Several Allegations Regarding Sexual Misconduct Have Come to Light
The allegations began last night when Super Smash Bros. Ultimate player Davon “Promaelia” Crawley published a confession on Twitter. Crawley admitted to two separate occasions of violating “the personal boundaries of two adults through uninvited sexual contact” while intoxicated under the effects of alcohol.
“There was never any retribution, but sexual assault doesn’t just vanish from people’s minds,” Crawley wrote. “Especially from the minds of the people who see me every week, who knew that every month something new popped up on the timeline while I remained unaffected – it could only go unaddressed for so long.”
Crawley announced that he will be starting a program for alcohol and behavioral therapy, though he admits: “This in no way will make up for anything, I know. Yet continuing to do nothing will do no one any good.”
Crawley’s Twitter post was published hours after Dawn “Yohosie” Hosie, a professional Dragon Ball FighterZ player, accused Leah “Gllty” Hayes of unwanted sexual advances at fighting game events. Hayes later admitted to having “made mistakes with boundaries.”
“There’s a lot going on with regards to safety and comfort in event spaces,” Hayes wrote in a Tweet. “I’ve received a lot of harassment but I’ve also contributed to the toxic environment in my own ways. I’m sorry both to those who believed in me and also those I’ve affected negatively, or made them not want to return to events.”
Following these revelations, Combo Breaker, the largest fighting game tournament in Illinois, announced that Hayes will be barred from attending Combo Breaker LLC events until further notice.
Due to recently collected information regarding unwarranted and unwanted physical contact between event attendees, Leah “Gllty” Hayes will be barred from attending Combo Breaker LLC events until further notice.
— COMBO BREAKER (@ComboBreakerFGC) August 13, 2019
In another incident this morning, an accusation was made against Ari “fLoE” Weintraub, a professional Street Fighter 5 player. A Facebook post circulated on Twitter by a fighting game community member who goes by Musakui Tenshi alleged Weintraub had groped them after they’d awakened in a hotel room without any recollection of how they’d gotten there.
Weintraub has pushed back against the accusations on Twitter and is promising to issue a statement once he contacts a lawyer.
“I’m talking to a lawyer and I’ll be putting out a statement later today. Please don’t think I’m ignoring this. I promise you I am innocent,” Weintraub wrote today on Twitter.
These Conversations Began at Evo 2019
These allegations arrive a week and a half after Evo 2019, one of the biggest fighting game events in the world held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada. An internal discussion within the community about safety was happening even during Evo 2019, when Lee “Infiltration” Seon-woo won the championship for Samurai Shodown. In 2018 Lee was investigated for domestically abusing his ex-wife, which led to his removal from the esports organization Panda Global. Lee has also been banned from the Capcom Pro Tour until 2020.
It’s unclear whether the social media conversation around Infiltration kicked off the sudden scrutiny within the fighting game scene of possible abusers. A week after Evo, for example, Esports photographer Chris Bahn was banned from Combo Breaker and CEO Gaming events following sexual misconduct allegations by James Fink of The On Blast Show. In a Facebook post, Fink named several women who “had compared FGC ‘war stories’ only to realize they all shared one person in all their stories,” which he said was Bahn.
Due to recently revealed information, Chris Bahn is no longer welcome at any CEO Gaming event or related event hosted by @CEOJebailey.
We believe in the safety of our attendees and will continue to provide a safe & fun environment for all to the best of our ability.
— #CEOtaku on September 27-29, 2019! (@CEOGaming) August 10, 2019
Time will tell how many more allegations may arise from the fighting game community, and what measures will be taken to address them. But considering the reactions on social media, at least they’ve begun a conversation amongst its members about how to reshape the FGC into a safer, more inclusive space.