A second OTK founder is tainted – how many cooks will it take to spoil this broth?
A second member of content org OTK has been embroiled in controversy over allegations of sexual assault. Is is over for OTK?
On Dec.16, a second founding member of streaming and content organization One True King became embroiled in scandal as Rich Campell was accused of sexual assault by Twitch streamer Azalia Lexi. The accusations come several months after fellow OTK founder, Matthew “Mizkif” Rinaudo, was accused in September 2022 of covering up a separate incident. Mizkif was subsequently placed on leave from OTK.
The second spate of allegations brings to light a seemingly fundamental rottenness in the OTK organization. The company, founded in 2020, was initially based around content production and as a lifestyle brand. As described by co-founder Zack, better known as Asmongold, “We came up with this idea of making an org, and building the org around our friends – building the org around friendship in general.”
Now it seems at least two of those friends are linked to some weighty allegations. Naturally, many would assume this would be a crippling blow to the organization. But is OTK really spoiled? Even after the severe allegations in September, the Esports Awards nominated the organization for Content Group of the Year. Will this added edge and drama fuel the group’s ascension or spell its downfall?
Living on the edge
Asmongold, an OTK founder (Image via Asmongold on YouTube)
It’s fundamental to the OTK model that the group are seen as outsiders, nerds, and counter-cultural. While each member and content creator is incredibly popular in their own right as streamers, they all garner their own niche audience. In this capacity, the team flirts with darker topics and edgier content and glamorizes a degenerate “not in education, employment, or training” (NEET) lifestyle.
While so much of the entertainment industry, and even the popular streaming groups, are based around traditionally attractive and conventionally talented people, OTK’s focus is almost solely on degeneracy. Asmongold’s stream persona is that of a hardcore World of Warcraft player living in a messy attic. On Asmongold’s stream, there are jokes and allusions to poor hygiene, lack of cleanliness, and over-the-top displays of outrage.
Or take Jschlatt, whose online persona is one that creates outrage. His persona is rude and abrasive, with overt displays of aggression, occasionally incoherent, and hints at a (presumably) fictional criminal event in 1999. The streamer also constantly flirted with controversy and is nicknamed “uncancellable” due to numerous minor dramas. Jschlatt joined the OTK organization in 2021 and seemed like a perfect fit.
However, in both cases, it’s almost understood that these are only personas. And when the chips are down, both creators have shown their integrity. Asmongold frequently lifts back the veil and shows us “Zack” in serious videos on his second channel. In the wake of the Mizkif allegations, Asmongold was transparent and serious. What’s more, in 2021, Jschlatt publically took a hard stance when fellow Lunch Club member CallMeCarson was accused of sending inappropriate messages to minors.
So while OTK uses controversy for its own content, in many cases, it seems like it’s all an act. Except, how far can the lines of fiction and reality blur before things get out of control? Streaming personas, in many cases, are hyper-exaggerated versions of an authentic self. It’s like pro wrestling or ad-lib. You take something mundane and turn it up to eleven to make it compelling and interesting. So we have a situation where two of the organization’s core members are putting on an act, while two more now have serious allegations against them. So is it fair to judge an organization based on the misdeeds of two of its founders?
Is OTK as a whole bad?
And this is where OTK becomes more sinister. In the wake of two serious sexual assault-related allegations, we must start looking more carefully at what the organization says and does. The easiest litmus test of a person is to listen to what they’re saying. I hate quoting people, but I’ll make an exception for Maya Angelou, who reportedly once said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” So let’s start listening to what OTK and its streamers tell us about themselves.
OTK started with jokes about being a “sex cult,” with many joking that they’d chosen the name as a nod to BDSM slang “over the knee.” The organization’s custom PC building company, Starforge Systems, has a logo that the org members insist isn’t phallic, but tech gurus insist otherwise. And while the skirting with controversy and edgy content can fly out of context, after a while, it starts to paint the picture of an organization that runs more like a frat house than a modern media business.
Starforge Sytems' logo is accused of being overtly phallic (Image via Starforge Systems)
Is this reading too much into a bunch of dumb jokes? Honestly, I don’t believe that a few jokes about sex cults, some innuendo on stream, and a penis-shaped logo make a company inherently bad. Maybe I need to put away the red string and take off my tinfoil hat.
Regardless, some hard questions need to be asked about OTK in the future. Questions like does frat boy humor really turn an organization into a place where harassment is normalized? Can a co-founder’s individual actions affect an entire company? Who knows! But sometimes, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck — it’s a good bet you’re dealing with a duck.
Editor | Twitter @hoffasaurusx
Michael is a UK-based content creator who caught the esports bug in 2010, but took eight years to figure out he should write about it. Throwing away a promising career in marketing and PR, he now specialises in MOBAs, covering League of Legends, Dota 2, and esports in general since 2019. When not glued to tournaments taking place on the other side of the globe, he spends time nurturing an unhealthy addiction to MMOs and gacha games.