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Could the Dr. Disrespect Twitch banning be a publicity stunt?

(Image Credit: Dot Esports)
(Image Credit: Dot Esports)
Modified 17 Jul 2020, 23:40 IST

Dr. Disrespect was banned from Twitch roughly three weeks ago, and to this date no conclusive information regarding why has been revealed. Some are beginning to reevaluate the chance that this whole thing could have been a publicity stunt.

Possible evidence for the Dr. Disrespect publicity stunt theory

A lot of the reason people are beginning to wonder whether or not this ban might be a publicity stunt is that nothing of significant consequence seems to have happened as a result of, or since, the ban.

At the time Dr. Disrespect initially entered into an exclusive contract with Twitch, Microsoft was poaching a lot of popular Twitch talent for their new streaming platform, Mixer. With multiple big names making the switch, Twitch wanted to secure a few streamers for their platform in order to protect their market share of the eSports streaming community.

However, Mixer did not even last long enough to fulfill the exclusive contracts which they had acquired, and nearly a month ago Mixer was sold to Facebook Gaming instead. With the collapse of Mixer, Twitch likely felt much more secure in their position, especially as two well known streamers even refused follow-up contracts with Facebook Gaming.

The end of Mixer and what it means for Dr. Disrespect


With Mixer out of the picture Twitch likely felt they no longer needed an exclusive contract with Dr. Disrespect. It could be that they tried to renegotiate the contract and Dr. Disrespect refused, or it could be that this ban would be a way to send off one of their biggest streamers with plenty of free publicity as an amicable separation.

The lack of information regarding the ban has also created an air of intrigue around the events that has seemed to pull people in, all but guaranteeing Dr. Disrespect an audience wherever he intends to move on to. Twitch gets to cancel their contract early without paying too much and Dr. Disrespect gets the best promotion money can buy for his new outing, a potential win/win.

Poking holes in the publicity stunt theory

While it would seem that this theory fits that evidence, it also requires us to ignore other information that does not fit the story. Take, for example, Rod Breslau’s claim to know the real reason for the ban and suggestion that it was the result of a sensitive situation.

For this to be a publicity stunt, Breslau would have to either be comfortable risking his credibility in order to further promote Dr. Disrespect, risk his credibility by claiming information he didn’t actually know. Such frivolous claims would not really benefit Breslau’s long term credibility, so it seems like a needless risk to possibly benefit someone else.

The other piece of evidence that does not quite fit is Twitch refunding those subscribed to Dr. Disrespect. If Twitch knew they were canceling a contract with one of their biggest streamers in such a public way, and losing that source of income, why would they then choose to refund subscribers to the channel as well? 

Companies are not known to lose money out of the goodness of their hearts, which means Twitch likely believed they had more to lose by failing to refund the subscribers than if they just kept the money.

At this point, nobody knows, but until more information becomes public there isn’t much more anyone can do.

Published 17 Jul 2020, 23:40 IST
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