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Smash Community “bans” together after sexual assault during Evo 2016

Professional Super Smash Bros. player Cristian “Hyuga” Medina molested 19 year-old commentator and streamer VikkiKitty in her sleep after Day 2 of the 2016 Evolution Championship Series in Las Vegas. VikkiKitty posted her account of the situation on Twitter. The assault happened after her boyfriend DJ Jack agreed to let a drunk Hyuga stay in their hotel room for the night.

Hyuga, who was recently sponsored by VGBootcamp, had his sponsorship revoked. He was also banned from all future EVO tournaments and all tournaments in Brazil. Hyuga accepted full responsibility for his crime but seems to have deleted his Twitter after an overwhelming amount of online outrage against him.

I have been so impressed with how the Smash Community handled this whole event. VikkiKitty’s bravery should be commended for speaking up and filing a report when most sexual assault survivors never come forward at all. She is choosing not to press charges. Pro Smasher Nick Riddle kicked Hyuga out of the room on the night of the incident and brought more details to light.

The community came together on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and other forums to show their support for VikkiKitty and disapproval of Hyuga’s actions. Many statements echoed Reddit user GrimTebow who said “HUGE fan of his, but I support this move 100%. He doesn’t deserve a sponsorship, with this as a track record.” I love that people are acknowledging that even though they might be a fan or even a friend of Hyuga, what he did was inexcusable. This is refreshing after the frustrating Brock Turner rape case where Brock’s parents defended his actions even though he was caught in the act of raping a girl behind a dumpster.

The Hyuga situation came up in conversation at a Smash party I was at last night and I was very happy with how the people in attendance talked about the incident. Not a single person made any inappropriate jokes about the situation and everyone expressed frustration that Hyuga would do such a thing regardless of his level of intoxication.

Compare this to when I first joined the Smash Community in 2009, sexual assault allegations were frequent and were usually met with skepticism and victim blaming. I recall instances when older players, well over 18, would prey on much younger players. When matters like these came to light, the community usually called the young girl a slut among other terms and often ostracized her. Similarly I remember when one smasher leaked topless photos of an underaged community member and she quickly became the butt of hundreds of jokes as her photos propagated throughout the site. Admittedly I was among those laughing at the girl. What I don’t remember is there being an outcry over how these photos were private and how anyone who downloaded them was now in possession of child pornography.

All of this to say that the community has come a very long way over the years. It was common and acceptable for players to use the phrase “get raped” to refer to besting an opponent in the game. I am not as active at tournaments as I used to be but I noticed that the phrase has pretty much been eliminated from the smasher lexicon at tournaments I’ve attended in the last few months.

I don’t usually enjoy large parties or dance clubs. I get paranoid and sad thinking about the number of girls who get sexually assaulted at these types of events everyday. Without fail there is always a point during a party where I’m having a good time and then think of how a girl who is also enjoying herself will have her night ruined and life changed forever. At the Twitch after party, I didn’t have those concerns. I simply enjoyed the company of my fellow Smash players, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. Knowing how perfectly the community handled yesterday’s events made me feel at ease and I hope we continue to be a community that is dedicated to making Smash a safe place for everyone.

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Written by Marcus Garrett

Marcus created Top Shelf Gaming to celebrate the awesome things about the video game industry while challenging the areas of the video game community that could be improved. He loves playing guitar and eating tacos, but never at the same time.

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