Veteran esports host Paul "Redeye" Chaloner will step away from esports and resign as the managing director of the Code Red Esports agency amid allegations of abuse and blackmail toward fellow industry figures, Chaloner said Monday in a statement released on Twitter.
The news comes after fellow broadcaster James Banks released a document Saturday alleging that Chaloner and Code Red executive Luke Cotton threatened to blackmail him if he came forward with allegations of abuse of power in the workplace.
Banks and Chaloner previously worked together when Gfinity -- where Chaloner would take a higher-up broadcast role -- hired Banks as a contractor to commentate events. Banks alleges that Chaloner punched a colleague, engaged in verbal abuse and used his position to box out other esports talent from on-air roles. Chaloner denied all allegations, while Cotton admitted to threatening Banks and apologized for doing so.
I strenuously deny the majority of the accusations made by James Banks and whilst I can be difficult to work with I have never assaulted anyone. I will not be making any further comment until I have consulted with legal representation.— Redeye (@PaulChaloner) June 27, 2020
Later in the weekend Banks released British court documents of a case between Chaloner and his ex-wife, in which she alleged he abused her and their daughters. Chaloner was found not guilty in that case. The exposure of those documents led to Chaloner's withdrawal from the industry, he said in his post on Monday.
"Following the attacks made on my character over the last few days, I have decided to walk away from esports," Chaloner said. "I might have been able to cope with all the s--- being thrown at me (a mix of truths, half truths and falsehoods) but when my children were dragged into this, that went beyond any reasonable attack and became cruel and vicious.
"Beyond that, I would like to offer those who I have not treated very well an apology. I never intended to upset you and hope that you have long and successful careers. This has been a huge eye opener for me and something that I will work hard on getting better about, even though that will be outside of esports."
Chaloner is one of esports' longest-standing broadcast talents and as the industry has grown, he has particularly become noted for his work in DOTA 2. A regular host of The International -- the annual DOTA event that often features prize pools exceeding $20-plus million -- Chaloner has remained one of the top talents in the industry since 2002.
In addition to his work as a host, Chaloner co-founded Code Red in 2016, with the focus on consultancy and talent managing. Code Red, at one point, had a contract with the London Spitfire to help its parent, Cloud9, expand its reach in the United Kingdom, where Chaloner and many of his team are based. A month ago Chaloner also released a book, "This Is esports (And How to Spell It)," a biography on esports broadcasting, published by Bloomsbury Publishing.