Jack Campbell, center, poses with OpTic Gaming's Call of Duty team (image via Twitter)
Call of Duty commentator Jack Campbell left his esports career behind last month in the wake of the internet's response to leaked screencaps that implied he had a foot fetish. In his goodbye video, Campbell explained, "This has now affected my personal life, my family, and me personally… It's too much for me now, and it's to the point of bullying."
The up-and-coming CoD commentator and caster, who only recently turned 21, told Compete this week that the experience had been overwhelming: "When you're in your room, and it's notification and notification and messages build up and build up, you sit back and go, OK. I can't progress further because of this. You get to a point where you think, is there a point in still trying? I need to step back."
After taking some time away from the public eye and hearing supportive responses from his peers, fans, and other Call of Duty pros, Campbell has decided to return to the Call of Duty scene — and to support a good cause in the process. Campbell reached out to Ditch the Label, an international anti-bullying charity, and this August, he'll be raising money for them in a 24-hour Call of Duty live-stream.
"I knew as well if I was to just come back, it may very look like a public stunt or like I wasn't affected by the whole thing," he said. "I wanted to do this charity to prove to people that I was affected by it."
Campbell has some words for anyone who might question his decision to return: "There's a few people you'll always get who say, 'You're just doing this for attention.' Even if this is attention, it's attention for the right reasons.
"I don't think that I'm as much of a victim or in as much of a bad place as the people that [Ditch the Label] usually deal with," Campbell went on. He also emphasised that the woman who had released the screencaps of their private conversations got harassed online as well: "She did very much receive a lot of bad comments that ended up making her delete her Twitter. You shouldn't fight fire with fire. I'm not happy with the people who responded in a hateful way." He also noted that "she regrets what she did, and she did apologise for it after."
Jack Campbell's charity stream will feature the Call of Duty: WWII beta, which is live from August 25 — 28, although the live-stream date has not yet been decided. During the event, he'll be joined by some of the Call of Duty pros who supported him during his darkest hour, such as Matthew "Skrapz" Marshall. According to Campbell, pro CoD player Justin "SiLLY" Fargo-Palmer has also expressed interest in participating.
Campbell has high hopes that the live-stream will raise big bucks for Ditch the Label. "If we reach a thousand pounds, I will dye my hair silver," he promises.