IShowSpeed banned from Valorant

IShowSpeed was permabanned from playing Valorant and other Riot games after a Tweet emerged with a snippet of a video of him making sexist comments in the game.

IShowSpeed, whose real name is Darren, became popular on YouTube and on other platforms for his over-the-top reactions during his gaming streams.

However, outcries over his sexist comments during a Valorant gaming stream have caused IShowSpeed to be banned from playing Valorant and all other Riot games.

How did IShowSpeed become so popular?

Darren Watkins Jr., or IShowSpeed, as he is known on social media and streaming platforms, is a popular gaming streamer who is known online for his boisterous personality.

He initially created the IShowSpeed YouTube channel in 2016 and posted the first video on his channel just over a year later.

This channel did not show much growth in its beginning stages, however, when Darren started uploading live streaming content of him playing NBA 2K and Fortnite Battle Royale, videos of Darren reacting dramatically during these live streams started gaining traction on other social media platforms, and the channel quickly started gaining viewers and subscribers.

The IShowSpeed YouTube channel now has over 8.9 million subscribers.

IShowSpeed banned from Valorant

One of the reasons IShowSpeed gained such a large number of followers on YouTube and on other social media platforms so quickly, is because of Darren’s loud, over-the-top personality.

The way that Darren screamed and overreacted when he lost in a game is part of what has drawn such a large audience to the IShowSpeed channel. Most viewers watch these live streams to laugh at his dramatic reactions.

However, on 6 April 2022, a viewer named Jake Lucky posted an old clip of one of IShowSpeed’s streams on Twitter, pointing out that Darren may have taken his dramatic reactions too far.

The clip shows IShowSpeed making misogynistic comments about a female player while playing Valorant shortly after being killed by an enemy in the game.

Although this kind of outburst is a fairly regular occurrence on IShowSpeed’s streams, what upset viewers is the fact that in this live stream, Darren is yelling at this female player at the top of his lungs and he even goes as far as calling her derogatory terms and telling her to go back to doing her “husband’s dishes.”

The commotion garnered by this Tweet prompted a response from Sara Dadafshar, who is a game producer at Riot Games. In her Tweet she announced that she had permabanned IShowSpeed from Valorant and all other Riot games.

This interaction then led to responses from other notable figures and prompted discussions about the Valorant gaming community on social media platforms. Because of the severity of this ban, IShowSpeed has responded with a public apology.

Responses to IShowSpeed being banned from playing Valorant

Shortly after Sara tweeted that IShowSpeed’s behaviour was unacceptable and that she had permabanned him from Valorant and other Riot games, one of the members of the Global Head of Gaming Creators for YouTube, Lester Chen, responded to the initial Tweet, simply stating that he was “On it.”

Many viewers took this as a sign that YouTube would be investigating the IShowSpeed channel and that this may also lead to a ban on YouTube, although the platform has made no official statement or notice of a ban of this kind thus far.

This ban followed shortly after IShowSpeed was banned from streaming on Twitch temporarily in 2021, also for sexist remarks made during a live stream on this platform.

The Valorant community

Although many viewers agreed with and supported the announcement by Sara that this kind of sexist behaviour did not belong in the Valorant chats, many others were quick to point out that the chats in the game are generally filled with many other examples of racism, sexism, homophobia, and other harmful comments.

This is also why Riot Games has made so many ongoing efforts to minimise voice chat toxicity in the game.

Keemstar, from the popular YouTube commentary and update channel, DramaAlert, also spoke out publicly to defend IShowSpeed, saying that viewers should not get upset over comments that are just “trash talk.”

IShowSpeed’s apology after being banned by Valorant

After the perma-ban from Valorant and all other Riot games had taken effect, IShowSpeed posted a video on his Twitter account apologising for his actions.

In this 88 second video, posted on 7 April 2022, Darren states that the initial snippet, which caused the ban, was taken from an old stream and that he was having a difficult time with the remarks on the Valorant chats at that time in the game.