Following an in-depth investigation by Microsoft and The Coalition, developers of the franchise, as well as the Gears Esports administration, four players from the North American Gears of War competitive scene have been permanently banned from competing.
This comes after they were found guilty of violating the Gears Esports Code of Conduct, having incurred in a case of sexual harassment on 19th April 2021, during the live broadcast of a female Gears 5 streamer.
The sanctioned players have been the following:
- Sam "Vital" Salmani - Vanquish Gaming
- Noah "Noey" White - Hive
- “Reptilian” - Noble Esports
- Alec "ShocK" Collins - Elevate
The event occurred when upon arriving at the aforementioned stream, these proceeded to inundate the chat with offensive language directed at her for over 90 minutes, eventually leading to the streamer ending her broadcast early.
“Upon learning of the incident, Gears Esports administration immediately postponed all matches for the week, including Emergence Days, and began investigating the incident alongside The Coalition Community team.
Following this investigation, which included conversations with the affected parties, all information was reviewed by several groups within Microsoft, resulting in the decision to indefinitely ban these players from Gears 5, and from competing in Gears Esports competitions.”, said the Gears Esports team on their press release.
Due to this situation, each player will also forfeit all prizes from the current Phase of Pro League competition, and the Challenger Tournament scheduled for 25th April 2021 will be cancelled.
(Picture: Gears Esports)
All teams affected will be permitted to promote their substitute player, and/or pick up one Challenger player to complete their rosters in either a substitute or player capacity, while further adjustments may be made following Pro League roster selections.
“Sexual harassment or any other behaviour that is degrading will not be tolerated. The Coalition believes playing and watching Gears should be a friendly, fun, inclusive and safe experience for everyone, and providing a respectful environment and community is paramount," concluded the Gears Esports administration.