Wheelchair-bound gamer banned from Twitch.tv for faking disability and scamming donors
A fellow by the name of Angel Hamilton, better known as "ZilianOP" on Twitch.tv, has been accused of faking a disability in order to scam donations from his subscribers. Hamilton was known for being paralysed from the waist down, a fact which likely garnered him no small degree of sympathy from donators.
You can imagine everyone's surprise, then, when he stood up and left his chair during one of his streams. Though he seems to have some trouble getting to his feet, he then walks away from his wheelchair completely unassisted. His girlfriend, Panthoria, also a well-known Twitch.tv streamer, can be heard exclaiming "oh my god!" in the background. Realizing perhaps too late what he just broadcast, he tilts the camera away when he returns to his chair.
Both accounts have since been terminated due to TOS violations.
"The Twitch broadcaster, Zilianop, did indeed have his channel closed and partnership contract terminated on the basis of Fraud," said a Twitch spokesperson to Kotaku. "Moving forward, we'll be offering refunds to those who subscribed to his channel through Twitch. We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior, and the character demonstrated in this situation is truly reprehensible."
"His actions, the spokesperson continued, "are a huge slap in the face to Twitch community members with real disabilities such as Aieron, and groups such as AbleGamers, who have helped spread a message of inclusiveness and positivity to not only the Twitch community, but gaming as a whole."
Hamilton managed to raised $20,000 while operating his channel.
Hamilton and his girlfriend later tried to explain the incident, with Hamilton claiming that his dog knocked its water bowl over on some wiring, at which point he pushed off his chair and "ate it." His girlfriend, meanwhile, said that Hamilton was undergoing physiotherapy to regain some control of his lower half, though he still remained paralysed.
What do you folks think? Does Zilianop and Panthoria's stories hold up, or are they simply trying to explain away a years-long racket? From where I stand, something here definitely doesn't smell right.
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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