A group of influential Super Smash Bros. for Wii U organizers calling themselves The Global Smash 4 Leadership Group have banned Cristian "Hyuga" Medina from their events for a year after the Mexican player was accused of groping a streamer last week.
"All TOs will refund his entry & reject his presence at any future tournaments until July 17th, 2017. A second offense will result in a lifetime ban from participating in all future Smash Bros events. We will use this as a baseline penalty for any future similar incidents," Bassem "Bear" Dahdouh, a spokesperson for The Global Smash 4 Leadership Group and well-known tournament organizer, wrote in a Facebook post.
"The Global Smash 4 Leadership Group condemns all acts of sexual harassment, and alcohol being involved does not excuse or mitigate it in any way. We all want a to provide a safe, fun, and inviting environments around major tournaments where the we focus on healthy competition and exciting rivalries in Smash Bros."
The Global Smash 4 Leadership Group is an informal discussion group of over a hundred Smash 4 tournament organizers and players who debate issues regarding international play from rule sets to promoting events. Judging from its membership, Hyuga's ban will likely extend to Super Smash Con, SHINE 2016, The Big House 6, Genesis 4, among others, however an official list of an events was not provided.
According to the group's description on Facebook, "this is a place for competitive discussion. Players, TO's, researchers. The goal is to create a hub for Smash 4 on FB like Melee has MIOM. Instead of having to roam Reddit and Twitter or multiple FB groups for information on tournaments or new developments in the game, this group will be a centralized location for all of that."
Smash 4 caster David "DC" Collins, one of the founders of the group, posted a Twitlonger explaining the genesis of the association after some feared the informal organization could lead to backroom dealings.
"I want to make it supremely clear that it is not a 'back room' in the way that Smash knows it in the past. It was made in February of 2015 because I and some others (Bear, D1, prog) wanted to see the Smash 4 community communicating with each other on a global scale, hence the name," DC wrote. "THE INTENT AND USE IS NOT TO BE A GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS WHO WANT TO DECIDE EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE."
On the last day of EVO 2016, Smash 4 caster VikkiKitty posted a Twitlonger accusing Hyuga of groping her in a shared hotel room. In another Twitlonger, she said she had reported the incident to hotel security but would not take things further.
“I do not want this situation to dwell above my head for a long period of time,” she wrote. “If I go through with further legal action, I will never be allowed to go to another out of state tournament, again. Coming from a Hispanic family, they will never let me travel out of fear for my safety and I do not want to bring them any worry.”
Hyuga posted a public apology on his now deleted Twitter account, taking "full responsibility for what happened" but could not remember the events due to his alcohol consumption. VG BootCamp said in a Twitlonger that they would drop Hyuga's sponsorship deal just days after signing him.
Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. Follow him on Twitter, it'll be great for his self-esteem.