Olivia R. July 2, 2020
After over 200 people came forward with assault, rape, and abuse allegations against streamers and other professionals in the gaming community, people in other sections of the gaming world have been emboldened to speak out.
One of those communities is Super Smash Bros., which saw two major accusations made over Twitter.
Puppeh accuses Cinnpie of grooming, rape
Top Smash Ultimate player Troy "Puppeh" Wells accused commentator and streamer Cinnamon "Cinnpie" Dunson of having a sexual relationship with him when he was only 14 years old while she was 24. In a TwitLonger, Puppeh outlined what happened between them in 2016.
In the summer of that year, Puppeh explained that Cinnpie "initiated sexual conversations on Snapchat." They'd also talk on Facebook on a daily basis, but Puppeh didn't know what would become of the relationship at the time.
After a tournament, Puppeh and Cinnpie hung out and played Mario Party at a gathering. At one point he jokingly ran down the hall as if he was "popping off" after a victory. According to Puppeh, a drunk Cinnpie chased him down the hall and "tackled [him] to the ground," where she started to make out with him. This left him in shock.
"I wasn’t really opposed to it though since I was 14 at the time and I liked her a lot. We spent basically every week together during that summer so that on top of the sexual things we would do made me start to develop pretty strong feelings towards her," Puppeh recalled.
The furthest the two went was oral sex, Puppeh stated. Throughout the summer, Cinnpie would "play with [his] head" quite often, leading him to have "mental issues." She would tell him they could get together when he turned 18 and would make him delete their messages and swear not to tell anyone about what they did.
"I would have to play her in doubles tournaments on a weekly basis pretty much and she would be teaming with her boyfriend during those times. That would especially hurt me. I was super bitter about the whole thing and would BM every set in doubles I played vs them. [...] I never knew how to process these emotions at the time. I honestly still struggle to try and understand them to this day," Puppeh said.
According to Puppeh, he wrote about his experiences to feel more at peace with his owm experience.
"I’m so tired of having to be silent for years and years now, and I’m tired of hurting over it. I’m not looking for revenge or anything like I would’ve been back then when I was petty and immature. I am writing this in hopes to simply just be at peace with myself and move on from this period of my life," Puppeh explained.
The Smash community was initially split in its response to the revelations. While many well known Smash players have demanded that Cinnpie be punished for engaging in sex acts with a minor, others have not been as sympathetic to Puppeh's story. Some responded with "nice," stating that they would have wanted to have sex at such a young age. This is the kind of reaction that many male victims of rape receive, making it harder for them to come forward with their stories.
"Hey guys, I sat there debating with myself whether or not I should post my experience for multiple hours before I finally posted it. After posting I got off social media and went for a walk to clear my head. It feels good to come back to 99% support and I appreciate you all," Puppeh tweeted soon after.
Another former Super Smash Bros. player then accused Cinnpie of being abusive during their relationship, using sex to manipulate him and cheating on him with multiple well-known pros, including Black Yoshi. He also mentioned being raped by now-banned player Promaelia.
"So here’s what I want you to take away from all of this. There are predators in our scene. Sometimes, those people are going to become successful, and then hold enough sway to silence the people they’ve abused. Our scene NEEDS the Smash Panel to keep people like that in check, and when TOs undermine that, they actively enable further predatory behavior," he wrote.
The Smash Conduct Panel is currewntly monitoring the situation and other claims being made against other abusers in the scene.
CaptainZach comes forward with rape allegations against Nairo
18-year-old Zach "CaptainZach" Lauth accused top Smash player Nairoby "Nairo" Quezada of grooming and rape back when CaptainZach was underaged.
When Nairo was 20 years old, CaptainZach alleged that they had a sexual encounter at CEO Dreamland 2017. He was 15 at the time. The TwitLonger contained screenshots of CaptainZach's conversations on Discord at the time, outlining the entire incident.
"Even though in these messages I am the one initiating, I would just like to remind you I was 15 years old at the time. Nairo was 20, going on 21. I am not going to be manipulated into feeling like this was my fault any longer," he explained.
The album of screenshots also included evidence of Nairo and his brother sending CaptainZach money to "keep [him] quiet."
"I was told that by 'doing my part' by not telling anyone about our relations, I'd receive financial help from him. The first $2,000 that I was sent was equal to the amount that I would have received from my sponsorship had I not been dropped. This was after the Ally situation came to light, Nairo IMMEDIATELY started calling me because some people were trying to bring our situation to light," CaptainZach said.
At this point, they started using only phone calls to communicate and Nairo told CaptainZach to delete messages with him on every platform. When another Smash player came forward with allegations against Nairo, he told CaptainZach to respond to the tweet "what [he] did." The false tweets were enough to finally make CaptainZach come forward.
"He called me right after he posted his tweet, then proceeded to repeatedly call me after I did not pick up his call. I'm tired of living a life of lies. I'm tired of covering up for someone else's mistakes. I would like to say, however, that I never once threatened Nairo with coming public about my relations with him. The only reason I am saying my truth now is that I can't take it anymore," CaptainZach explained.
He said that the stress of living with this secretly for three years had been too much for him to bear. While he doesn't want to "cancel" Nairo, he said that he just wants the truth to come forward.
The Smash community largely stood by CaptainZach and his decision to come forward with the allegations.
While most of the Smash community supported CaptainZach and condemned Nairo, there were a few people questioning the validity of his story. Some felt his timeline of events didn't make sense, although people that were at the event did come forward with their side of the story which aligned with CaptainZach's telling. This includes well known pro Gavin “Tweek” Dempse.
Even though Nairo initially deleted all of his social media accounts after the allegations, he decided to come forward with a tweet regarding the situation.
"I'm not making excuses. My behavior was wrong. I messed up tremendously," Nairo stated.