Police were called to the Counter-Strike tournament at Dreamhack Winter over the weekend after a fight broke out backstage between DOTA 2 player Jonathan “Loda” Berg and esports journalist Richard Lewis.
A statement released by the LAN party—the world’s biggest, with over 20,000 in attendance—says:
During the afternoon today at DreamHack Winter 2015 there was an incident at the CS:GO backstage area, where Loda and Richard Lewis were involved in verbal dispute that escalated into a physical confrontation. The situation was witnessed by DreamHack staff, who intervened and pulled both parties apart when the confrontation began. After cooling down the situation, DreamHack Security Crew was called to the site, and took official statements of the involved the parties. DreamHack also notified Police that came to the location to take statements from both parties and witnesses.
It appears the altercation began on Twitter (the sign pictured in the first tweet apparently belonged to Berg’s girlfriend):
And here’s Lewis’ tweets on the matter:
For what it’s worth, the two met once again and shook hands after the fact:
And the Dreamhack statement, which is co-signed by both Berg and Lewis, goes on to say:
It is of the utmost importance for DreamHack to operate an event in which all visitors, staff, exhibitors, and competitors can feel safe. All parties, DreamHack, Richard Lewis and Loda deeply regret that an environment existed in which this situation occurred, and that the confrontation escalated as it did. All parties have jointly talked with DreamHack Security Crew, as well as police and believe the best actions are to put aside our differences and come together to move forward with the conclusion of DreamHack Winter 2015.
We’ll have some more positive coverage from DreamHack Winter over the next few days.
UPDATE: Here’s a further statement from Christian Lord, Head of Esports and Tournament Director at DreamHack:
I was advised to be silent but I can’t stand it anymore. @RLewisReports strangled @LodaBerg and I was the one who with force stopped Richard so he wouldn’t deeply injure Loda, or worse. I don’t know what would have happened if I wasn’t there.
I came down and saw Richard and Kelly having a huge verbal dispute. I took the position between the two and when Kelly walked off I tried to calm Richard down and advised him to let this go as it wasn’t worth it.
While talking to Richard, Loda pops up without me really being able to react. Loda didn’t touch Lewis but aggressively approached Richard. There was a fast and aggressive conversation where Loda said “I’m here, yes it’s me”. Suddenly Richard attacked Loda and started to strangle him.
Who strangles another when threatened? That’s beyond me! It wasn’t like Richard tried to push Loda away and accidentally hit his throat. No, Richard grabbed Lodas throat with both hands and pushed him backwards towards the ground while strangling what to me looked very hard.
I grabbed Richard and pulled him through the door. I was upset and sad that he had fucked up the situation so badly as I had tried to calm him down. This story was given as a witness to the police on site.
Later on DreamHack staff was able to get both parties to agree to settle this and move on. Loda wanted a guarantee that Richard wouldn’t spin this online which they both eventually agreed on.
Since then Richard have according to me, spinned this as much as he can in all direction to try to become the victim and to bait people like me to overstep and react.
Here is the truth from someone who witnessed this from a 1 meter distance and had to act with civil courage and wanted to settle this to move on without this being a public circus and popularity contest.
UPDATE 2: And here’s an expanded version of events from Lewis.