Every online community has some small element that is difficult to discern from scum, and the Counter-Strike community is certainly no exception to that. But in a new interview, one Australian player revealed just how absurd things have become.
In an interview with HLTV.org following the first day’s play from the RNG Pro Series Championship, Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill revealed that some members of the CS:GO community get so invested into the betting and gambling side of the scene that they send death threats to him and his teammates if Renegades lose games.
The comment was made in context of Burchill talking about his team’s recent performance, saying that the Australians understood when they were playing poorly and that they have plenty of internal discussions about how they can play better.
“I don’t think we make excuses,” the West Australian said. “We understand when we play bad. We’re the ones who get hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people messaging us on Twitter, like, death threats, saying ‘**** you for losing all my skins’ and shit,” he said.
Burchill was largely being asked about his recent on-stage backlash against commentators for their strong critique of Renegades’ play, and towards the end of the interview he said that the narrative building that is part and parcel of being a caster, or content creator, will eventually benefit himself and his team.
He also added that the Australian team will remain in North America until the middle of next year, and that they will be competing in next year’s televised Turner League. But neither Burchill or the interviewer returned to the comments of the online death threats.
That’s partially an acknowledgement of how seriously death threats are taken by professional players — which is to say, not at all — but also the volatile, absurd and over-the-top nature of Counter-Strike as a whole. Nevertheless, the idea of this kind of behaviour being so commonplace that it’s almost passe probably wouldn’t sit well with most, although to Burchill it’s simply part and parcel of being in the limelight.
This post originally appeared on Kotaku Australia.