James “Phantoml0rd” Varga threatened to sue a group of moderators for the subreddit, LivestreamFail. This wasn’t the first time Varga had tussled with legal action. Earlier this year he battled against Twitch over his account banning.
The threat to the moderators had much to do with Varga’s past as he was connected to gambling sites that handled CS:GO’s skins. According to the thread, Varga referred to a scam with something called VGO skins. Victoria “Dinglederper” Weeks had conspired with Varga to allegedly go back to scamming people through skin gambling.
As the thread suggested, Varga had been associated with various gambling sites. Back in 2016, he had been suspended from Twitch for heavily advertising a gambling site known as CSGOShuffle but he failed to disclose the fact that he owned the site.
“Blockchain-based items, designed for collecting and trading, that are not subject to any trade restrictions or bans,” OPSkins described them. Basically, VGO skins are an alternative avenue that would allow players to ‘trade skins’ with the fear of being subjected to a ban by Valve.
The strangest thing about this phenomenon is that they aren’t really skins, just a replica of sorts that doesn’t really allow you to use them in game. However, there has been a push to increase the value of VGO skins in the marketplace, thus many gambling sites such as OPSkins would cash it out for real money.
Skin gambling as a whole was widely frowned upon by Valve as they had taken a number of steps to handle that issue. Such measures include distributing Cease and Desist orders and implementing new cooldown rules in order to regulate the skin trading. It effectively shut down a number of gambling sites that focused around CS:GO’s skin.
Despite Varga’s threat to take legal action against the mods of the LivestreamFail subreddit, the mods had taken humour to counteract it with an open letter below. This wasn’t the first time the mods had been threatened with a civil suit and clearly had dealt with it in a solid manner.
Varga clearly had been a controversial figure in the recent months for heavily promoting an aspect of gaming that was heavily discouraged by gaming communities and organisations like Valve and Twitch. There are several legal issues such as defamation that Varga somewhat tried to use, but his history of this topic worked against him in this case.