Soon after the announcement of #GGForAll, a women-only CSGO tournament circuit boasting a $500k prize pool created by ESL, caster Auguste "Semmler" Massonnat mocked the event in a series of tweets, with the esports community subsequently criticising him for his "clown" take.
Semmler, who's perhaps most known for casting both CSGO and Overwatch in previous years, picked a low-hanging fruit for his punchline, asking "when will the men-only tournament be scheduled?"
Instead of apologising for such a tasteless joke and moving on with his day, the 33-year-old double down on his take, making it crystal clear that he was serious with his criticism towards the all-women circuit.
It's the dishonesty that gets me.— Semmler (@OnFireSemmler) December 22, 2021
Why does the messaging have to be ''MEN ARE TOXIC'' instead of ''We're starting a league to promote female players because we lose when we compete against the men.'' ?
How were previous tournaments not #ggforall? https://t.co/SKGm6eKHNj
"Why does the messaging have to be 'MEN ARE TOXIC' instead of 'We're starting a league to promote female players because we lose when we compete against the men?'" Semmler said when no one asked.
Completely missing the point of the circuit, which is to find a safe space for women interested in competing to develop without the constant struggles and discrimination they face on a regular basis, Semmler defended his stance: "How long will we accept discrimination and toxicity is just a part of the game?"
Naturally, his highly controversial tweets received a lot of backlash from virtually every esport community he's been a part of -- from Overwatch to CSGO, and even Valorant pros and casters weighed in.
Heather "sapphiRe" Garozzo, one of the most renowned female CSGO players in history, stated that the ultimate goal is "to get more women to compete - whether it's with men, against men, with women, against women. It's hard to be a pro. Only a fraction of a % of players are tier 1. There's a much smaller pool of women players. Need to grow that pool first."
The goal is to get more women to compete - whether it's with men, against men, with women, against women.— Heather 'sapphiRe' Garozzo (@sapphiReGG) December 22, 2021
Just in general there aren't enough women competing, BUT there are more women that compete in CS than other games because initiatives like this.
Jake "Boaster" Howlett, a player for Fnatic's Valorant roster and an ex-CSGO pro, also slammed Semmler for his take. "It’s already super hard to become a pro, so why should we limit these opportunities? It doesn’t hurt you does it?"
It’s not hurting anybody and it’s giving opportunities for women to get involved in the scene and grow. It’s already super hard to become a pro, so why should we limit these opportunities? It doesn’t hurt you does it?— FNATIC Boaster (@OfficialBoaster) December 22, 2021
Even TSM's head of global social and community channels Dunc chimed in, going with a bit of a more feral comment via his own personal account. "Clowns get on average $61,326 a year. Here you are, being one for free."
Clowns get on average $61,326 a year. Here you are, being one for free.— TSM FTX Dunc (@followdunc) December 22, 2021
It seems highly unlikely that Semmler will ever come close to apologising for his comments. One thing's for sure, however, we know who won't be landing a casting gig at #GGForAll any time soon.
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Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.