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News > Entertainment > Esports
World

Redeye announces exit from esports after allegations of blackmail and abuse: "I have come very close... to taking my own life"

The esport veteran is stepping down from his role at Code Red.
Redeye announces exit from esports after allegations of blackmail and abuse: "I have come very close... to taking my own life"

Veteran commentator and founder of esports consultancy agency Code Red Esports Paul "Redeye" Chaloner has announced that he will be stepping away from the esports scene. This announcement came after accusations made against him by fellow commentator James "BanKs" Banks, amongst others, of physical violence and continued abuse of power throughout his career: accusations which Chaloner described as "a mix of truths, half-truths and falsehoods". 

Chaloner is one of the most recognisable faces in esports has recently been the target of accusations by esports commentator James Banks, who described alleged workplace abuses including a physical assault perpetrated by Chaloner. Banks also posted documents related to a 2015 court case in which Chaloner was charged with alleged domestic violence against his wife. He was found not guilty by a jury.


    
In a statement posted to Twitter, Chaloner stated that he "will no longer be hosting esports events or continuing a public life within esports [...] I have resigned as Managing Director of Code Red with immediate effect." He cited the reason for his departure as "the onslaught of accusations towards my character and the unwanted involvement of my family" - accusations which came to light as part of a recent wave of revelations about the hidden abuse of power in the esports community. 

Chaloner is one of the most recognisable faces in esports, a familiar face on casting desks, and director of Code Red, an esports consultancy agency.

 

Redeye quitting, RedEye retires, redeye banks, redeye sucicide, redeye resigns code red
(Picture: Paul Chaloner)

 

These accusations were outlined in a document by Banks which he posted to Twitter on the 27th July, and outlined alleged "threats and blackmail towards my [Banks’s] career [...] Redeye has done some incredibly horrible and disgusting things to me and others within the esports scene, abusing his position and power". 

 

    
Also in Banks' article were allegations of physical violence against a colleague at Gfinity, and a targeted campaign of bullying by Chaloner in which he assured Banks that he would "make sure I never work in the industry again." According to Banks, this bullying campaign "affected me so much that on multiple occasions I tried to kill myself"- with Chaloner’s alleged aggressive behaviour whilst working for Gfinity corroborated by former employee Lewis Farley.

 Banks also posted documents relating to a 2015 court case in which Chaloner was charged with domestic violence against his wife, charges which he was found not guilty by a jury.

 

The conflict was supposedly due to Bank’s scheduling as a commentator and host for Gfinity’s CS:GO and Starcraft 2 events, a position for which Chaloner supposedly did not believe Banks was suitable. 

Chaloner’s response came later the same day, refuting claims of physical violence and describing Banks’ claims as "false accusations"- however, after receiving considerable backlash via Twitter, two days later he released a further statement announcing his permanent departure from the esports scene. In the post, he states that "stepping away to focus on my issues is the only way I am going to survive", citing poor mental health as a combined result of the stress of Covid-19 lockdown measures and the recent allegations made against him. 

Despite the severity of these accusations, and the shocking nature of Chaloner’s announcement, many have taken to Twitter to voice their support for one of esports most established faces- with CS:GO host Frankie Ward, commentator Lee "Deman" Smith and CEO of Complexity Gaming Jason Lake taking to Twitter to say their goodbyes.