Reason Gaming’s female Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team travelled to the Electronic Sports World Cup Wednesday with high hopes for the French qualifier. The victor would be crowned the champions of France and given a slot in the main tournament.
Despite strong competition, the team beat all comers, emerging triumphant from a final that pitted them against the highly fancied Imaginary CS:GO Ladies. However, along with the prestige and prizes, the team got more than they had bargained for when tempers escalated and the team was assaulted by alleged associates of the defeated finalists.
The situation began immediately after their victory, according to Reason Gaming management. The all-French Imaginary Gaming were apparently upset that a team that fielded one British and one Swedish player, in addition to their three domestic players, had been crowned the “French” champions. ESWC rules, however, state that as long as three players are of the required nationality for a qualifier, then they are allowed to compete in that region.
Imaginary’s protests fell on deaf ears.
That’s when one of Reason Gaming players, Sophia ‘Kim.’ Benfakir, allegedly received abusive and racist texts from Imaginary Gaming coach and former Clan Mystik player Aude “sarah” Prigent. A while later, Prigent allegedly sent another text stating that she was outside a party following the event. The players went to meet her. As they got closer to Prigent, a car pulled up and multiple female assailants exited the vehicle and began attacking the team. Four members of Reason Gaming were allegedly thrown to the floor, punched and kicked while the fifth, team captain Abi ‘Abiii’ Glover, managed to seek help. A passer-by joined in to help break up the fracas.
Following the assault, the perpetrators ran back to the vehicle and sped from the scene—however, not before someone snapped a photograph of the vehicle and its registration number.
In a statement, Heath said that his players had no serious injuries—”a few bumps and bruises, but for the most part they got off lightly”—and that he’d filed a full report with the Paris police, including a picture of the car’s license plate.
“The fact that this has happened over a game is not the thing that disturbs me the most, it is that it was a racially motivated attack,” Heath wrote. “Saying our team doesn’t deserve to be called Champions of France because we have two players from outside France is no fault of our own, it is a rule of the tournament that we only need a majority of French players to compete.
“Then taking it as far as ambushing our players with a group that outnumbers them two to one with the aim of causing them harm.
“I can only hope that ESWC and other events take actions towards the players involved in this and the organisations that these players are part of cut all ties with players that condone such actions.”
Imaginary Gaming and Pringent did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
Photo via Reason Gaming