Mika Daime is a popular Filipino streamer and content creator under the Tier One banner, who has amassed an audience of over 148,000 on Facebook alone.
A month ago, however, she came under fire for a Valorant clip, in which she was accused of cheating and immediately condemned by many in the gaming community.
At present, naysayers continue to be drawn to the issue, even after it was officially put to rest by Riot itself, and one of her first detractors, Gen.G Esports’ Keven “PLAYER1” Champagne, issued a public apology.
ONE Esports was recently able to catch up with Mika to learn her side of the story, as well as how the experience has affected her.
Having been a streamer for the past four years, Mika mainly focuses on mainstream games and spends most of her time planning out her content. Which is why it might come as a surprise that, when she first started playing, her parents were very much against it.
Mika actually decided to run away from home and moved to Manila for the next three years. From there, she began working and streaming at the same time. Through her dedication, Mika signed a contract with Facebook Gaming years later.
“I tried my best streaming every day, while getting only four hours of sleep. And now I’m here streaming for Facebook Gaming, and receiving a lot of support from my viewers. So, I’m really happy about that,” said Mika, who is now fully able to support herself and her family with her career as a full-time streamer.
“As early as 2015, I was already joining tournaments,” she reminisced. And after improving her knowledge and skills with a five-year history of playing League of Legends, Mika joined Barcy Esports.
With her team, she competed in the Female Esports League: League of Legends (FSL LoL), where they qualified for the Female Esports League Elite tournament in 2019.
Mika was determined to improve her performance even more by having pro coaches review her games. She also noted that she made a habit of watching her replays to “look for mistakes in-game, because I am a really competitive person.”
When asked about the struggles of being a female gamer, Mika answered “There’s still a long way to go when it comes to equality in the gaming community, but I hope that people become more accepting of the idea that some female gamers are talented enough to play in any league or tournament.”
Mika first got into competitive FPS games through Blizzard’s Overwatch. “I started playing Overwatch and reached the Diamond rank.” She remembered, “I just needed 150 points to get to Grand Master, but since I didn’t get it, I switched to playing PUBG instead.”
But when Riot Games announced they were releasing their own FPS, Mika immediately made the switch to Valorant because it had the elements of Overwatch and PUBG that she liked, “I didn’t even know I got addicted to it, and now I’m still playing it so much,” said Mika.
“I’m very ambitious with Valorant. We even made a promise to our small group of friends that we’d compete in future tournaments, but we needed to hit the Diamond rank first,” said Mika.
Everything changed however when in late September, an infamous clip showed her clutching out a round on the internet, catching the attention of the Valorant community.
“That game, I was trying to promote an Intel gaming PC and I played Valorant for four hours to test that gaming PC,” said Mika. “We were just playing an Unrated game, and I got lucky when I clutched the round for our team. After that, I was very proud of myself, and I tried to clip it on my previous VODs on my Facebook page.”
Mika continued, “And two to three days after posting it, people started saying I was using aimbot. At first, I didn’t understand what they meant or what that was, then I realized they thought I was cheating. And I thought of taking the clip down. But if I did, people would just believe that I really did cheat.”
The accusations ramped up from there, with high-profile pro players like TSM’s Matthew “Wardell” Yu accusing Mika of using aimbot and wallhacking on his steam.
“At first my reaction was, oh my God, Wardell noticed me, but not in a good way,” said Mika. “But, I like Wardell because he’s a really good Jett and Operator main. I’ve always wanted to play Jett in ranked games, so I always watch his stream, even though it’s already 3:00 a.m. here in the Philippines, and I continue to watch him until 9:00 a.m.”
It all sank in later, Mika recollected. “Then I saw what he said about me. At first, I was just excited that Wardell actually noticed me, and since I know I didn’t cheat. But it eventually backfired because he’s such a well-known player.” And, because of this, even more people from the Valorant community chimed in.
Another pro player who accused Mika at the time was Gen.G Esports’ Keven “PLAYER1” Champagne. “Even when Riot Games’ own staff saw the video, they thought I was cheating, too,” said Mika.
But she was adamant about her innocence and pleaded with Riot to do a full investigation on the incident, asking them to check her account because the accusations, hate, and bullying were “too much to handle already.”
At first, Riot opted not to because no one in the Unrated game actually reported her in-game. To do a full investigation of the cheating accusation, Riot needed an in-game report, so that the game would be saved in their database for review.
Anyone who’s played Valorant in the past and has suspected someone of cheating would know that there are a lot of rounds played in a single game. And it is common for players to report each other for suspicious behaviour. But as the game progresses, players get a better sense if someone is truly cheating or not.
“Whenever I stream, I tell those who accuse me of cheating that they should report me,” said Mika, “But they still won’t believe me. They even bring up my previous games and accuse me of cheating, and they message me on all my social media channels.”
“After a certain point I couldn’t sleep anymore, so I asked my manager to help me clear my name.” With the Philippine Valorant community getting out of hand, Riot decided to step in and do a thorough investigation on the matter.
Once Riot released their statement, Mika thought it was over and she could finally get some rest. Even PLAYER1 issued a personal apology to Mika after her name was cleared by Riot. In PLAYER1’s apology, he mentioned Riot Games’ Anti-Cheat programer for Vanguard, ItsGamerDog, who showed the difference between an uncompressed clip with a compressed clip.
“But people are still bullying me online, and then I realized it didn’t work,” Mika concluded, “I’m so tired. But I always explain to them that I didn’t cheat, so my friends told me I should just stop responding to them already, which is why I’ve stayed off my social platforms and stopped checking my messages.”
Mika is aware that the issue isn’t resolved yet, explaining, “Some of my haters are from the League of Legends community and they’ve been telling people that my account was piloted, and I was playing while I was sleeping.”
But Mika is determined to not let the accusations slow her down.
“I’m still going strong in my streaming, even though they make issues against me,” said Mika, “I just put it in my head that I don’t care what other people say, as long as I know myself and I’m honest, I’m straightforward, and I love what I’m doing, no one can break that and no one can stop me. I know the truth, and I love what I’m doing and people are still supporting me, so I will keep going and people are still there helping me and believing in me, so I will fight until the end.”
Mika also gave a special shoutout to all her Team Wicked fans and Doranatics who’ve continued to support her throughout in her career:
“I’m really happy because I can’t believe that a little streamer in the Philippines like me is receiving so much support from the community, which is helping me in my gaming career and my tournaments.
I’m really happy because not a lot of streamers get the chance to do what they want in gaming. So, I think I’m one of the luckiest people in the gaming scene and I’m really thankful and I hope my fans are okay during this pandemic.”