Cowboy released from TSM after allegations of inappropriate behaviour
Fortnite team TSM has responded to recent allegations against their player Cowboy by dropping him from the team. This move came after a few days of coverage that increasingly lead to questions about Cowboy’s conduct on Twitch and outside of Fortnite. The move will see Cowboy released from the team and unlikely to be competing at upcoming events.
Yesterday Cowboy was officially released and is no longer affiliated with us.
— TSM (@TSM) March 6, 2019
A streamer named ‘Faith’ presented evidence in one of her streams that Cowboy had contacted an underage streamer. His messages to her commented on how she looks, what she wears during streams, and invited her to talk to him privately. The streamer who Cowboy was contacting had decided to remain anonymous. Faith was acting as an intermediary to make the messages public without revealing the identity of the streamer.
This desire for anonymity is understandable given the devoted fan base some players carry. The streamer who Cowboy sent these message to is underage. TSM are making clear that they will not tolerate inappropriate behaviour towards children from their players. It’s a move which hasn’t pleased everyone but seems like a normal response to the situation.
Some people are unhappy about TSM letting Cowboy go. Cowboy himself has said he is retaining a lawyer to try and clear his name. He hasn’t specifically been accused of a crime so how the lawyer is intending to clear up the situation is currently unknown. TSM has recently signed a sponsorship deal with NERF toys to feature their players in promotional material for their upcoming range of Fortnite inspired weapons. In light of sponsorship by a major toy manufacturer, it’s clear why TSM might be unwilling to hold onto a player accused of predatory behaviour towards children.
Backlash against TSM
Others in the Fortnite community have taken issue with TSM decision. The full facts of the situation aren’t currently known beyond what streamer Faith shared. The streamer TrainwrecksTV have made public some considerable opposition to the decision to drop Cowboy. As have a number of other commentators, primarily on YouTube.
In a recent stream, TrainwrecksTV had a long segment about the incident. He claimed that the decision was hypocritical on TSM’s part. He argued that the team had previously heavily appealed to ‘teamwork’ and treating the entire team as a solid group. By dropping a player because they sent inappropriate messages to a child, TrainwreckTV suggested this makes them hypocrites.
While TSM may pay lip service to grand ideas like teamwork and loyalty, they are essentially a team of player and not a group who have sworn a blood-oath. It seems like a simplistic or willfully ignorant reading of the situation to attempt to reduce the dropping of Cowboy to an issue of loyalty. TSM is likely to have had access to more information about the incident than the general Twitch watching public. The decision to drop a player accused of behaving predatory towards children after signing a sponsorship deal with children’s toys doesn’t seem so much hypocritical as it does sensible.