Denial Esports co-owner in hot water for homophobic comments

Hunter C. February 8, 2019

The Twitter account of new Denial Esports co-owner Zach Smith has been suspended following release of a video in which he defends the use of homophobic slurs.

"All the nerds are mad that I said [expletive]," said Smith in the video. "I didn't say [expletive] in a connotation negative for gays. I said it because he was being a [expletive]. It's the same as being a bitch.”

Smith continued by doubling down on his usage of homophobic slurs, stating that his son and sister were gay, and seemingly joking that he himself might be gay.

Smith also disputes claims made by former Denial players that the new ownership group, which Smith is a part of, did not attempt to pay them previously unpaid wages as had been promised when Smith and his co-owners took over.

“Other than that, that little H1Z1 prick took my money, didn't hold up his end of the deal and is now calling me fake. Hence, him being a [expletive],” Smith said.

Smith was previously banned from MLG Columbus 2018 for making threats towards another event attendee. He assumed ownership of Denial Esports in December. Smith is also the CEO of MoneyMatches, an esports betting website.

The previous owners of Denial weren't without their own controversies. A lawsuit filed against the organization alleges that Denial owed thousands of dollars to former players.

The most prominent example of players owed money was popular streamer and former Overwatch pro Felix "xQc" Lengyel. After hearing claims that Denial’s new ownership group was attempting to clear any outstanding debts to players, xQc and others claimed that the new ownership had never reached out to them.

As for Smith’s banned Twitter account, it's unclear if Smith's suspension is related to his use of homophobic slurs or something else. The video featuring Smith would likely be in violation of Twitter’s policies on “hateful content,” but Twitter has made no public comment and Smith has not spoken to the reasons behind the ban.

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