Regarding Grant's Enablers
I know there’s a lot going on right now but I want to set a number of things straight with regards to the whole Grant business and the people who are seeking to get out of this situation playing as if they knew nothing about the situation or the issues.
You may not know me at all, but I’m Llama’s partner of ~7 years. I was made famous in one brief instance when ixmike88 wondered if I was a man or woman, referred to me as “it” and asked Llama for clarification in order to clear a bet he had made with his teammates at the time. Wew lad what a great scene.
Llama’s been through a lot and doesn’t feel up to writing this herself so I’m going to lead you all through a wonderful memory lane of NA/EN talent. In 2015, she started casting RD2L and other open amateur leagues because she had fun casting. She eventually wanted to try to do more of it, and continued to work through casting a lot of smaller leagues and eventually ended up starting getting some paid gigs.
At some point during this, she ended up casting a game that didn’t have a valid ticket for spectating. She was in the lobby, as were other casting groups, but regular spectators couldn’t join. GrandGrant apparently wanted to stream this game, and decided to rebroadcast her stream on his, while making a point to say that he was hijacking it in her stream. After being told not to, he did anyway and ended up getting banned off of Twitch for a week or so as a violation of ToS.
Post this incident, he made a number of posts on twitter and the now defunct NA Dota 2 forums that amounted to sexual harassment. He also claimed on his stream as well as on the NA Dota 2 forums that Llama had both Doxxed him and had her community send him death threats.
That was the accusation that led to her being ostracized by certain members of talent. Swindlemelonzz aka Kyle bailed on cocasting with her over this at one point, and while he seems to be on the right side at this juncture, if decent people took Grant’s word over hers, it’s not hard to see how wide Grant’s sphere of influence was.
Leading up to the Summit 5, Llama got an invite to do in person casting at the NA Hub. The guest list at the time included one, GrandGrant. She was excited that she was being given the opportunity to grow her casting career, but was understandably worried about having to work in close proximity with someone that was harassing her and claiming that she had doxxed him and coordinated sending him death threats. She made Grace Cho, the event organizer of BTS, aware of the situation and was told not to worry. But upon asking what measures could be taken to ensure that both she and her things would be safe, Llama was told to “wait a bit, I need to talk to Parker about this”. The unredacted convo appears below, but don’t think that the entire situation wasn’t made abundantly clear to the wider BTS staff at this time.
After the Summit, Llama slowly continued to get hired less until the only casting she had left was actually given to her through Starladder/CIS and Valve. BTS has an effective monopoly (or had, I’ve been out of DOTA for ~4 years at this point), and effectively cut the squeaky wheel out of their quarry of casters. Say what you will about her ability to cast, I have logs of both LD and Godz saying that they thought she was improving and worth investing time to grow in, only to have all of that disappear after this Summit. Even if she wasn’t good at what she did, that would have eventually netted out with conversations on how to improve, and eventually parting ways, not radio silence and blackballing.
Now after this Summit two things happened. One, Llama attempted to work with Conrad Janzen (now employed at EG, at the time was the Twitch Partner manager for Dota 2) in order to have Twitch address the harassment as some of it had occurred on their platform (one of the great failings of Twitch’s ToS is only dealing with harassment between personalities that occurs on it’s platform).
In his pursuit of “addressing” the accusations of doxxing/death threats, Conrad asked Grant if the accusations were true, and Grant replied that he had “said some dumb shit” and that it wasn’t true. Conrad asked Grant to not do it again and afterwards told Llama it would be “fine” because “Grant wouldn’t do it again”. No disciplinary action, no redaction, no apology, just “it’s fine he made an oopsie accusing you of death threats”. That narrative was allowed to fester in the open air in the EN talent scene and there were people who thought they knew Grant better than Llama, so they believed his lie.
Llama attempted to escalate the issue past this point, which led to Conrad removing himself as Llama’s Twitch Partner liaison. She then attempted to escalate further through Twitch to get some level of resolution and was stymied.
It was around this point that at the Summit 6 during downtime that Llama apparently came up as a topic of conversation and Conrad said something to the effect of “yeah she’s crazy I won’t work with her anymore” around a number of the NA Talent (while still representing Twitch). So, now with the knowledge that an employee had effectively denigrated her in front of her effective employers, we attempted to escalate back up through Twitch to figure out what the hell was going on. We ended up in contact with two senior members of the NA Partnerships team who both still work with the company.
Through their back and forth to try to assess what Conrad did, eventually it got to the point where they offered her a deal: drop asking them to take action against Conrad for literally talking about confidential information in front of her coworkers and employers, and they’d give her a new partner manager and try to set her up with some contacts to be successful in another game (overwatch was just launching around this time). She didn’t want that though, she wanted what had been taken from her, an opportunity to succeed or fail as a Dota 2 caster on her own merits. When she didn’t take the deal, they effectively asked her to stop contacting them, and they never followed through with any assistance for her.
The second thing that happened around this time is that Llama filed a lawsuit in the state of Colorado accusing Grant of harassing her and injuring her business relationships. This lawsuit would take the better part of 4 years to resolve, but early on, it came up as a topic of conversation at yet another BTS run Lan event that we had a friend at. This came out to the majority of the BTS leadership as well as other casters who were there. LD apparently offered Grant advice on how to approach the lawsuit and offered to talk it through with him, and apparently in a drunk admission Grant said “I guess you reap what you sow”. One of the key quotes that our friend took away from this was from someone that we figured would be an ally in all of this. Sheever backed Grant saying that “Llama’s girlfriend works at Microsoft or something, so they can just steamroll Grant in court”. At no point in this did I pay for anything related to the lawsuit. In fact we have anecdotes from the scene that LD and PPD helped pay for Grant’s legal fees throughout all of this.
Grant however did not get steamrolled in court. The court found him guilty of the defamation, and injuring her business relationships, but has still not had to issue an apology, perform anything to better the community or otherwise. This current “apology” and leaving the scene is brought on the backs of a lot of pain by a number of people, that could have been prevented if we weren’t invested in giving bad people 4th and 5th chances over giving a new person their first.
Many people in the EN Dota 2 Scene were aware of this behavior. Many of them were directly asked to help do something, anything about it. In challenging someone that was held near and dear to the powers that be in the scene, Llama was excised from it. Whether you think she was the best caster or the worst caster that’s ever worked in the scene doesn’t really matter here. She wasn’t pushed out based on her merits, she was blackballed for daring to try to ask for assurances that she would be safe at a lan event with someone who had threatened her. She was cut off by Twitch for asking the people who were responsible for helping her as a broadcaster to hold one of their own accountable for leaking confidential behavior that further put her on the outs in her industry. No one deserves this shit.
I’ve withheld the names of the two current Twitch partnerships members because they still work at Twitch and I’m not looking to get fired over a twitlonger. I’ve given all of this information to HR years ago and nothing came of it. I’m not looking to grind an axe against them but they know who they are.
People who need to own this shit:
David “Godz” Parker
David “LD” Gorman
Grace Lee Cho
Below are the unredacted Skype logs from the BTS incident wherein David “Godz” Parker was first made aware of the tension between Llama and Grant. They are presented in this way because my only form of them at this point is a 200 MB Skype DB file that I will not be posting.
Monday, June 13, 2016
I also have a couple questions about where we're staying/living arrangements etc. To be incredibly blunt I've had problems with Grant in the past involving harassment and including him threatening to hurt me if we ever met in person. I've reported these threats in various places (including filing a police report but as you may know there's not much you can do about online threats unless it escalates to in person violence :( ). But I'm not going to pass up a big chance like this even if someone gross is going to be there.
What I'd like to know is if there will be somewhere I can store my stuff safely at the house if we're frequently there (so I know if I can bring my laptop without fear of it getting hurt/broken) and if there's somewhere I'll be able to safely store some medicine I need to bring. (Cough syrup stuff)
ok well everyone has a roommate at the hotel and the broadcast is going to be at the office.
as for personally knowing grant, he's a little on the weird side, but I cannot imagine him hurting anyone and is very professional especially since this is big coverage.
if you have any other concerns, please let me know.
you're rooming with anniecasts
I've been told by many people who personally know him that he's no trouble, but I have records (going through less than a month ago) of him constantly harassing me online
Including claiming I've been doxing and sending him death threats
Which I had to file another report about :(
It's not great and while I understand everyone knows each other personally I think it's really disturbing that this behavior is generally overlooked because it's being done by someone everyone knows :(
Either way if you can keep an eye out for this that would be great
i can understand where you are coming from.
i can say i can ask him to behave, and if something escalates we can have a chat about it or do something, but let's try to see what the schedule is like first and go from there, theres a possibility that you will not see him bc you' guys are on separate time zones.
Yep and I'd rather not someone "aggravate" him by asking him to behave
Oh btw is Conrad going to be there?
He already knows about these issues since the majority happened on twitch and has to be on the look out because of the situation with twitch
(I saw him in one of the group chats)
I'm still going through the document and trying to fly people out
I just strongly suggest that you try to keep things as professional as possible.
I always do
we will ask the same of grant and anyone else that comes through our doors.
I actually never reply to any of the thigns he does other than to screenshot and report
I've just being in unpleasant situations before and do want to protect myself
well im not sure what more i can do.
And therefore won't be leaving things out with someone dangerous around
Oh there wasn't a direct ask, just if we were staying at the house again I'd ask if I could sleep somewhere with a lock etc
So that there is somewhere I can know my stuff is safe
i do need to let Parker know since it's an issue that you're telling us with talent and he is the big man.
But since we're in hotels that is all covered
Sure let Parker know. I can also provide him with screen shots of the behavior if he has any questions
i will hold off on your flight and scheduling for now and ill keep you posted.
or parker will get in touch with you.
You're saying since I brought up an issue I might not get invited?
I'm really confused
i did not say anything of the sort.
i simply said i will hold off on flights.
Regardless of having to work with someone who scares me since they have personally threatened me before, I still want to attend. I do not want to pass up this chance.
i understand that.
So why are you hiding off on flights?
how about you call me : 909 --- ----
Will you be around in a bit? I'm still streaming for about two hours
(Of course never skype stuff on stream)
i will be around all day since i have to do summit 5 stuff.
Okay I will call in about two hours
Hi Natalie, I just spoke to Parker about the situation. He said go ahead and book the flight for you.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Hey, I am still on AM open and EU regional right?
to be blunt, it would suck and be super wrong to be moved off the casting you scheduled me fore last week because I was open and honest about the threats and harassment Grant has targeted towards me.
And sorry to be pedantic/paranoid but 1 I'm doing a bunch of prep and 2 I've been... Let's just say that this issue has already caused issues in the scene (cocasters/players asking me why I'm sending Grant death threats when I never have, other streamers wondering what's going on) and I'm really wary of being moved off of stuff because of it.
Hey just chill! Nothings changing lets just all enjoy the hub and not stress out! Grant is harmless in person and will probably just avoid you knowing him if the two of you have had beef online before, so I wouldn't worry too much about being there in person with him.