John “WundA” Smith-Howell has stepped down from 7AM, the British based esports organisation, after direct messages between him and fellow co-owner, Jody “Yoni” Bruggeman, were leaked on Twitter.
The messages in question were from July 2023 and include the two owners discussing Pride Month, with Yoni saying “The entire team is against the pride shit […] Stupid pride shit makes me puke as well.”
WundA then responded to this stating “I don’t even disagree mate, but it’s some great PR bullshit for us, so players need to suck it up.”
Also, apparently supporting pride purely for PR and trying to get players in on a cause that you don't support yourself is the way to conduct business. https://t.co/k6ZC34SKYz pic.twitter.com/yK8iBlTMz7
— Benjamin Sanchez (@Zhergoth) January 30, 2024
The screenshots of these messages were posted by Benjamin “Zhergoth” Sánchez, a retired League of Legends player who formerly competed under the orgs banner. The screenshots have caused an array of angry comments from the community to which WundA responded to this morning. This has also lead to a number of content creators and players resigning from the organisation.
In his response, WundA stated “I’m deeply sorry to people who we’re close to me and to all those affected by the comments made […] Nothing I can say here will change what has happened, I want to be clear that this isn’t my stance on Pride.”
I'm deeply sorry to people who we're close to me and to all those affected by the comments made, those who know me well know this isn't my stance. I couldn't tell you what my thought process or mindset were at the time as this was some time ago.
— Wunda (@7am_WundA) January 31, 2024
It is unclear in what capacity WundA will be stepping down and if he will continue to have an ownership stake in 7AM, UKCSGO has reached out for more information regarding this but has yet to here back. However, a report from Sheep Esports journalist Armand Luque indicates the future of the organisation isn’t set to be bright, revealing 7AM are set to “close down its business entirely in the coming weeks” following this incident.
It is also currently unknown whether the other co-owner involved in these screenshots, Yoni, will be stepping down or releasing a statement about this controversy. Any updates will be added to this article as and when they occur.
For a more in depth look at this incident, have a look at Esport News UK’s article.