This has been a weird week for followers of the Dr Disrespect saga. When Twitch first banned him, there were rumors that this was all just a big publicity stunt, that the ban was some sort of platform for Doc to make some big new move when he showed up on a new service, or started his own with fellow streamers. In theory, it would be a very “Doc” move, and yet in practice, that definitely was not what was happening.
Dr Disrespect signed what was reportedly an eight figure contract with Twitch this past spring to stream exclusively there. There’s at least $10 million, for those of you doing the math in your head. Twitch would not be “in” on a ban of Doc as part of some stunt, and neither would Doc, despite his antics, do something to mess up the terms of a contract that significant so close to signing.
This is a legal matter. That much has been made very clear by now, with Doc himself saying he can’t talk about aspects of the ban too much due to legal reasons. There are obviously many types of legal issues, which could range from civil (contract drama with Twitch) to criminal but not disastrous (tax issues) to criminal and very very bad (a wide range of crimes). And we don’t know what the answer is there.
But this week, Doc is certainly not behaving like someone who is about to get hauled into court by the FBI or something. He did three different interviews with outlets that were all published the same day and all effectively said the same thing: nothing. To CNN, the Washington Post and PC Gamer, Doc essentially repeated the same answers verbatim across interviews, and said close to nothing of relevance, sticking with lines about how the support of his community is great, and how this situation has been hard. He is choosing his words very carefully, saying that “Twitch never told him” why he was banned, and yet that leaves the door open that he knows why he’s banned anyway, technically.
But the point is…all of this looks like some sort of publicity comeback tour, albeit one that is going on before Doc has actually been accused of anything, whether that’s a contract breach or an actual crime. It’s rehab press tour without anyone knowing what he’s being rehabbed for.
And now things are just getting plain weird. Doc’s first video back is a music video made with J+1 called “Alleyways” which has a synth beat playing over his silhouette, with lyrics like “You can never take away the power of my soul” which seems to be addressing the Twitch ban. Again, not exactly something you would expect from a man potentially facing scary charges or accusations, and I can’t tell if that’s kind of the point, or if again, it’s just another publicity tactic to soften any upcoming blows.
I would not be surprised to see Doc “return” in full soon. Not just interviews and weird music videos, but possibly an actual stream on YouTube or his own website, which is something he mentioned. Even if his contract with Twitch totally collapsed, as of right now there’s nothing preventing him from streaming elsewhere, and lord knows he is probably building up some legal fees behind the scenes right now.
I do think the interviews and music video are accomplishing what they’re meant to as publicity stunts, they’re reassuring his fans that whatever is going on may suck, but it’s not a huge deal and will be resolved in time. Whether that is actually true or not remains to be seen, but I would probably expect a Doc “comeback” before we get answers about his initial ban, whenever that will end up leaking. Because it will, someday.
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