Florida Mayhem streamer Annie retires from Overwatch due to toxicity

Overwatch League franchise Florida Mayhem Twitch streamer Annie “Anne Dro/Annie” Roberts has announced her retirement from the Overwatch scene. She joined the organization in 2018 and had been open about being transgender. However, this led to mental health problems from toxicity within the community — one of the factors that led to her departure, in addition to general problems with Overwatch.

Annie retires from Overwatch

“I was always surprised when bigger streamers would duo with me, and I really felt that I had an effect on people’s perceptions towards trans people in a positive way. That being said, not a single day went by where I wasn’t called slurs by someone,” wrote Annie in a Twitlonger post“Whether in-game or in streams, it always seemed like people were after me in the Overwatch community. You can say this applies to gaming, or the world in general, but it’s different when lots of people know who you are and seek out to completely ruin your mood every single day.”

While transphobia in the Overwatch community wasn’t the only factor, it certainly contributed to her retirement. Females already face toxicity playing online games, but it is much worse for those in the LGBTQ+ community.

Annei describes that she loved playing Overwatch after purchasing it, and it was something she could rely on even as she faced difficulties in college and from initially unaccepting family for her orientation. She mentions how she abused drugs, ruined relationships, and even had thoughts of self-harm after obstacles in life. Eventually, Annie started streaming as it looked fun and found other trans friends that she could interact with. It was her own community where she could share concerns and get advice. 

However, she started to dislike streaming because she would get anxiety from playing Overwatch. This included patches taking too long to implement, metas being broken, barely any content, the same annual seasonal events, and a role queue that wasn’t working. In addition, community drama was a constant issue, which didn’t make up for the viewership and money she was making.

Future with Florida Mayhem

The streamer states that she will instead do variety streaming while waiting for the upcoming Riot Games title, Project A. Roberts thanks the Florida Mayhem organization and its president, John Kracum, for the support that has been provided to her. She will continue to rep and hype the Florida Mayhem organization in the future but will not be playing Overwatch anymore.

It is unsure whether Annie will remain with the Florida Mayhem, transition to parent company Misfits Gaming, or part ways altogether.

Ethan Chen
Staff Writer

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