The competitive world of Super Smash Bros. is fluctuating after a series of allegations of sexual misconduct against some of the game's biggest names flooded social media late Wednesday and early Thursday. These allegations continued throughout the weekend as the game's biggest stars struggled with harassment and misconduct.
The list of allegations includes rape and pedophilia, with one prosecutor claiming to have been attacked from the age of 14. The list of allegations against top players and commentators is extensive and has shocked other prominent players and members of the community.
In a statement to Digital Trends, Nintendo said: “We are deeply concerned about the allegations that have been made against certain members of the competitive gaming community. You are absolutely prohibited. We want to make it clear that we condemn all acts of violence, harassment and exploitation against everyone and that we stand by the victims. "
Well-known Super Smash Bros. player Troy "Puppeh" Wells has accused Smash caster Cinnamon "Cinnpie" Dunson of a series of sexual assault that started at 14 and 24.
The two had exchanged sexual conversations on Snapchat, but the physical relationship began when they traveled to events in the summer of 2016.
"We usually slept together most nights after the first incident and kissed and cuddled a lot that night," he said in a TwitLonger post. "Our sexual relationship escalated to oral sex, but never to sexual intercourse."
I really wish I never got into the smash community
– Puppeh (@PuppehSSB) July 2, 2020
Dunson has not responded to the allegations so far.
A year ago, when rumors of a relationship between the two (which both had denied at the time) came into circulation, she made a statement on Twitter.
"I am awakening disgusting rumors about myself and the people who are actually interviewing her," she wrote. "No, it is not true. That is all the energy that I will allow for it. Please do not try to pay attention to rumors based on" I heard it ". It hurts."
In another TwitLonger statement, Smash Bros. player Zack "CaptainZack" Lauth claimed that he was sexually active at the age of 15 from NRG professional player Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada – who was 20 at the time – during CEO Dreamland 2017 been misused.
Lauth backed up his claims with a series of screenshots of a Discord graphical conversation in which he discussed the actions with another person whose name was locked.
According to Lauth, Quezada, who is ranked fourth best player in Smash Ultimate according to Panda Global, sent him $ 2,000 through PayPal to keep silent about the matches.
When rumors of the encounter spread on Wednesday, Lauth initially denied the rumors on Twitter. Quezada also tweeted that the rumors were wrong, saying he was "extremely angry" with Lauth for inventing the story.
But Lauth later cleared his denial and apologized that Quezada had called him and asked that he deny the rumors.
"I'm tired of living a life full of lies," Lauth wrote. "I am tired of covering up the mistakes of others. However, I would like to say that I have never threatened Nairo to be public about my relations with him. The only reason why I am now telling my truth is that I am not The stress of having this experience for three years of my life is too great to be able to endure. "
Quezada later cleared his rejection.
Hours later, Quezada apologized for the encounter on Twitter on Thursday, admitting that his behavior was "wrong".
"I betrayed the people who trusted me and depended on me," he wrote.
Quezada also apologized to Lauth for “you felt you had to carry a burden all these years. It's not fair to you. I'm really sorry."
The esports star announced that he would leave social media while "taking some time to reflect on himself" and was "determined to get help".
"I let you all down," he wrote. "I'm sorry."
By Thursday afternoon, Nintendo had removed videos that featured Quezada and its esport team NRG announced that it would no longer work with him.
"This morning we were made aware of disturbing information about Nairo," the team wrote on Twitter. “We take these situations incredibly seriously. NRG has cut all connections to Nairo. "
Famous commentator and competitor D’Ron "D1" Maingrette was accused by Kaitlyn "KTDominate" Redeker of raping her on her 18th birthday at the Smash the Record 2016 event in 2016.
At a meeting after the event, she says, she got drunk and danced with Maingrette, who she allegedly led to a hotel room where the attack took place. Maingrette, she claims, later bragged to others that the two had sex at the tournament.
Her story has been confirmed by others in the community, including Eric "ESAM" Lu.
D1 said in a separate statement that he had no memory of the event, but did not dispute that the two had sex. He denies the spread of rumors.
"As a figurehead in the community, I understand that there is no excuse for my behavior and I understand that they were wrong," he wrote. "I should never have gotten so drunk that I couldn't remember these events at all. I am so sorry for KTDominate for the pain I caused her as a result of this situation. I have spent so much time thinking about myself feeling powerless and afraid of the situation, but only now am I realizing that the pain you must have suffered from all the time was much greater. ”
After a vague sexual assault allegation surfaced on Twitter, Richard "Keitaro" King Jr. released a TwitLonger statement confirming that he had given alcohol to a minor and had sex with the player. The incident happened in 2018 when she was 16 years old.
"With everything going on in the community, I hope it will be a better / safer place, even if that means I have to withdraw from it," said King. "I'm very sorry for all of this."
Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios, one of the best Smash 4 players of all time and active content creator for Smash Ultimate, had to apologize after women accused him of harassment and sent sexually stimulating messages to minors.
The first allegations were made by artist Jackie "Jisu" Choe, who lived with Barrios in a house with other smash players and content creators in 2014 and 2015. Choe claimed that Zero showed her explicit pictures and animated pornography when she was 15 years old.
Barrios said he did not remember these incidents and denied showing foreign pornography, which was immediately disputed by another former professional gamer, William "Leffen" Hjelte, who described experiencing a similar situation.
Another anonymous prosecutor, Katie, later shared screenshots in which Barrios – then 19 – allegedly sent intimate messages to her, although she claimed to be a minor. Barrios wrote in a statement that he was abused as a child.
After more pressure, Barrios finally apologized for the news and also admitted that he had also sent suggestive messages to another fan that he claimed didn't know he was also a minor.
"I'm not a good person and it doesn't matter how terrible my life has been, I've done terrible things and that's the end," wrote Barrios. "I didn't deserve people to defend me."
Barrios also announced that he was going to do a social media haitus. His esports team, Tempo Storm, later cut ties with Barrios and said it would no longer work with him in the future.
Tempo Storm said it would provide Barrios victims with professional support and rehabilitation resources for Barrios himself, "to ensure that this behavior does not happen again in the future."
Barrios fans bothered both Katie and Choe after their allegations, initially claiming the screenshots were fake. Choe said she had received death threats.
The community's answer
While the most serious allegations involve sexual assault, there are several other allegations made against less prominent players and members of the esports scene. And the list keeps growing.
Players and fans of competitive smash tournaments were horrified by the allegations – and while some of the prosecutors said in their testimony that they were not trying to cancel the people who accused them of the crimes, competitors are demanding consequences and swearing to rebuild the community, to support minors and women.
There has to be an actual impact on this stuff. A ban isn't even a slap on the wrist when a lot of these people just deserve to be locked up.
– ss Marss ⚡ (@Marss_NE) July 1, 2020
I feel like we're having a crazy nightmare
– Leon ???????? (@ DLeon420) July 2, 2020
It is important to remind yourself and others that the people who speak up are positive – this stuff always happened, even if you didn't know it.
Proud of everyone who has spoken out, and I hope people see how big the problem is in our community.
– LEFFEN # 0 (@TSM_Leffen) July 1, 2020
The tournament organizers are also responding to the allegations by postponing at least one tournament scheduled to start tomorrow and holding a community panel discussion instead.
“To be in solidarity with those who recently shared their experiences in the smash community, we decided to postpone Smash Ultimate Invitational Pt. V, ”said the organizers. "We don't want to distract from the conversation that is taking place."