James 'Phantoml0rd' Varga sues Twitch over his 2016 suspension
PC Gamer | Date: 19-02-2018 18:45:51

In July 2016, Twitch suspended James "PhantomL0rd" Varga, a streamer who at the time had nearly 1.4 million followers, over his association with CSGO skin gambling site CSGOShuffle. Esports journalist Richard Lewis said a record of email exchanges between Varga and CSGOShuffle coder Duhau Joris that he'd obtained "heavily suggest, almost to a degree of certainty," that Varga actually owned the site, a fact he neglected to mention in streams where he used and promoted it, and gambled with "house money" rather than his own. 

That's in violation of FTC and Valve rules, which means it also violated the Twitch terms of service, and as a result his channel was suspended. But now Varga has filed a lawsuit (via Unikrn) against Twitch over the suspension, saying that Twitch improperly suspended his account and then terminated his contract without providing an explanation as to why. 

The lawsuit alleges that Varga's contract obligated Twitch to provide written notice of violations, as well as an opportunity to correct them within 30 days, but neither the notice nor the corrective window were provided. Furthermore, the allegations that led to the suspension arose from "unsubstantiated, false accusations leveled at Varga by a third party, whose accusations were the culmination of an effort to publicly disparage Varga and take advantage of his popularity." 

"It is clear from Twitch's conduct that the stated bases for suspension and termination were an effort to deflect negative press and scapegoat Varga, allowing Twitch to publicly decry alleged gambling conduct and divert attention from the fact that Twitch continued to knowingly allow such conduct to continue on other Twitch channels," the suit states. 

Varga alleges that he wasn't given a reason for the suspension until January 2017, nearly five months after it happened, when a Twitch rep told him that his channel had fraudulent subscribers. At some point after that, however, he was told that the real problem was the amount of non-gaming content he streamed, including CSGO skin gambling, which violated content guidelines. 

But Varga claims that he was told multiple times by Twitch employees that he could stream such content for up to 30 consecutive minutes at a time, and that Twitch "was aware that the representation was false." 

The suit says Varga suffered significant financial and reputational harm as a result of the suspension, which occurred despite him fully satisfying all the conditions of his contract. He's seeking general, special, and exemplary damages, interest, legal fees (including "expert witness fees"), and whatever else the court deems appropriate.   

Varga, as far as I can tell, has not returned to Twitch since his initial suspension, but he's been streaming on YouTube since last year. A Twitch rep said the company does not comment on pending litigation. 

  Steam Charts: Pre-Congeal Edition
Rock, Paper, Shotgun | Date: 19-02-2018 07:46:08

As the charting games on Steam once more congeal into a single amorphous lump, quickly dive in to catch the last appearance of Subnautica, and probably Slay The Spire too. Next week it’ll just be GTA: Counter-Strike – Witcher Battlegrounds. (more…)

  Steam Charts: Right Let s Get This Over Edition
Rock, Paper, Shotgun | Date: 12-02-2018 07:30:38

Some websites will fob you off with scant details about your favourite best-selling games, but not RPS. Here you will find gaming’s most insightful commentary on the leading games of the modern age. (more…)

  Steam Charts: Mystery No. 9 Edition
Rock, Paper, Shotgun | Date: 05-02-2018 07:18:46

Where oh where is #9 this week, you ask, uncertain that it is possible to have a top ten without it. A mystery! Of course there are the usual suspects, the increasingly usual new suspects, and even a couple of new entries, but when it comes to slot nine, there’s a gap. The URL for the entry is this, the number seemingly unattached to anything on the store, and not the since deleted entry for the idiotic CS:GO championship sticker collection, as I’d first assumed. Go solve the mystery, mystery solvers! (more…)

  CS:GO 'Dragon Lore' AWP skin sells for more than $61,000
PC Gamer | Date: 31-01-2018 14:38:49

Cloud9 became the first North American team to win a CS:GO major over the weekend, defeating the favored FaZe Clan in tight overtime action. The following day, a very different sort of eye-popping mark was set when a Dragon Lore CS:GO weapon skin sold for more than $61,000

Dragon Lore ranks highly among the most expensive CS:GO skins to begin with, but this one was particularly valuable for a couple of reasons. First, it's a souvenir skin, which are available exclusively from souvenir packages that only drop during Valve-sponsored CS:GO tournaments. Dragon Lore is actually the rarest skin in the Cobblestone Packages, which currently sell for a little north of $30 each on the Steam Marketplace.   

This particular skin is also "factory new," and its stickers are all "unscratched," each of which compounds its rarity even further. And the timely pièce de résistance is that it bears the autograph of Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, the MVP of the ELEAGUE Boston Major 2018 where Cloud9 made its mark.   

The skin was originally purchased for $35,000 by a collector named Drone, who told Polygon that the selling price, despite being so much higher than what he paid (which seems absolutely nuts to begin with), was as low as he was willing to go. "I didn’t originally get into this game solely for profit," he said. "I just got very lucky a couple of times, and money is more valuable to different people. I’m very lucky in my financial state to where I can afford to buy these skins and it does not affect me."   




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