Twitch’s streaming platform has given us a new way to communicate with pro-gamers and esports celebrities. In a world where it was once very difficult to reach the people we saw on TV or performing on big stages, Twitch allows us to instantly communicate with them. This presents us with a unique perspective and a channel in which these figures can be surprisingly candid. Former League of Legends pro and long-time member of TSM, Marcus “Dyrus” Hill, did just that during a stream on Wednesday night.
An honest confession
After constant prodding from his fans about why he had stopped playing and streaming League of Legends, Dyrus gave his viewers an honest answer:
I was getting to the point where I was starting to get really, really, really depressed. To the point where it was going to be very unhealthy levels of being depressed. So that’s why we are not playing League. It is better for my mental health and mental health is… basically if I kept playing League, I’d probably be dead. So we’ll just leave it at that.
A Twitch user took a clip of the moment and shared it in the League of Legends subreddit, where it gained a significant amount of traction. We’ve embedded the clip below:
Depression and mental health are serious topics that still carry an unhealthy amount of stigma about them. It can be extremely daunting, if not impossible, for many of us to talk about. Being in the spotlight of a very vocal online community can’t make that any easier. It was admirable for Dyrus to speak with such clarity about something that has affected him so deeply. It was that much more courageous to do it without knowing how his viewers would react. It’s an unfortunate truth that you can’t always count on the internet to respond to things maturely. Thankfully, both the Twitch and Reddit communities can be proud with how they handled the situation.
Dyrus’ confession was met with warmth on both platforms and there has been a lot of support for his decision. Many have been able to sympathize with the ex-pro, relating to how stressful games like League of Legends can get. Dyrus himself detailed in a vlog last month the struggles of keeping cool in such a competitive game when you’re forced to depend on four others. This is a sentiment most of us who’ve played these games have felt before.
Dyrus isn’t the only pro out there dealing with these issues but, hopefully, he isn’t the last to speak up. Former Toronto Raptors star, DeMar DeRozan (now playing with the San Antonio Spurs), famously opened up about his battle with depression earlier this year. The outpouring of support that came his way helped him transition from someone who was struggling in silence to one who hopes to help and inspire others.
There will always be the toxic few who sometimes carry the loudest voices but if the level of support Dyrus and DeMar have received is any indication, we as a society have come a long way. We can only hope that the progress continues and the same level of support is there when others speak up.
As for when you can expect Dyrus in another League of Legends match? We’ll let the man’s most recent tweet speak for itself (warning: NSFW language).
If you are dealing with depression or thoughts of suicide, please seek help. As someone who has experienced these issues both first and second-hand, I can tell you that you aren’t alone. Opening up can be a life-changing decision. Those closest to us can be a lot more understanding than we give them credit for. Please speak to someone or contact your local or national suicide prevention center. Let’s all make an effort to love ourselves so we can go back to raging at each other in-game.