Hi-Rez fires SMITE shoutcaster DM Brandon after his on-stream rant about suicide

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DM Brandon
DM Brandon (right) during a broadcast of the Smite Pro League

Believe it or not, some online streamers have massive followings and extremely dedicated fans who look to them for not only entertainment, but a whole lot more. This is exactly what Hi-Rez streamer and shoutcaster Brandon “DM Brandon” Nance found out the other evening when a follower donated money with the following message:

Tl;Dr I tried killing myself last August, discovered your videos once I was released, and SMITE has become a positive outlet for me. Thanks.

The donation function on streaming often allows viewers to communicate with their favourite entertainer. Sometimes conversations spark, which lead to more donations including replies. This time however Nance went on a rant, berating the donator about how selfish suicide is, saying the following which has some NSFW language:

There are a lot of streamers out there that would appreciate that message. I’m just going to call you an asshole. It’s a selfish, stupid thing to do. If you don’t like my opinion about that, you can find someone else to watch who’s gonna tell you killing yourself is okay. Go fuck yourself, kid.

That was only the beginning as the rant continued for roughly three minutes before he continued with his stream, still disgruntled by the donation. Viewers in chat were taken aback, and eventually outraged as they responded to his rant. The full video can be seen below, but I must warn you… it’s quite rough.

And then the internet exploded. A number of posts popped up on Reddit where users stated their clear disgust at the Hi-Rez employee’s reaction to the donation. I took some time to read through the comments and it became clear that “DM Brandon” is well known for being quite a hot-head, often losing his temper and has been subsequently banned from SMITE’s Sub-Reddit in the past. The pitch forks were out, and the idea I got from the community outcry was that this was the last straw.

Hi-Rez then did what any company under fire would – they fired Nance, ending his career as a professional broadcaster under the SMITE banner. Nance’s response, in a Tweet longer post, detailed his idea of suicide and how it’s not the answer.

If you sit back, and somewhat read between the lines you can almost, for at least one split second, understand what he is trying to say. I’m not saying you have to agree with him, because honestly he’s horribly incorrect, but as he said in his apology his opinions are his own and should not have reflected Hi-Rez and brought them into this mess.

As for yesterday: I couldn’t believe what I said. Because I didn’t mean it and I certainly did not mean for it to come out as it did. I couldn’t understand how I fucked that up so badly. The stress levels of trying to juggle this lifestyle while keeping up appearances at events, and everything on top got to the point where I was actually fucking up what I meant to say. But please don’t point your hate at others for my mistake.

Unfortunately, “DM Brandon,” you did represent Hi-Rez, and naturally the thousands of people you upset were going to go straight to the top with this.

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Suicide is always a tough topic to discuss. When discussing it with people who may not share the same views as you, it’s naturally best to keep your opinions to yourself, especially when discussing it with people who struggle with depression or mental illness. It’s very easy to say “suicide is not the answer,” but that’s unfortunately not the case when it comes to the severity of the matter.

If you’ve ever found yourself in any situation where the thought of self-harm cross your mind, remember there people that love you, and people who are willing to help.  There are wonderful people at the South African Suicide & Anxiety Group who are always open to chat. You’re the reason we keep doing what we do, each and every one of you.

Last Updated: April 21, 2016

Kyle Wolmarans

Critical Hit's esports guy. I talk about esports and drink whiskey. I also write and cast for elsewhere - but my work here is independent of that.

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