SideStep and alter share personal struggles
In the past few days, former Party Astronauts member Casey "SideStep" Hartzler and current BLITZKRIEG member Nick "alter" Jackson have both opened up about struggles they have gone through.
In his TwitLonger posted on May 29th, SideStep started by thanking his former team for replacing him, saying that the move has "given me the opportunity to better myself and I wish them nothing but the best." The player went on to say that he has been depressed "the last 8 months or so", stemming from a combination of his best friend joining the Army, and familial financial issues.
I was getting night terrors, I was barely sleeping, I ended up getting stomach ulcers from the amount of stress I was under
Throughout this period, the only people SideStep opened up to about his issues were Party Astronauts coach Joseph "Muenster" Lima and an unnamed female. Happily, the player stated that the "last few weeks have actually been really good", and that he intends to return to competitive play next season.
On the other hand, in a Pastebin late last night, alter discussed how he has suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts in the past, though the player did indicate he is in a better place now. He went on to say that on a night when he "just wanted to talk to someone, needed to vent some shit out, just wanted everything to stop" he had confided in his Iceberg teammate Brendan "stellar" McGrath about his issues.
Shortly thereafter, alter began receiving comments on the situation in pugs and while streaming, which he attributes to stellar sharing the information with others in the scene. Understandably this did not improve alter's mindset and made him feel like he could not "trust the people that were supposed to be there for me."
alter concluded by saying that he had only shared this story with a handful of people previously "out of respect of [stellar] as a player", but has put it out there now because he "can't stand people not taking responsibility for what they did." The player also encouraged anyone dealing with similar issues to contact him on Twitter or Steam.
When contacted by Dust2.us, stellar shared a lengthy statement of his own:
alter did come to me to vent one day (this all happened a year ago by the way). He talked about mental health and attempts to take his own life, just like he said in his pastebin. riku one day asked me if alter was doing okay after some series of depressing tweets from him and all I said was that he was having mental health issues and nothing else.
As far as me going out of my way to spread personal info about his life [that] is just straight up false. I have no idea where he is getting this from but he’s convinced I did something wrong. You can ask my close friends or my teammates, this just isn’t something I’d ever do. It’s pretty weird that he comes out and says something like this directly after forfeiting my team as well as rubbing in the fact that it probably won’t get overturned.
This is clearly an act of defamation and slander and it’s pretty frustrating for me considering I haven’t done anything wrong. This is my only comment on the matter since it’ll just turn into a "he’s said she's said" kind of argument which will literally get nowhere. If people want to talk to me about the matter they can message me personally. Thank you. TL;DR alter is trying to “end my career” (words from him) with something I didn’t do from a year ago.
In following with alter's wishes for representatives of this publication to never contact him again, we did not reach out to the player regarding the matter.
SideStep is currently a free agent, while alter and BLITZKRIEG are currently 3-5 in MDL, including the aforementioned forfeit victory over Party Astronauts.