Things are heating up in the competitive video gaming community.
Renowned esports journalist and YouTuber Duncan “Thorin” Shields recently announced his support on Twitter for Alex Jones, the controversial radio talk show host and owner of far-right conspiracy theory website InfoWars.
The post, which was tweeted to his more than 200,000 followers, read, “Alex Jones is a G and always has been. If you’re one of those people who thinks they have to say ‘yeah but he got this thing wrong so you can’t just believe everything he says’ then here’s a news flash for you: that’s how you should approach literally everyone.” Shields followed it with another tweet that said it was “sad” to live in a time when people judge others through “third party description.” He advised his followers to “think for [themselves] or forever be a puppet.”
Sad we live in an age where people judge others on third party description they've heard of who they are and their actions. Media bias wasn't as bad in the past, generally, but it still existed.— Thorin (@Thorin) August 14, 2018
Do your own research and think for yourself or forever be a puppet.
Shields received an onslaught of backlash from users criticizing his positive comments regarding Jones, who once claimed that the Sandy Hook shooting was a staged event with paid actors.
There are plenty of things people can say or do that should forever have you skeptical of anything they say due to showing a complete lack of rational thought. Alex Jones has about 100, and now you have at least one. Being wrong and being devoid of logical thought aren’t equal— John George (@TheEsportsPlug) August 14, 2018
holy shit, what a nuclear level bad take. We're not talking about someone who accidentally flubbed an anecdote over dinner, we're talking about a person who led and monetized a sustained harassment campaign against parent's who's children were murdered— Central Park Commissar (@Wrenchfarm) August 14, 2018
“You’ve had some bad takes. But this might be the worst You have ever given,” one user said.
Callum Leslie, a morning editor for Dot Esports, called Shields “toxic” and said he was holding the esports community back. He claimed that Shields had attacked two female reporters and one reporter of color the previous week for their votes in the Overwatch All-Star Game, a weekend of matches between favorite esports players for the video game Overwatch. Leslie also condemned VPEsports, an online esports news platform, for allowing Shields to continue working for it. (Disclosure: Leslie is a former Daily Dot editor.)
Good to see Thorin had his Brain Force this morning https://t.co/Zk1gWcBwOm— Callum (@callumleslie92) August 14, 2018
Last week Thorin attacked three journalists—two women, and one POC—for how they voted in the OWL All Star voting. For their informed opinions. VPEsports still let him work for them—so we know where they stand on defending journalists from harassment I guess.— Callum (@callumleslie92) August 14, 2018
Shields did not reply to any of the tweets, instead posting, “If you’re tired of bullshit media narratives about esports which pop up again and again then I’ve got a banger for you later today.”
This isn’t the first time the esports star has tweeted his provocative opinions. Shields recently linked to an Instagram post criticizing the World Series of Poker for its lack of diversity and added, “‘gender pay gap’ articles about esports are basically this but without intending to be humorous.” He has also criticized radical feminists repeatedly in the past and has vocalized his belief in the idea of “white racism.”
Shields did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This story has been updated.