons of people use Twitch these days, the majority of folks hop on their channels and participate in live gaming sessions while interacting with their fans.
Dr. Disrespect definitely does all of that, but he also partakes in some acts that corporate isn't too fond of.
Last year, the man livestreamed straight out of a public bathroom during the E3 gaming conference, which is a huge, huge no-no. It clearly states in Twitch's rules that streaming from public places is absolutely not allowed, and Dr. Disrespect violated that rule.
He was subsequently banned from Twitch. But the suspension was only temporary because before long, he was back on the air engaging in his usual antics.
Then, the 2020 ban happened, and it looks like this time, Dr. Disrespect is gone for good. The bombastic and hilarious personality had recently signed an exclusive deal with the platform. The deal leveraged his some 4 million followers into a multiple-year contract that could garner the streamer millions of dollars a year.
Although the exact figures weren't revealed, Bijan Stephen from The Verge said that it would have been "for a lot of money."
Rumor has it, Dr. Disrespect's Twitch ban will be permanent.
Although the reasons for his current ban haven't been released by Twitch, a statement from the platform verified that yes, it was indeed for him breaking the rules.
"As is our process, we take appropriate action when we have evidence that a streamer has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service," the statement read.
Rod "Slasher" Breslau, esports and gaming consultant, says that the doctor's ban from Twitch won't be lifted, although it's still unclear as to what the popular figure did this time to be removed from Twitch. Rod did say that it wasn't related to DMCA (copyright) complaints, which makes this entire ban all the more vague and confusing.
Twitch's statement on @drdisrespect ban: "As is our process, we take appropriate action when we have evidence that a streamer has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. These apply to all streamers regardless of status or prominence in the community.”— Shannon Liao (@Shannon_Liao) June 26, 2020
Does it have anything to do with Twitch taking a strong stance at exposing and ending relationships with streamers who were found guilty of in-person or online sexual harassment/assault? Several Twitch streamers have received their own bans in recent weeks after Twitch's statement when several female members of the gaming community began naming specific people who harassed them.
Interestingly enough, Dr. Disrespect has not been named in these allegations. But there was a time he took a break from streaming after it was confirmed he cheated on his wife. The two are still together, but a recent post from his wife suggests that maybe things aren't going so well.
Forbes games writer Paul Tassi also highlights the fact that Rod's insider knowledge is usually never wrong and the man never has a problem with revealing information, no matter how crazy the story. So the fact that he isn't discussing Dr. Disrespect's ban is a big, big deal. ShannonZKiller also claims to know what happened, but has since deleted the tweet. Again, it didn't contain any information, but hinted he was over and "not just on Twitch."
look: for several hours now I have been told from credible sources the reason DrDisrespect has been banned. however due to the importance and sensitivity around the subject I have refrained from going on it. i don't feel comfortable with it currently— Rod "4475 SR & Immortal peak" Breslau (@Slasher) June 27, 2020
The fact that Twitch won't talk about it publicly also indicates that the ban could potentially be related to some kind of criminal activity. But the platform has refunded all members of his Champion's Club as the doctor is never coming back.
The last seconds of his final stream also seem like something out of a movie at the exact moment things start going horribly wrong for the screw-up protagonist.
Dr. Disrespect Twitch update: the streamer's response only creates more mystery.
The popular streamer has finally addressed the news surrounding his most recent Twitch ban, and, according to him, the network hasn't necessarily explained just why he's been let go and had his deal terminated.
He only provided the following vague message to his Champions Club subscribers:
Champions Club,— Dr Disrespect (@drdisrespect) June 28, 2020
Twitch has not notified me on the specific reason behind their decision... Firm handshakes to all for the support during this difficult time.
However, there's been a Brime conspiracy theory floating around social media.
It seems like everyone and their mother is attempting to launch a livestreaming service, just ask Facebook and Microsoft, but there's a conspiracy floating around the web that Dr. Disrespect, along with several other high-profile gamers like Ninja and Shroud, were in talks with a Spotify-backed service by the name of Brime.
Despite the terrible name, there are rumors floating around that Twitch's top streamers would jump ship from the Amazon-owned platform and help lead the way with Spotify's newest streaming venture. If this is the case, then that would mean Dr. Disrespect would have been found in breach of his contract with Twitch — he recently just signed an exclusive deal with the platform that was worth a whole lot of money.
Shroud and Ninja have recently left Microsoft's Mixer so they're able to go their own way without legal recourse, but Dr. Disrespect was under contract with Twitch and he could find himself in a whole lot of legal trouble if this is the case.
If Spotify does indeed own Brime, however, it doesn't look like they're dumping that much money into the venture, could the world's biggest streamers really be wrapped up in a seemingly rinky-dink operation like Brime?
What helped to fuel the conspiracy theories is that Dr. Disrespect apparently had something big planned for Monday, June 29, which just so happened to be the day that Brime was holding its first Q&A to discuss its business plans.
The new company is still holding its question and answer session, however, there hasn't been any mention of the big streamers that Brime is following, either.
As a side note : We wanted to start small and grow organically.— Code Name - Brime (@WatchBrime) June 28, 2020
This is happening very fast.
Another chink in the Brime Conspiracy theory armor is that why in the world would Dr. Disrespect jeopardize a multi-million dollar streaming deal with an established service like Twitch for an unknown upstart like Brime? It certainly doesn't even look like Spotify has anything to do with it either.
Paul Tassi of Forbes also believes that Dr. Disrespect's Twitch ban probably isn't just tied to a breach of contract, because if that was the case, there wouldn't be so much secrecy surrounding his departure.
We'll update this article with more information as it becomes available.