Two raiding guilds in the upper tiers of World of Warcraft’s North American ladder, Clout Gang and Instant Dollars, have come under fire for using racial and homophobic slurs. First reported by PC Gamer, an Imgur album containing screenshots of Clout Gang’s Discord and in-game chats was posted in the r/WoW subreddit showing members using the n-word and homophobic slurs, making references to lynching Black people, and a high-ranking member making a joke about destroying a prison “so the fathers and sons of the black community could be reunited.”
Raiding guilds in World of Warcraft are groups of players who work together to complete endgame content and high-difficulty dungeons. Over the last handful of years raiding has become a popular esport, with Blizzard hosting events like its Mythic Dungeon Invitational and Red Bull sponsoring “world first” races. Websites like WoWProgress rank guilds according to their progress in defeating ultra-hard versions of raid bosses. Clout Gang and Instant Dollars are currently ranked among the top 40 North American guilds.
The Reddit post soon flooded with players recounting their own experiences with racism in WoW. “I’ve played this game for 13 years and it’s just as bad (if not worse) than when I started in regards to bigotry,” one user wrote. “I’ve seen it in the high-end scene, and I’ve seen it in the casual mass-invite levelling guilds. One of the problems is that there are no hard consequences for these actions.”
Some of the screenshotted messages are two and three years old, made by players who have since moved from Clout Gang on to other guilds, including Instant Dollars. The Reddit post notes that, when the Instant Dollars guild master was made aware of the past comments of certain members, they stated that, “all members of Instant Dollars noted in the post made those comments during the time they were in Clout Gang. All expressed remorse for their behaviour, except [one player] who was removed from the guild pending an internal review.”
This behavior isn’t new or shocking, as the WoW community and Blizzard games in general have problems with widespread racism persisting seemingly unchecked. It is unknown if Blizzard or Discord will take steps to ban these users from their platforms.