Ex-midlaner for Aegis, known as Jérémy “Eika” Valdenaire to the gaming world, has made a brave and very personal announcement- he is gay. The announcement came through a post on the popular social media platform, Twitter and was largely received with an overwhelmingly positive response.
Eika is a known face in the French League of Legends games circuit, having played for several teams in the national leagues, in addition to his stint on Immortals during their 2020 LCS season. His gaming prowess can now be viewed in action at the recently formed LFL team, Gentle Mates. The Gentle Mates team entered the LFL acquiring the valuable LFL spot from Eika's earlier team; LDLC OL.
In a recent Twitter post, Valdenaire revealed that he has been concealing a significant part of his identity, his sexual orientation, from his fans and friends for a while. His announcement was not just notable for its personal importance but also for its broader relevance in the gaming community and its attitude towards homosexuality.
A very personal message, as Valdenaire referred to his tweet, was shared in French and English. The contents of his tweet indicate him coming out as a gay man. However, his announcement wasn't just an end in itself; it was also a beginning of a more profound conversation about acceptance and inclusivity.
The tweet contains a frank discussion about the fear and uncertainty he faced coming out publicly. Valdenaire didn't just acknowledge that the gaming environment can still harbor homophobic remarks, but he also used his fear and uncertainty as a reason to make his announcement- a remarkably brave gesture.
Valdenaire's struggle with his decision to publicly announce his sexual orientation resonates with many others facing a similar predicament. Viewers of his message thus extracted courage and solace from his account. He concluded his message with a plea for others facing similar circumstances- to be kind to themselves.
The community response to Valdenaire's coming out was positive, to say the least. Supportive messages soon started pouring out on his social media pages, mostly in his native French. But fans speaking English also engaged in the conversation- a translation of Eika’s tweet was shared on Reddit with the flair “wholesome”.
Valdenaire's tweet was not just candid, but it also highlighted the inner struggle that many individuals undergo when it comes to self-acceptance. He revealed how difficult the decision was for him and how he has grappled with accepting himself for who he is.
Support didn't just come from fans. Even figures within the LFL community were quick to offer praise and encouragement. French shoutcaster, Dariusz “Finghin” Walczak, acknowledged Valdenaire’s bravery with a reply translated to- “Lots of courage to talk about this. Strength Eika, for what you may have suffered, and bravo for having managed to talk about it.”
Jérémy Valdenaire's coming out serves as an example of personal courage and a milestone in smashing the pervasive stereotypes in the e-sports space. As such, conversations about acceptance and inclusivity have started to take root in the gaming community- a much-needed step for this space to truly evolve.