Let's Talk About DotaDemon
I, and as far as I can tell, dozens of other people in the DotA community, have been hearing stories about Jimmy "Demon" Ho's bad behavior for years.
Each individual story is the sort of incident that is shitty, but not so serious that the victims involved couldn't shrug it off and ignore it. Many of us have talked about how he has pulled some bullshit, but since everyone sort of knows about it but he still gets hired by teams or gets commentary/coaching gigs, we assume the organizations don't care.
Maybe it's finally time to call him out on it. I will avoid speaking to the other stories I have heard about him as they were not first person experiences or first hand accounts to me.
Jimmy has, for as long as I can remember, fostered a sort of playboy persona. He's always flirting with women and trying to act slick about it. I always took it as a joke the many times he tried to flirt with me, because part of how I got through being a woman in such a heavily male dominated community was to just dismiss flirtation and defuse it–this was so banal that it doesn't really register as a blip on my radar beyond the lack of respect. I remember a car ride with Jimmy and some other DotA players where he hit on me and I kept saying no and making fun of him for it back and forth over a dozen times.
But one incident in particular is the sort of behavior that I find much more serious and troubling, especially if it speaks to a pattern of behaviors. This was at another MLG Columbus (Nov 2013)–one which ended up having a lot more dumb bullshit–so I didn't take much note of it at the time.
I worked for Twitch as a partnerships rep and event host at the time. At a bar where I was running a small after-party, Jimmy approached me and told me he needed to talk to me privately about something business related (twitch contract or somesuch. I don't remember the precise details). He pulled me into a space which I recall being small, fairly dark, and secluded with a door just next to us–possibly a fire escape or area by the bathrooms. He had me enter this area with him, put his right arm on the door holding it closed, and told me to kiss him. When I dismissed it as usual and went to open the door to leave, he shoved the door back closed and pleaded again for me to kiss him. I think he even grabbed my arm with his other hand to keep me from leaving immediately. Fortunately he relented soon after this and let me leave and I didn't take the event very seriously. I'm sure that from his perspective, this was some slick move worthy of problematic-movie-protagonists.
In those years, having interacted with gamers and 4chan posters since maybe age 14, I didn't even register this event as being as gross and inappropriate as it was, so I didn't really mention it or think much of it at the time.
But since those events, I have heard several other stories about his inappropriate behavior around women, as well as other shady incidents which aren't sexual-harassment related. I have been debating about coming forward with this for years precisely because I know so many organizations which have and continued to hire him are aware of the rumors, but I'm realizing now that it is very difficult to act on 3rd hand stories and rumors, so I am putting forth this concrete statement now.