On Sunday Dominique McLean, a.k.a. SonicFox, took home his fifth title at the Evolution Championship Series in Las Vegas, beating 2,575 other entrants in a Dragon Ball FighterZ competition and nabbing a $15,000 check.
The 20-year-old, who is fond of wearing a blue Sonic the Hedgehog costume, then blew a kiss to the crowd and tweeted “I’m gay” to his 82,700 followers from the stage.
He quickly added, “also the best dbfz [Dragon Ball FighterZ] player on this f*cking planet dont forget it.”
also the best dbfz player on this fucking planet dont forget it.
— Echo Fox | SonicFox (@SonicFox5000) August 6, 2018
Fans responded positively to the news.
No but really.
A young man wins one of the highest-profile video game events in the world, and with history and hundreds of thousands watching he announces (rather, reminds everyone) that he’s gay.
That IS some powerful stuff. Imagine being a young queer kid and seeing that.
— Kris Ligman (@KrisLigman) August 6, 2018
— Joaquin Baldwin (@joabaldwin) August 6, 2018
Dragon Ball was the most competitive game at Evo: SonicFox, who calls himself “Black Queer Furry,” beat out 2,575 contestants to nab the top spot. He’s previously slayed in competitions for Mortal Kombat and Injustice, and been a top performer in many others.
“The more fame that I have the more I realize, why should I care what people think about me when I can just be me?” he told ESPN. “That’s how I made my brand. You should just always be yourself and there will always be people who will like you.”
“The greatest part is I’m not even in my prime yet,” he added. “So I still have [a lot of time] ahead of me.”
While there’s a sizable queer contingent in the fighting game community (FGC), homophobic and transphobic harassment continues to be an issue, especially when gamers can send slurs from the anonymity of their homes: In 2015 trans game developer Rachel Bryk committed suicide after being relentlessly trolled, the same year the first-person shooter Kill the Faggot appeared on Steam’s Greenlight website.
At England’s CoxCon last year, a gamer was ejected after asking founder Jesse Cox “Are traps gay?” A “trap” is a slur used against transgender women, insinuating they’re trying to trick men into sleeping with them, and the phrase “Are traps gay?” has become a meme in gaming circles.