The video game community can be cruel. Most of us know that by now. But it's also capable of profound acts of compassion, as 17-year-old Counter-Strike: Global Offensive steamer Adam "Lo0p" Bahriz recently discovered.
As originally reported on Motherboard Germany, Bahriz was born with a condition known as hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type 2 (HSAN 2), which has left him legally blind and deaf and unable to feel pain. He's had half of his nose removed, and he also recently had to have an operation that impacted his speech. For all that, though, he holds one of the highest rankings in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive possible, and on Monday he hopped into the competitive CS: GO platform ESEA to play a few rounds. In text chat, he explained his condition immediately.
"sup guys I got a lot of teeth removed due to a genetic disease so I can't speak that properly, I can still call but be nice," he said.
He then began to speak in the all-important voice channel to call out strategies, but his teammates thought he was trolling. They threatened to mute him. And so Bahriz stopped speaking. A few rounds later, they booted him from the group for not communicating.
Fortunately, Bahriz was broadcasting the whole thing on Twitch to a tiny audience, and the right people were watching. His actual gameplay showed him to be anything but the troll his teammates thought they were dealing with. Impressed, someone shared the video of Bahriz's ordeal on ESEA's forums, with the subject "wtf is wrong with some people man". Elsewhere, a Reddit user named PDeeee shared it on the CS: GO subreddit, where the post currently has over 8,600 upvotes. Twitch itself shared one of the highlights of Bahriz's gameplay on Twitter. By the end of the day, Bahriz had more than 3,000 concurrent viewers on his stream, with many of those viewers donating cash. Bahriz needs dentures that cost around $6,000 after his operation, and by Tuesday he'd already amassed the cash.
But that's not the end of the tale. On Tuesday, Team EnVyUs—one of the largest teams in esports—offered Bahriz a streaming contract via Twitter.
For what it's worth, the teammates who booted Bahriz later apologized on the ESEA forums, arguing they thought he was just a "12-year-old kid thinking they're funny joining a game and instantly pressing their bind." The responses aren't too kind.
And as for Bahriz? He's doing great. Earlier today he announced he signed a Twitch partner contract, which is a remarkable turnaround for what started out as such a shitty week.