(For context, this is me talking about my relationship with people have been exposed as predators in the Smash community.)
I first started coming to the American scene of Smash when I was 15-16, and some of the very first people I interacted were people like Keitaro, Nairo and D1, which is what this piece will mostly focus on.
I feel really bad in all of this because I was someone who was friends, from way back in the day, with a these people and I just feel stupid for not being able to do anything despite me knowing them from so long. I should have known, I should have seen it, I should have recognized it… that’s what I think about this morning. I think it's important for me to make a statement because in my opinion being quiet about this is an awful thing. I’m sorry if the way I write this its strange, I’m very distressed over this so I hope this is good enough to tell my story.
-To begin with so you can understand how I generally am in person. -
I've always been a very anti-social person, and I'm not very good at interacting with people. It is rare for me to reach out to people or interact in general. I never really went to afterparties or hanged out with people outside of the usual tournament stuff, and mostly I kept to myself and focused on winning the tournament. It also does not help that generally a lot of people did not like me to begin with in Smash, so I just felt uncomfortable hanging out in these environments or talking to most people. I am also a very absent-minded person and if you have met me in person, you can tell I’m just kind of out of it all the time. A lot of people see me as a very robotic person, and I agree, but this is ultimately a flaw in my character that I regret, and my mistake, because maybe if I had been more present, I could have done something. I’m very sorry for this.
Despite me being friends with Keitaro, or D1, having lived with both of them at some point, I never really saw them in these “environments” – simply because I wasn’t there, nor was I someone who they spoke to about those things (Because I just never have been into those type of things). It always seemed so innocent “They’re just having fun” – “they are just players” is what everyone always said, so to me that’s all I really believed about them outside of the bubble I knew them in.
Keitaro was always this goofy guy, who loves to party, sometimes he would drink a lot, he was funny and charismatic and would drive me around places to tournaments… I never really saw him any different or heard otherwise, but my entire perspective of him has always been that since I’ve known him from an early age.
D1 was a big inspiration from me. He was always wise, always had words to help me, always had a logical and compassionate take, and we went through a lot of difficult times in California together. I saw him as a brother. He was always the voice of reason in the house and mentored me in so many ways to become a better person. To see him in this light breaks my heart man. It leaves me speechless and it shatters a big part of me to even have to type this.
But what’s worse is that there was an entire side of them I never knew, that was possibly just right there in front of me the whole time, and I did absolutely nothing about it and the more I think about it, the more I feel like the stupidest person in this scene.
My relationship with Nairo has always been a rocky one. We started off as rivals, and to put it simply, we really disliked each other and we constantly had beef.
At some point in Smash 4, we started getting along and then became friends, only to just clash again once I quit tournaments for content creation. Last time I spoke to him was almost a year ago, and before this I was just straight up avoiding him. Nairo and I always had this weird dynamic, and I don't think I ever got to know him very well on a personal level, so while people may think we are best of friends, this was never really the case.
Sometime in 2016 I noticed Nairo and Captain Zack hanging out at events, but from what I saw, it was what you would expect from people at events, like them playing together, coaching each other and things like that. I asked Nairo about it privately, and he just said “He has potential man, I’m just trying to help him out in Smash” as an excuse. Looking back, it feels shitty to think about this memory. Since I’m this extremely stupid socially awkward gullible person, I said alright, and stopped looking into it, because surely that was all there was to it if he said that to me… ugh. I'll regret that day for the rest of my life. I'm so sorry Captain Zack.
Since me and Nairo pretty much stopped interacting I just really never talked with him more at events or online, and then before the end of 2017 I quit going to events, and with that a lot of people in the smash scene stopped talking to me in general and I also just stopped thinking about competitive smash and its community as a whole. For the past 2-3 years I’ve been pretty much in my own bubble and that’s where things stand today.
Today I feel regret because I could have done something. And I also feel pain because people I thought I knew, are not who they are.
I’m sorry everyone. I need to be better.
If there’s anything I can do, please let me know.