Why we left Rising Hope
For the sake of transparency, this is what happened with Rising Hope
I, as the head coach, along with the players, unanimously voted to leave Rising Hope due to the trauma that one of the coaches (Simons) gave to us.
A week prior to Elite, we would hold daily training and scrims. After the discussion and planning of strategy, Simons would just speak out randomly and say, “Hey Wway call me and show me your dick.” He would say this around three times. It may be an internal joke to them or something but since I am a coach of female players, I found it inappropriate so I called him out telling him that it wasn’t a good joke and that he should refrain from doing that as it was not funny.
After that incident, we decided to hold our own training and scrims without the two coaches from Rising Hope. To keep them updated on gameplay and strategy, I would record the games and send it over to them. This would also help the players focus better and be more comfortable during their scrimmages.
September 27, 2022 - We continued to practice and train without the two coaches. Simons sent a message asking to watch the scrims. Of course, we transferred to their Discord but I asked Wway to watch the scrims as well so that if Simons were to talk inappropriately again, there would be someone to stop him.
The initial 15 minutes were all good. They were on mute while watching the games. After some time, Simons would speak out in Russian while the players were in game and they had a hard time listening to footsteps and concentrating. So, I would call out Simons to mute his microphone but he didn’t stop and would continue to speak. After this, he said “Wway call me and show me your dick.” I called him out again, saying that it wasn’t funny and to go on mute.
A few minutes after, he switched his camera on and showed his penis. Being that the players were all on dual-monitors, they were the first to see it and got shocked. I have a single monitor, so I didn’t know what happened. The players left the Discord and I was wondering what happened. I transferred to our Discord and asked them what happened. They told me how Simons showed his penis right in front of the camera.
After the scrim, the team and I held a meeting and reviewed the scrim footage, and found that Simons has been drinking with alcohol visible on Discord cam while acting inappropriately multiple times throughout the scrim, not just the one time that my players caught him.
So I called up Wway and asked him why Simons would do that. He said that he was in disbelief and was also dumbfounded as to why Simons did what he did. Next step, we approached Lazar, one of the co-owners of Rising Hope and told him what had happened. We opened up the discussion of having Simons out of the team because of what he did. We told Lazar that if he didn’t take out Simons, we would be the ones to leave the org. Initially, Lazar wanted to keep Simons in the org with the reason that he 'is a big star', but he agreed with the team's sentiments about Simons' behavior, and told us that he will not be joining the team as coach moving forward.
After the incident, we took a few days’ rest because I noticed my players were shaken up and couldn’t focus because of what happened.
Personally, I got traumatized with what happened. The shock my players went through is resounding, causing me sleepless nights.
We just hope that these types of predators would be barred from the scene as this is what is destroying the community and giving the game industry a bad image.