Just a few days after Twitch announced that it would be cracking down on folks streaming Counter-Strike gambling sites, one of the most popular streamers, PhantomL0rd, had their account closed by Twitch. “The community has closed this channel due to terms of service violations,” reads a statement from Twitch on PhantomL0rd’s channel.
Twitch refused to provide any clarification on PhantomL0rd’s ban. Not every ban is permanent, so it’s unclear whether PhantomL0rd will be allowed to return, followers and subscribers intact, at a later date.
“We don’t comment on terms of service violations,” said a spokesperson.
PhantomL0rd did not respond to my request for comment, and hasn’t publicly commented via YouTube, Twitter or other social networks. His girlfriend, who often appears on streams with him, has also been quiet.
According to aggregation website SocialBlade, PhantomL0rd had nearly 1.4 million followers on Twitch. On YouTube, he racked up 500,00 subscribers.
When a Twitch account is banned, the archived videos are removed, too. After Twitch and Valve announced they’d be cracking down, PhantomL0rd published a reaction video and declared that “gamblel0rd is over”.
On Saturday, the streamer announced his “stream has now changed forever” and published a YouTube video promising a return to streaming. It wasn’t clear what he meant by “changed”, however.
“I know the plays aren’t the best lol,” he wrote in a YouTube comment, “just wanted to inform you all of my return.”
The video does show him using CSGOWild, a gambling site that’s also been at the centre of controversy about who helped found it.
Some of PhantomL0rd’s most popular videos have involved gambling. In one case, he reportedly lost $US12,642.97 ($16,628) on a single bet.
Given what we now know about what can happen behind-the-scenes at these sites, there’s reason to be sceptical that such moments aren’t genuine.