If you have ever played Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for any significant amount of time, you will have learned firsthand how prevalent trash-talking is. It’s part of the culture, and while some games might have gained a poor reputation for toxicity by now, somehow it’s had the opposite effective on CS:GO. Players speak fondly of the creative insults and jokes they’ve heard during matches, and of the friends they’ve made while competing alongside anonymous faces. It’s a culture mixed of adrenaline and often angst in competitive gaming, and for many, it carries just the right kind of appeal.
Still, sometimes people will take it too far, as is the case with Adam ‘Loop’ Bahriz. Loop, who streams under the username “Lo0p__” on Twitch.tv, suffers from a rare genetic condition called HSAN type 2 that has left him disfigured, missing most of his teeth, and partially blind and deaf. Despite these handicaps, he tries to keep a positive attitude and live life as normally as possible, which in this case means streaming his favorite game, CS:GO.
Unfortunately for Loop, his teammates were less than accepting of his disabilities when they heard him speaking over in-game voice recently. Assuming he was nothing more than a troll due to his pronounced speech impediment, they told Loop to shut up, muted him, and eventually kicked him from the match.
There are some lines you don’t cross, and mocking a disabled person is one of them. Enraged by the poor treatment he’d received, the CS:GO community rallied together to support Loop by hosting his own stream on their channels and contributing to his viewer count, while others shouted him out over social media.
Other streamers donated funds that will eventually pay for Loop’s plastic surgery and dentures. One in particular, Mohamad ‘m0E’ Assad, submitted two $500 donations each. Overwhelmed by the support the community was showing him, Loop responded to the original Reddit thread with a heartfelt thank you.
The Internet can be a rough place. You can be belittled and mocked over little, antagonized and insulted for even less. It’s a home to the villainous and the depraved, who, protected behind a veil of anonymity, find some level of satisfaction in treating their fellow humans like they’re worth less than dirt.
Sometimes, though, you will see true acts of kindness that expose the gentle heart at the root of it all. Displays of empathy and support that, with just a little effort, help make another person’s life just a little brighter.