The ‘Me Too’ Movement in Gaming
by Cole Wilkinson
The fighting game scene will never be the same after what happened over the summer of 2020.
During the summer, there was a massive ‘me too’ movement in the fighting game community. In case you’re unaware of what the “me too movement” is, it began as a way to raise awareness about abuse, gaining national attention with the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The Super Smash Brothers community has since become one of the most heavily impacted in the gaming world.
Gonzalo “ZeR0” Barrios
Gonzalo Barrios, better known in the community as ZeR0, was the biggest player in the Smash community. When people were playing Smash 4, he won 56 tournaments in a row without ever losing. But this career would end when someone named “Jisu” who was a minor at the time of what happened, claimed that he had shown her explicit ads on Craigslist. Later, a woman named Katie came out saying that he was messaging her in a sexually suggestive manner while she was 14.
ZeR0 would leave the scene and go to get himself help while giving himself a permanent ban, according to his posts on Twitter.
Nairoby “NairoMK” Quezada
Nairo was the 2nd biggest player in the world, having been playing the game since Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He was well known in the community and would also stream the game he loved to play.
Quezada would end up getting banned when it was found out that he was having an intimate relationship with a minor at the time named CaptainZack. When this came out, the team he was signed to, NRG, cut ties with him and Nairo deleted his Twitter account and everything else. He would then release a Twitlonger concerning the incident.
D’Ron Maingrette “D1”
D’Ron Maingrette or better known as “D1” was a Smash player who would also commentate on matches in tournaments. He was considered to be one of the best commentators because he would bring an energy that other commentators didn’t have. In July of 2020, Kaitlyn Redeker, who goes by ‘KTDominate’ in the Smash community, alleged that Maingrette raped her during a party at the 2016 Smash the Record tournament when she was drunk. Maingrette responded immediately on Twitter, saying that he was also drunk at that party and doesn’t remember that night. However, others in the community at that party spoke out about it, claiming Maingrette was not drunk and contradicting other details of his story.
Joey “MrWizard” Cuellar
Joey Cuellar, better known as “MrWizard”, was the CEO and one of the Co-founders of the biggest fighting game tournament, the Evolution Championship Series, or Evo. He ran the events and told the public what games would be shown at the event. However, Evo was cancelled in July of 2020 after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against Cuellar.
According to reporting from Polygon.com, the first allegation came from Mikey Pham, known as ‘CrackPron’, who claimed the abuse happened when he was under the age of 18. When this and other allegations came out, Cuellar was immediately was fired by the organization and companies such as Capcom and Bandai Namco that had their games in the tournament cut ties with it for the year.