Toby “TobiWan” Dawson, a well-known caster in the Dota 2 scene, is the next in line to be condemned over sexual assault and harassment accusations.
“Every single woman I know has told me to be wary of Toby Dawson,” she said. “It’s an open secret among women in the industry. Some of his victims are STILL too scared and traumatised to come forward, even anonymously.”
She also claimed he has “put girls in therapy with his behaviour.” But acknowledged that her words alone weren’t enough and urged others to come forward.
Austin “Capitalist’ Walsh, a notable caster who has been pro-active and supportive of victims in the past week, backed her on the issue.
“It’s clear Toby’s actions are more than being a socially awkward person,” he said. “If you come out publicly, I will support you.”
Botjira, a cosplayer and artist, commented on his post. “He pinned me down in a hotel room,” she said. “I almost didn’t escape.”
He pinned me down in a hotel room. I almost didn't escape.
— 寧 (@botjira) June 25, 2020
TobiWan denied her accusation. “This has come as a total surprise to me,” he said. In a long post, he claims to have invited her back to his apartment, which she accepted.
“During this time, I thought she was interested in me and I tried to lean in to get closer,” he said. “She pulled back and I realised I misread the situation.”
“We then talked for a bit longer and she said she had to leave,” he added. “I felt awkward about the situation and said she didn’t have to go. But she wanted to go and I didn’t stop her.”
It’s worth mentioning that his side of the story doesn’t discredit her claim. It merely highlights a difference in their perspectives on the experience. The fact remains that his advances made her feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
TobiWan also acknowledged two separate incidents, one of which happened with what he described as an ex-girlfriend. He claims to have reached out to her and contacted privately to make amends but said she wanted to remain anonymous.
TobiWan admitted that one time when they were having sex, he removed a condom without her knowledge.
He also admitted that after their relationship became strained and she developed feelings for his friend, he pressured her with unwanted advances for a short time.
But in a shocking turn of events, it seems like his story was somewhat fabricated. Meruna, a cosplayer, confessed that she was the woman he was referring to.
Since you are so good at keeping me anonymous: We were never in a relationship. I, naively, wanted to, but you just wanted sex. I cried in your kitchen at 2am after asking you to be my boyfriend and you offered me a glass of water. https://t.co/gzo6TZhT5H
— Meruna (@Meruna_) June 25, 2020
In an emotional response, Meruna said they were never in a relationship, and he didn’t reach out to contact her as he claimed. Instead, it was she who messaged him.
“Toby’s half-assed apology got me furious to the points my hands and my voice were shaking,” she said. “I was not contacted.”
The worst part is, she said the sex they had was not consensual. He “could not take ‘no’ for an answer and initiated sexual activity with me against my clear and repeated wishes,” she said.
“Toby has admitted to doing this in a private conversation I had with him today,” she added. He apologised “many times,” but it felt more like “damage control.”
TobiWan has not responded publicly. But it seems like people and organizations have heard enough and are already distancing themselves from him.
Troels “Synderen” Nielsen was the first to make a statement. He co-casted with TobiWan for many years. They are widely considered to be one of the greatest casting duos of all time.
“I will no longer associate myself with Tobi,” he said. “I believed he was just socially awkward. This, however, is just completely unacceptable.”
To make matters worse, Synderen and Meruna have been in a relationship for several years. His decision to cut ties with TobiWan is as much personal as it is professional. Others were quick to follow.
Recent allegations of sexual assault and misconduct have come out against Toby. We believe them. We won't be working with him in the future.
— LD (@LDeeep) June 25, 2020
David “LD” Gorman, a former commentator and co-founder of Beyond The Summit, has said they won’t be working with him again.
In light of the information published today, we will no longer be representing Toby "TobiWan" Dawson.
— Code Red Esports (@CodeRedEsport) June 25, 2020
Code Red Esports, a UK-based esports agency, have also severed their relationship with him.
Valve has removed Tobiwan's voice lines from the Dota 2 TI10 Battle Pass following allegations from several women of sexual misconduct pic.twitter.com/tTIYbpRVxt
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) June 25, 2020
The nail in the coffin comes from Valve, who removed his famous commentary lines from The International 10 Battle Pass. They have taken the accusations very seriously and no longer want anything to do with him.
It seems to be the beginning of the end for yet another disgraced caster. But if the accusations against him are true, good riddance to him and anyone else found to have sexually assaulted or harassed others.
Simply put, there’s no place in the professional esports scene for people like that. And there’s no place in the world for that kind of behaviour. It’s time to take a stand.
Alex is a freelance writer based in Adelaide, Australia. He finished a law degree but realised it wasn't the career for him and decided to follow his dream of becoming a writer. Since then, he has finished two postgraduate writing degrees at Swinburne University of Technology. Now he writes about his other passion; esports and gaming.