'CS:GO' Analyst Thorin Defends Streamer's Use of Anti-gay Slur, Still Working With ESL

Esports personality and professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive commentator Duncan "Thorin" Shields has come under fire for defending recently banned streamer m0e's use of the word "f----t." m0e has routinely used the word on stream for years without any backlash from Twitch, until receiving a 30-day ban this week. "It's not a bad word and has a lot of meanings," m0e said in a viral clip posted earlier this week, where he defends his use of the word as a way to express his frustrations.

In a tweet from Sunday, Thorin claims the word m0e used "is not and has never been explicitly or solely homophobic in meaning." In a long thread, Thorin lists some of the meanings the term held in the past and says "but the tyrants who try to tell you a word only has the meaning they decided, even if they're making it up on the spot or ignoring cultural context and history, can still fuck off."

Thorin is currently on the analyst desk at ESL One Cologne, a major CS:GO tournament being streamed to hundreds of thousands of fans on Facebook. The analyst has worked with ESL (formerly called the Electronic Sports League) before, but is a contractor and not a full-time employee.

This isn't the first time Thorin's expressed controversial views online. In 2014, he called Poland "one of the worst countries in Europe" on the Unfiltered podcast, with ESL quickly removing him from their Major Series One event in Katowice. In a statement on reddit after the incident, ESL said it "does not stand by or tolerate acts of racism, xenophobia or other forms of discrimination and does not wish to be associated or employ those who make any such comments."

Newsweek has reached out to ESL, Thorin and representatives for the event's sponsors (Intel and Logitech) for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication.

Members of the esports community have rallied against Thorin's tweet, fearing such statements from the figureheads in front of the camera may do permanent damage to the pro gaming brand.

Hearthstone streamer and caster Brian Kibler criticized Thorin's "record-breakingly bad take," while others like Sky Williams and Day9 completely broke down his illogical reasoning.

Thorin currently hosts a podcast with Christopher "Montecristo" Kjell Mykles, a caster and personality for the Activision-Blizzard run Overwatch League. Monte defended Thorin in a tweet, saying, "I have spoken to Thorin for hundreds of hours and he has never said anything to make me believe that he is anti-LGBT in any way."

'CS:GO' Analyst Thorin Defends Streamer's Use of Anti-gay Slur, Still Working With ESL | Gaming