Big names in the competitive Super Smash Bros Esports scene are facing sexual assault accusations by other members of the community.
Specifically, players Keitaro and Nairo have all been accused of sexual assault by community members on Twitter who are all bravely coming forward with their own experiences. Other names have also been mentioned.
These accusations are the latest in a spiralling trend that's been sweeping all corners of the video games industry over the past few weeks.
Competitive players, companies, streamers and YouTubers have all been accused of inappropriate behaviour, ranging from sexual misconduct to abusive workplaces.
The most recent accusations concern young people who are part of the Super Smash Bros. competitive scene. Smash doesn't have an official, Nintendo-run Esports organisation and so it is entirely community-led.
Speaking up on Twitter, multiple people are sharing experiences of saying they were assaulted by members of the community, or that they engaged in sexual acts while they were underage.
Nariobi has been accused by Zack "CaptainZack" Lauth of assault at age 15 and an attempted bribe to silence him about the abuse. Nairo has since admitted to this accusation.
I'm Tired of Living a Life of Lies
Read: https://t.co/P85AOAzJR5— CaptainZack (@CaptainZack_)July 2, 2020
Keitaro, who was 30 at the time, was accused and has subsequently admitted to having sex with 16-year-old "Shiva" at a party in the past.
Pro player Colinies revealed several people in the community knew about this incident but had covered it up to protect Keitaro's reputation. The tweet has since been deleted, but you can read what he posted here.
On Twitter and Reddit, the Smash Bros. community has expressed support and praise for those coming forward with their stories, but some – like Shiva – have also been targeted by bullies and trolls harassing them.
These accusations, if all true, are horrific and under no circumstances should they have been allowed to happen.
The fact that the truth is now finally coming to light, thanks to these exceptionally brave people coming forward, is a good thing as it is exposing this behaviour and now steps can be taken to change things.
The video games industry is no stranger to these sort of scandals, with many coming to light in over the past few weeks.
Recently, accusations have been levelled against french studio Ubisoft, where many employees have been accused of rape and other serious violations.
Commenting on the accusations, Ubisoft has promised change. "No one should ever feel harassed or disrespected at work, and the types of inappropriate behavior we have recently learned about cannot and will not be tolerated. To those of you who have spoken up or have supported colleagues, I want to be clear: you are heard, and you are helping drive necessary change within the company" reads a new statement on the companies website.
Along with this, it has addressed the allegations and taken action, as explained in this update.
"We have started by launching investigations into the allegations with the support of specialised external consultants. Based on the outcomes, we are fully committed to taking any and all appropriate disciplinary action," reads the statement.
One thing is abundantly clear; there's a serious need for reform in the video games industry. Event organisers owe it to every single person in their communities to create a safe space for them, where they don't need to worry about being preyed upon by other people.