Over the past few days, there have been allegations of sexual assault aimed at over 60 high-profile members of the Super Smash Bros. competitive scene, as well as many other additional cases of racism, transphobia and degradation of women, among other egregious offences.
Many of the cases deal with experiences related to grooming, statutory rape, sexual assault and unsolicited messages on various social media platforms.
A large bulk of the allegations came forward on July 2nd, when top figures such as ANTi, Nairo, D1, Keitaro and many more were accused of sexual assault and misconduct. Nairo admitted to his actions in a message on Twitter, and was subsequently cut from his team NRG. ANTi, in a now-deleted Twitlonger, admitted to having sexual relations with a minor and was released by his team, T1.
In a statement, 2GGaming, the organisation behind the massively popular 2GG Tournament Series, announced that Nairo, D1, Keitaro, S2H, Xzax and Cinnpie were all banned from their events, as well as additional measures they would take to promote safety and security for attendants at their events.
The vast amount of allegations and confirmed stories of misconduct by many of the Smash community’s top personalities has raised a lot of questions about the future and safety of Smash tournaments and events. The age disparity at Smash tournaments (many attendees and even top players are minors, particularly for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate) as well as the presence of alcohol in many of the cases that have come forward raises serious questions about how the competitive Smash scene needs to change in order to eradicate the predatory and destructive behavior from these events and the community at large.
Team Regen, for example, released new guidelines that take measures to promote a family-friendly environment, such as requiring legal guardians for attendees under the age of 16 as well as prohibiting the consumption of alcohol, among other things.
The news has shocked everyone all the way up to Nintendo who, on top of making their video highlighting Nairo private, released a statement to IGN saying: “At Nintendo, we are deeply disturbed by the allegations raised against certain members of the competitive gaming community. They are absolutely impermissible. We want to make it clear that we condemn all acts of violence, harassment, and exploitation against anyone and that we stand with the victims.”
The allegations in the Smash community are part of a broader conversation in the streaming and esports worlds in general, following a series of allegations and bans against several Twitch streamers for sexual harassment. The fighting game community at large was shocked when it was revealed that EVO’s co-founder and head organizer Mr. Wizard was accused of (and subsequently confessed to) grooming and soliciting pictures from underage boys.) As a result, EVO has cancelled the upcoming online tournament they were going to host and severed all ties with Mr. Wizard.
For a complete run-down of the allegations, the specifics for each case, and the ongoing conversation surrounding them, be sure to check out this thread as a starting point. It’s continuously being updated to reflect the latest stories from victims as well as any responses from the accused.