My Relationship with Cinnpie, and what this means for us all going forward
This has been a very hard day for me. My relationship with Cinnamon, or Cinnpie as she is known now, damaged my psyche to the point where even now it’s a very painful memory to revisit. But it is important that my story be shared right now, and not because of me or her. I need to talk about this because this community needs a direction to take, and if you’ll bear with me, I will explain how I feel we need to fix this mess after I lay out what happened to me.
Cinnpie and I met early on in 2015. She was not coy about her sexual exploits; I distinctly remember her telling me a story of performing oral sex on two other members of the local Sova scene. One, Promaelia, is currently banned for sexually assaulting two people in our scene. I was one of them, and will be coming back to this point in the end. The other, Black Yoshi, she would go on to cheat on me with while I was on vacation. I only found out because a former ex of hers strong armed her into coming clean.
With the advantage of hindsight, I can’t believe how naive I was in the entire ordeal. She was the one to approach me, as I was at the time the biggest name at the RVA local. Her attraction to high level smash players is well documented now, but at the time, I was oblivious to what was happening. I was not interested at first, but she was persistent, and very aware of how to leverage her sexuality. The more we talked, the more I found we had in common. It would turn out that those amazing coincidences were not that, but rather designed by her to make me consider her. She told me that she had never felt this way before, that we were soul mates, that she wanted a monogamous relationship. All bullshit, all manipulation designed to get me to drop my guard.
But I didn’t know that then. I was over the moon, a cute girl who played Smash and thought I was the shit wanted to have sex? It felt like I was on top of the world. I’ve always struggled with self image, and having a cute girl chase after me made me feel like maybe all that insecurity was wrong. And for a few weeks, things really were amazing.
Then, one night, I caught her on Smash wifi at 3am along with another player from my scene, Archy. I pressed her on the unusual timing, and she claimed that she ‘had a nightmare’ and he was helping her calm down. I would later learn that they had been exchanging nudes on snapchat during this time. Even without that information, I could feel something was off. She was distant in person, and repeatedly made it clear that ‘she belonged to no one.’.
After about a week of me begging her to tell me the truth, she admitted she was interested in pursuing him sexually, and ‘needed to be free to do what she wanted.’ She told me that she loved me far too much to break up with me, and that if I really wasn’t okay with it, then I needed to be the one to end things.
It’s painfully obvious now what should have happened, but I loved this girl, and the way it felt to have her desire me. Looking back it's painfully obvious what I should have done, but I was an insecure lonely nerd who was foolish enough to believe this girl when she said she loved me. If I wanted to keep my relationship alive, I felt I had no choice but to let her go. I only asked one thing of her, please don't go all the way. I could maybe try something more open, but I knew I couldn't stomach that.
She messaged me the next day with a long apology, assuring me that 'it had only been for a second' and she felt terrible about breaking my trust. Archy did not know that I knew, and slept with her anyway. He had a girlfriend at the time, and to my knowledge, she never found out about his infidelity. He would later express remorse to me, saying he had been cheated on in the past and knew how much that hurt, but I would never be able to be in the same room as him comfortably again.
It should have ended there, I made the mistake of trying to forgive her. She would go on to cheat on me with Black Yoshi during a family vacation, Zappa, a coworker of hers at TGS who would come in early on days he was off to hide in the back of the store to surprise her, and likely more that I will never get the peace of mind to know about. All the while telling me how much I meant to her, how I had 'saved her', playing to my hero complex to keep me in her life.
The worst was late into our relationship. I was feeling miserable in the relationship, and she wanted to have sex. I refused, but she became more and more persistent. Sex to her is control, it’s power. If she could make you have sex with her, she could make you do more too. I did not want anything to do with it, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer. Even when I relented, she pushed far beyond my comfort zone and refused to stop until she decided we were done. I hate how powerless I felt that night, because how do you tell someone the girl who’s known for being desired in the scene sexually assaulted you?
Eventually, even my dumbass could read the writing on the wall and we broke up. She tried using sex to rope me back in, and nearly succeeded a number of times. She even used Puppeh to reach out to me when I had her blocked.
I tried so hard to make things work, but our relationship was never even real to begin with. The girl I thought I knew was calculated to be exactly the kind of person she believed I would be interested in, enough so she could get sex onto the table and get me emotionally invested. The more I saw of her the less I recognized her. I don’t know if the girl I loved ever really existed.
My self worth never fully has recovered from this. To this day I can't fathom myself as someone a woman would find attractive. I know that’s not a logical thing, but fuck man. I really broke myself trying to make things work with her. I wanted so much for her to be the person I thought she was, both to make her happy and to not have to admit to myself how badly I’d been misled.
I haven’t shared this story just for the sake of punishing Cinnamon, but rather, I want to use this platform to address a problem that’s already happening in our scene.
I mentioned earlier that I had been sexually assaulted by Promaelia, and that he is now banned. The REASON he is banned, is because of the SSB Conduct Panel’s hard work and the altruism of anonymous Smashers who fucking went out of their way to help me at one of the darkest times of my life. They helped get the facts, find help for me to cope, AND punished the person who had hurt me all while allowing me the dignity of remaining in the background. I get that for most of us, this is just a video game. But sexual assault is not something you can just shrug off, I’m going to carry these scars with me for the rest of my life.
Yesterday, Gimr and VGBC announced that they would be disregarding the ruling made by said Panel regarding the ban of Captain Zack. They made it very clear in their post that while they appreciated the work they did, they sure as fuck didn’t respect their decision. The Smash Panel made it PAINFULLY clear that there is more information in play, but that they could not share it without outing the victims.
That shit burns me up, because that could have been ME. I have been that person who had the blessing of remaining hidden, and I can only imagine what a nightmare it would be to find out Promaelia was returning to the competitive scene. Somewhere, there’s someone living that reality. VGBC doesn’t care about the people in the scene, they care about the numbers and the profit. That’s why a loud enough group on Twitter is all it takes to sway their opinion and completely undermine the only group out there who actually gives a shit about the people this scene has hurt and it sickens me to see them so far gone from the grassroots that it came from.
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.
I used to be a Smash Bros player. I used to feel comfortable sitting down in a venue and playing friendlies. I don’t get to do shit like that anymore, and I’ll be damned if I’ll let anyone else go down that road because of fucking a 2% boost to ad revenue.
Support the SSB Smash Panel. They are literal heroes in a scene that isn’t used to having people decent enough to stand up for the people who’ve been hurt.