With global protests against racial injustice and police brutality being held around the world, many gaming companies have spoken out in support of the Black community. Rockstar Games shut down GTA Online and Red Dead Online servers for several hours while Sony delayed its PS5 reveal event to allow “more important” voices to be heard. Two brands that fans had been waiting on for a statement though are Elgato and Corsair.
Elgato, which creates devices such as capture cards and stream decks, and parent company Corsair which makes things such as keyboards and gaming PCs, has partnerships with several Black Twitch streamers. On Friday, several of these streamers criticized the brands for their lack of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
MsAshRocks, a Black woman and Corsair-sponsored Twitch partner with 17K followers, tweeted that she had been looking at Elgato and Corsair’s social media accounts all week and saw that they “haven’t bothered speaking on the issues that have been raised this week.” The streamer asked, “do they care about people that look like me?”
The tweet was met with a groundswell of responses from other Twitch streamers, some who are also Corsair-sponsored, agreeing with what MsAshRocks had said.
The tweets in frustration about the lack of a statement soon kicked off another conversation about how Elgato and Corsair choose to partner with streamers.
Twitch streamer Xmiramira revealed that when she applied for sponsorship in 2018, at a time when she would average between 3-500 viewers, Elgato told her that her community wasn’t large enough. Screenshots from that period show a peak average of 469 viewers on Xmiramira’s streams. When Xmiramira asked Elgato what numbers would be enough for the brand, she was reportedly given the brush off.
Xmiramira’s tweets also kicked off a thread, filled with other allegations. Twitch streamer EpicDan22 alleged that Elgato denied his sponsorship application with a “canned response” despite having just approved another streamer with an audience fewer than half the size of EpicDan22’s. Twitch partner DeeSims alleged that Elgato told her that the brand didn’t have a sponsorship program to apply to though an Elgato employee had told her about it.
Some hours later, Elgato and Corsair did release a statement supporting Black Lives Matter.
Responding to MsAshRocks tweet, Elgato said that it stands “unequivocally against racism, injustice and police brutality” and that it has made donations to Black creators and Black Lives Matter organizations. The brand-wide statement also said that Black Lives Matter and confirmed further plans for donations, but also said that it needs to “do better.”
The responses to the brand-wide statement show that Black Twitch streamers remain unconvinced.
The hugely negative response is incredible in comparison to the positive response Sony got for delaying the PS5 reveal event. After years of alleged mistreatment, being ignored and being denied opportunities to work with the brands, it will take more than a couple of BLM-supportive tweets to repair the fractured relationships between Corsair’s brands and the Black community.