Esports organization XTRA Gaming is under fire after refusing to support a member who experienced sexual assault.
XTRA Gaming witnessed nearly its roster of esports players and content creators leave amid serious allegations of attempting to silence a victim of sexual assault. A Twitter user by the name of JeffTheMVP released a Twitlonger post today, alleging that he and a friend were drugged and sexually abused at a party in Los Angeles. The victim sought guidance from his esports organization — XTRA Gaming — but was told he’d have to leave the team if he went forward with his accusations.
Now, the organization faces criticism and a virtually empty roster in the hours following these accusations.
JeffTheMVP’s Twitlonger alleges that two male assailants, known as influencers Carter and Raffy, drugged and sexually assaulted him and his friend in August of this year in Los Angeles. The statement reads:
“Carter snd [sic] Raffy were both well informed that I identify as a straight male. I even told them that I have a girlfriend back in Orange County. I thought they accepted this and understood. When we came up to their place they informed my friend and I that they had been drunk since 7 AM and urged us to ‘get on their level.’”
The two felt pressured into drinking to appease their hosts, and accepted drinks as a result. All four men discussed large brand deals and endorsements but felt the situation was uneasy.
“Raffy and Carter kept passing me the bottle and urging me to get on their level. I wanted to fit in and make them happy so I obliged. They never drank from the bottle they made us drink from. They wanted us to chill with them until the big party they invited us to later on. We decided to seek it through because we wanted to network at the party.”
Details from this story grew darker and darker. The two victims ended up unclothed in bed with the accused abusers with no memory of what happened that night. After going to a hospital, they reached out to authorities but feared exposing their two well-known assailants.
XTRA Gaming Advises Victims Against a Public Statement
With few options, Jeff approached XTRA Gaming, seeking advice about how to move forward. According to Jeff, the organization advised against this idea, and he recapped the experience:
“My e-sports team, Xtra Gaming even made me feel wrong for wanting to get what happened to me out to the public. They said that I would have to leave the team if I wanted to talk about this publicly,” he wrote.
“They said it would look bad on their brand. My friend and I both got scalded [sic] and made to feel like it was our fault by the owner of the team. It destroyed me to not have my team which is like family to me back me and be there for me.”
Several XTRA Members Leave the Team
In response to the allegations against XTRA Gaming, many of the team’s players and content creators distanced themselves from the brand. Well-known Fortnite competitors such as FNCS Champions Nathan "Reet" Amundson and Dejsean “Deyy” Hew announced their free agency. Soon after, the bulk of XTRA Gaming’s representatives followed suit.
More Details Surface, Razer Terminates Partnership
Another of XTRA’s former members named ThatGeekAaron came forward with a similar story, stating that the organization ignored his stories of abuse and being homeless. ESTNN reached out to Jeff regarding the situation. He said XTRA has not contacted him since posting his Twitlonger. Team Razer has since terminated its partnership with XTRA on account of the overwhelming information.
XTRA’s Owner Steps Down
Mere hours after Jeff told his story, XTRA Founder and CEO — Manny “Sly” Vieites — stepped down from his position. He tweeted out an apology and his perspective.
“Earlier today, a video was released and the way we handled the incident was insensitive and not a reflection of who I am as an individual or what we stand for as an organization,” he said. “I take ownership in knowing I could have taken more of an aggressive/public approach to assist our players and for that I am deeply sorry.”
“Words cannot describe how saddened I am that I have failed our members, our community and everyone that supported us. Therefore, I am taking time to reflect and stepping down as the CEO of XTRA Gaming, effective immediately.”
If you or someone you know has been the victim of abuse and is in need of support, please reach out to the RAINN or contact their immediate help line at 1-800-656-4673.
Feature Image: XTRA Gaming