This is an extremely frustrating and upsetting reason why its so important to hold people responsible for their actions.
Its hard to not feel somewhat responsible for this when I also had experiences dealing with Dashner and knew he was the one that abused Uberchain.
I know this thread is already filled with Dashner experiences but I want to take a chance to vent my frustrations because that guy fucking sucks.
I was never a core part of the production teams at the TF2 events I attended. I focused on providing photos and video footage for the events and players, hoping they would be used in future articles and promotions for the community. It was mildly successful, photographs of players were used (mainly by overwatch publications) and the video footage was mostly used by Dashner, who was a core reason why I kept going to the events even though they always ended in a huge monetary loss for me.
Dashner was insistent. He never gave up asking and chasing after you if he wanted you for something. He always knew how to make it seem like he or the event was dependent on you going - and that your role was crucial in everything working out. Obviously the idea of being needed for these huge TF2 events is enticing and thats how you get roped into paying to go work at an event for free for a dude that's actually just a horny shitbag.
I was lucky that I never held Dashner in high regards, but he was still a friend at the time. Maybe it was because I wasn't a core part of the team and a 3rd party spectator, maybe it was because back at those events he wasn't the ones calling the shots. But I never saw him as the Production God many people think he is. At multiple high profile events Dashner would have full breakdowns over the most mundane things - leading to him just shutting down completely and insisting that the show would be ruined and couldn't go on. This would happen multiple times an event at every event I attended with him. If a cable was missing "The show is ruined we can't do the show" - a computer was having issues "Show is ruined how were we so stupid thinking we could do this" etc etc. I wanna be super clear on this. None of those shows would've existed if Dashner were truly in the lead of them. Every show was "saved" by the highly qualified and professional work other members of the team put in to make up for Dashners slack.
i58 preformed phenomenally well after Dashner was refused at customs due to the amazing work DavidTheWin and the rest of the team put in, the efficiency was like night and day compared to when Dashner was around.
In this regard, I was lucky. I saw Dashner more as a friend trying his best and not a mentor or higher up figure. I did have close calls with him. Specifically the MLG CEVO CSGO Tournament he wrangled me into that was my first and only photography gig outside of TF2. It went well, I actually got paid and my expenses were covered - even food! But I had to share a room with him, and if it weren't for Bluee_/Blott talking some sense into me it could've gone way worse. Every night he'd buy tons of drinks, trying and get me to drink with him as an obvious ploy for some drunken fun. I was lucky that Blott made me realize that it wasn't worth it, even when I knew what he was up to. I refused his advances and luckily the event went well for me. I was lucky I spoke with a friend about it before going.
Flash forward to i58 which i've wanted to vent about sinced it happened. By this time Lange and I were roommates and had sworn off of working for free at events. Dashner messaged me and insisted that he NEEDED my help for a video project that was being shot at the event. After at least a month of him constantly in my DM's I told him i'd only attend if my flight and hotel were covered. He somehow managed to get those covered and I agreed to go. Instantly it turned sour when he was denied at the border and was sent back to Canada. Something people don't fully understand is that working at these international events is against the law. You cannot do work in another country without a proper VISA, we had to lie everytime we went to these events to get through security and it was very dangerous for some members of the production crew. They would be carrying very crucial equipment across borders which raises many eyebrows when you say you're "Just there for fun" while having hundreds of dollars of production gear in your bag. In addition the excuse that "We're not getting paid we're volunteering" does not work because its absolutely absurd, literally outsourcing free labor for events that are for-profit.
Dashner got caught and deported, resulting in a absolute hell experience. I was not a part of production in any way for this event and was working as a videographer for the Ready Up video. When I got there, I started receiving messaged from Dashner, I thought that he would be sending me instructions and filling me into specific details on what I would be doing at the event. Instead he was sending me constant messages telling me to keep a watchful eye on Uberchain and make sure she didn't speak or hang out with specific people. I ignored his request and kept independently getting footage of the event. It sucked and since it was a TF2 event, transportation and food wasn't covered so in classic TF2 fashion I ended up paying to work there ontop of it being a hell experience. Things boiled over on the final days of the event. The outro video Dashner put together for i58 used my footage from previous events and I was not included in the credits. After years of him talking me into these events, saying he NEEDED me and my footage. He sends me to i58 one of the worst events i've worked at, used my footage and left me out of the credits by choice - as i later found out. Then, on my flight back home I received a message from him accusing me of getting no footage and slacking off for the entire event. Which tipped me over the boiling point. I was frustrated and vented it to Uberchain, I told her about Dashner secretly telling me to shadow her and control who she talks to - and while I regret the way I worded it at the time, I don't regret informing her and realize now I should've told her right away.
By the time the flight landed Dashner had time to actually look through the footage I recorded at the event and he apologized saying said it was amazing. But the damage was done and I was through with him and TF2 events from then on.
My experience at i58 helped cement my steadily growing departure from the TF2 community. Everything I looked up to as a kid was no longer there and replaced with feelings of disdain. I still have to thank eXtine for getting me through that event and to MGEMike. Who told me he loved the way I played roamer before I joined HRG and I was finally able to vent about the controlling nature of that team and why I left and stopped playing afterwards.
After this event I found out what Dashner did to Uberchain and I cut ties with him completely. I had assumed he was not longer a part of the community and had moved on to Overwatch or other scenes. I thought that, if he was getting gigs outside of TF2 maybe he'd gotten better, maybe he learned his lesson. I was wrong, and now I regret not speaking up those rare times his name would still come up. My group of friends knew what he did, and no one else. And thats why he was able to get away with it again. Because of this, I am in favor of bringing other bad actors into light so that they don't take advantage of peoples kindness again. It will be messy, but the alternative could be worse.
I'd like people to look at this and realize. Dashner was never the god he was made out to be and he is exactly the kind of person these people say he is.
I'm sorry you went through this Console-
We let you down and we should've stomped this weed out ages ago.