Major esports team Method has been accused of protecting player MethodJosh after he was accused by several people of sexual harassment, some of whom were underage girls at the time of the alleged misconduct. Allegations have continued to pile on as the week has gone on, as more and more people have decided to share their stories about MethodJosh. Team Method put out a statement, but many feel that the organization did not do enough to handle this situation.
MethodJosh is far from the only person to be outed for sexual abuse or harassment in this eye-opening industry moment. Last week, many people in the gaming community called out the CEO of Twitch for ignoring reports of abuse by several of its prominent streamers. This came hot on the heels of a lot of reports coming out that detailed several high profile streamers, developers, YouTubers, and more that have abused people over the years in various manners and capacities. Massive developer and publisher Ubisoft even had many employees accused of similar systemic behavior, which led to the company suspending several employees over their allegations.
MethodJosh (whose full real name is not public) has been pointed to as a serial abuser and harasser of underage girls, according to the accounts of several of the people who claim to have been his victims. Several users state that he began by speaking to them about games before using his limited star power to solicit sexually explicit photos from them, apparently even once he knew they were underage. 2Alexmae5 wrote on Twitlonger, “This happened 3 years ago now (around June 2017), I am 19. This means Josh was actively speaking to and encouraging sexual activities (online only) with a 16 year old girl.” Other users levied accusations at Josh as well, with one person saying that they sent an email to Method about the situation, but that the company stated they could not do anything if they did not go to the police.
After the abuse allegations were made, Method made a statement on Twitlonger to apologize for Josh’s conduct and reassure fans that he was no longer a part of the team. The team goes on to state that they had been informed of Josh’s behavior through a third party, but that they were waiting on a police report to conduct a proper investigation. Method says that the team did not know the extent of Josh’s actions, or they would have done something sooner. One Twitter user, Jeremiah Bonjean, argues that Method isn’t telling the whole truth, claiming, “This is a lie. Your org told my old team at Blizzard you were looking into it two years ago. You knew enough, and you failed to protect your community and organization by enabling an abuser.”
Many of these accusations that have been put out about Josh come with screenshots of some of the reprehensible things that were said in his conversations with underage girls. Whether Method completely knew of these actions or not is still up for debate, but he is no longer a part of the team either way despite it being far too late for an untold number of his potential victims. Now, it is just a matter of waiting to see how Method continues to handle the situation, or if the esports organization can weather this massive blow at all.
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Source: 2Alexmae5, Method, Jeremiah Bonjean