Counter-Strike Streamer Sues Twitch Following Gambling Ban
The former Twitch Streamer, James ‘Phantoml0rd’ Varga, is reportedly suing the video-game streaming site, following his ban in 2016. Varga became very well known for his Counter-Strike: Global Offensive live streams on Twitch, but eventually had his account deleted due to a gambling scandal.
Counter-Strike Streamers Promotes Own Gambling Site
Varga was an online celebrity, especially in the Counter-Strike community. At the height of his popularity, he had close to one million followers on Twitch and 16 000 subscribers. His account was deleted following a report by a gaming journalist named Richard Lewis. The journalist published a story on Varga, after receiving information from a hacker that claimed that Varga was the owner of CS: GOShuffle.
This site was a roulette-style skin gambling site for Counter-Strike: GO that Varga regularly promoted on his streams. However, he never disclosed that he owned the site himself. There was also evidence that Varga was rigging the results so that he’d win a lot more often, making skin gambling seem far more lucrative and attractive to his followers.
Counter-Strike Gambling a Threat to Children
Varga is claiming that under the terms of his contract with Twitch, he required a written explanation from the company if they terminated their association. He is claiming that he never received the written explanation and that there were no rules preventing him from using skin gambling in his videos, despite this then being used to terminate his contract. Finally, Varga is also claiming that in January 2017, a representative from Twitch stated that he had not been terminated because of the gambling scandal, but rather for amassing fake subscribers.
For those of you who don’t know, skins in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are unique paint jobs for the game’s weapons. These skins can be very common or extremely rare. Because players were able to transfer these skins to third-party websites, they became a form of currency that could be used for gambling. There was also nothing stopping young children from gambling, and this became a multi-billion-dollar industry.
Eventually, politicians and the general public became aware of this and put pressure on Valve, the game’s developer, to shut it down. In July 2016, Valve did so, with numerous threats of lawsuits.