My statement regarding everything that has happened
Everything I'm talking about is about 2-5 years ago. Accuracy of memory fades over time. Additionally, this is my point of view but I try to be as objective as possible.
I'm refraining to mention any names from outside people (A changed name is marked with *), where I didn't get the permission and I'm not going to post any screenshots from private conversations.
For the people who don't know what this is about I will introduce myself first.
I'm Yikarur, I'm 28 years old and I have been competitor and tournament organizer for 12 years now.
I'm a really open-hearted person that gets too comfortable to new people too quickly I want to say beforehand that I apologize from the bottom of my heart to everyone who felt uncomfortable because of me. I've never intended to get too close to anyone who didn't want it and I will try to be extremely mindful from now on so something like this will never happen again.
I've never written a public statement about all of this because people told me not to. But since the allegation are coming up again after almost 2 years, I'll show my side of things.
2 1/2 years ago (November 1st, 2017) an anonymous twitlonger was posted that accused me of sexual harassment and having a strong opinion in forum discussions. The twitlonger has since been deleted because I took legal actions.
When I'm talking about a "twitlonger" I'm always referring to this one if not stated differently.
First I will tell briefly about how I reacted, how this was handled and afterwards I will adress the allegations.
The original twitlonger was supposedly written by an anonymous victim and well structured. First off it was introducing different allegations, followed by out of context screenshots about harmless discussions and then goes on about me discussing with strong opinions in our old german forum.
I immediately had an idea who wrote this and why, as I was talking with the person 2-3 weeks prior about how he was unhappy with me being the “German Community Leader” (a title I had not given myself, but a couple of people saw me in that position) and he adressed the same things about my discussion behavior in the same wording and that I have to act as a role model.
Under this assumption, the text felt more like a personal attack than an actual anonymous victim, and in fact, my assumption of the publishers identity would later turn out to be true.
Said publisher was "konneh" a tournament organizer from the region "Baden-Württemberg" in south germany.
When people say the twitlonger is "fake" they mean that there was no real victim behind it and the publisher did put a lot of lies and exaggerations into it to make me look worse, because of a personal grudge against me in my position.
My first reaction was to find a way to prove who's the original publisher, because the writer claimed to be a victim and the allegations were really strong and I knew that most of these were exaggerated, out of context or lies with one exception.
I apologized immediately to that person but I will talk about what exactly happened in-depth later.
How it was handled:
konneh started the discussion in the German TO BR (The german tournament organizer backroom - a place where TOs from germany could discuss things about upcoming tournaments and the community). After a very long discussion the first result was to give me a warning, with the remark "He'll be under strict surveillance for the upcoming year.".
Pandali was not happy with that, because she thought there must be a real victim behind the Twitlonger and there needs to be a real consequence to set an example so she said "I have another story" and told hers (I will adress this later in detail).
A very heated discussion started, evidence and testimonies were collected. It was then decided to elect a "Neutrales Gremium" (neutral panel) consisting of 5 people and an outsider who studied law who documented. The 5 people have been chosen as they behaved "the most neutral" in those heated discussions.
The panel then consisted of konneh, 2 close friends of him and 2 other really neutral people. (I don't claim the close friends have not behaved neutral, but this is an important fact)
I didn't object here, because I didn't want konneh to know that I suspected him, because the potential proof I had was easily deletable. I knew this whole panel thing couldn't end well but I just had to let it happen.
The whole panel discussion took about 4 hours. The result is well documented https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kfMcE3FOaYFdC-fQgMKOOPwKBKEnK-MTiq6Ucim_S3I (Use google translate if you don't know german)
I got a 3 month ban from attending and hosting tournaments and a 1 year ban from "public community work".
The verdict was "Yikarur carelessly violated private space of female Smashers repeatedly". The details are written in the document.
The whole panel discussion was readable by everyone in the BR for few days before the verdict was published.
The next day I could finally prove that konneh created the anonymous twitter account and published the twitlonger. The damage was already done and even though konneh was part of the neutral panel they still proceeded to publish the verdict (They adress this in the document)
They said "He acted neutral in the discussion so we have no reason to change anything and we are sure no influencial behavior has been taken place.". I've analyzed the whole discussion and konneh wrote 60% of all messages. I highly doubt it was without any of his influence.
https://twitter.com/Yosh_with_a_hat/status/1279090053772455936 This series of tweets (+ Merus Tweet) reflect my take on the situation pretty well (except about contradictions and untrue claims, I will be writing about this next)
This is how the german TO BR handled the whole situation back then.
But I will go through the allegations myself now.
I'm not going to talk about out of context screenshots or forum discussions. I'm adressing the allegations directly.
There was an "under-aged kissing story" in the twitlonger, where I "drunkenly made-out with a minor"
Firstly I want to say I've never ever drank alcohol, or took any other kind of drug in my entire life. I'm very anti against those kinds of substances and this is probably something that will never change.
This happened at PPT Summer in 2016:
I started to talk to her very casually. It was like 3am and it was a 3 day tournament with overnight stay. We were just having a very good conversation and she was drinking a bit. During the conversation she revealed to be 18+.
Later we were in a circle of like 5-6 people and me and her were sitting next to eachother.
Then a close friend, who witnessed us sitting very close, wanted to play wingman and told us "You should kiss" (or something like that) and we were like "No, why would we?" and he answered "If you two kiss, I'm going to kiss Daniel*.". She was very excited and wanted to see that so we agreed.
Afterwards we hung out for the rest of the morning and were pretty close but she lived very far away so we concluded it right there.
The next day Pandali, the event organizer, told us the girl was a minor and we were really very shocked. My friend apologized to me like 100 times "I would've never set that up if I knew.".
Her (Ex-)girlfriend later confirmed that it's her usual behavior to act older than she is.
The next allegation mentions that I have been at a local, approached all of the 3 woman that were present and stroke their legs.
This local took place in July of 2015.
I have been at that local with a "date". We were pretty close and there was no way I would approach any other woman like this as it would've upset her. I have talked with one other woman at that event and we texted a bit on skype but nothing beyond that happend. The woman I was there with even testified "I was heavily interested in him and I would've noticed.".
She even testified that she talked with the potentially harassed woman in question. But the people in the TO BR said "She's a friend of you so she would tell everything to help you." and that's why her testimoney was completely neglected.
She told me she's open to post her own statement if people don't believe me in this one. There still should be her statement somehwere on SmashLabs (German Forum) as well.
At PPT Berlin in 2017 the twitlonger states that I walked up to a girl and said "I'm sad, give me your shoulder please." as I put my head on her shoulder.
This is completely true. I just lost a very close set and I was really sad about it. A lot of people came to and hugged me to make me feel better and when she stood there I stupidly assumed that she'd be ok with that as well.
This was absolutely not okay and I apologized to her. The first time I heard of this was through the twitlonger, neither she nor her boyfriend talked to me about this at the event so I could only apologize after the twitlonger was published so my apology seemed insincerely and "Just as a reaction to the twitlonger." even though I really meant and still mean it. I'm really sorry it happened and something like that won't ever happen again.
Next I tell you about things I know of that have not been in the original twitlonger:
I met Eve at Albion 1 in 2016 and we talked very briefly for about 5-10 minutes, because she was part of the TO Team, I exchange stuff with TOs all the time and it was my first UK event. I've never talked to her again after this iirc.
I have been at another Albion one year later as well and nothing came up.
When the twitlonger dropped 1 1/2 year later I texted every woman I've ever interacted with that came in my mind and asked them if I did anything to make them uncomforable and Eve was one of them.
She told me
"At one point during Albion 1 iirc you stood behind me, spoke over my head to another player (that I was talking to before you came over) and begun to stroke my hair from behind.
It did indeed make me uncomfortable. Originally I thought you might be gay or something so I shrugged it off but it still really bothered me and I didn't feel confident enough to be like hey don't do that"
I told her that I didn't know her and I don't know why I should do that but if that really happened that it was an accident and not my intention at all. I apologized to her right there, told her that I'm sorry. Also Eve, I'm still sorry. I never want you to feel uncomfortable, because of me.
I'm 190cm (6'3") and she is a small person; I'm gesticulating a lot while I'm talking. The people close to me can confirm that. Maybe I accidentally touched her hair while doing this, but this is nothing I'd ever do intentionally. But since it happened I have to apologize to you once more, Eve.
Back in summer of 2016 I was invited by Pandali to her tournament to be the Main TO. We had been good friends at that point. A while after the tournament I remember getting a Whatsapp Message from someone else asking me
"Did you touch her butt?" and I denied that. No more communication regarding this matter occured. She never talked to me directly about this so I thought it was just a made up rumor by someone.
In Winter I was invited again by her to be the Main TO of PPT Winter. Before the event I accidentely booked 2 one way tickets to Munich and was hesitating to go first because I couldn't afford another ticket back but she was very considerate and ensured me that she will cover that for me.
She even gave me a really big green Yoshi as a present, because she appreciated me and my help so much and wanted to thank me accordingly.
She never gave me any reason to believe that something between us was not okay.
9 months later, end of October 2017 she invited TCL (including me) to PPT Berlin to be the main TO of the event.
At some point we were sitting next to each other, she put her hand on my leg and said "I'm so glad you're here". There was in no way any way to assume that something was not okay and I always assumed that we were close friends.
I looked through my chatlogs with her back to January 2017 and there was never any ill will. She was always very heartful and supportive. I have all those chatlogs still available.
Here are some 1:1 quotes and transcribted emotes (Translated)
Before PPT Winter:
"I'm so looking forward to see you again <3 It will help so much to finally meet a nice smasher again :sob:"
"I'm so thankful <3 [that you come to help at my tournament]"
"Thank you so much :sob: I've got a present for you :see-No-Evil Monkey:
Before PPT Berlin:
Me: "Looking forward to PPT :3"
She: "Me too"
Me: "Then I'm going to cuddle you <3"
She: "yees :3 Do you bring the big yoshi [I gave you] along?"
After the anonymous twitlonger dropped and after she wrote her first statement:
"I don't want to blame you. I think I have clarified that a lot of things are exaggarated or lies."
The Wednesday after PPT Berlin the anonymous twitlonger became public. Pandali said there is a chance there is a real victim behind this twitlonger so she took it very seriously.
Like I said before, after the BR concluded that I should just get a warning she started telling her story. "No punishment? Then I'll unpack my story"
She told the BR that I touched her butt while I was giving her a goodbye hug at PPT Summer in 2016. She never confronted me with this herself before. The only time I've ever heard about it was that whatsapp message mentioned earlier.
At first I was very shocked and denied this. I would never touch a butt consciously. I have female friends and never wanted or even did touch their butts while hugging, I didn't even think about it.
After I calmed down a bit I told her "I don't think you're lying, if I did this it was completeley accidental and I'm sorry for this."
There have been 2 witnesses of me touching her butt. One of them said "It looked intentional." but that person specifically told me recently "I wouldn't stand behind that testimony anymore." but I assume it happened and I ensure it was 100% accidental.
She didn't really accept my apology and pressed further. Afterwards the neutral panel was selected to resolve the situation. Even afterwards she was still not satisfied with my punishment and suddenly came with another story.
She worked herself up a lot about this; I think her emotions escalated, because this is a very sensitive topic but then people started to take her less serious, because she came up with a new story every time she was not satisfied with the punishment. It didn't seem like she wanted justice anymore, it felt more like a personal crusade.
I was very hurt and disappointed in her as we had been friends for so long and she didn't listen to any reasoning from anyone anymore. I wrote a very long post in german, about how disappointed I am in her because of her actions after being so close for so long. (and in konneh as I've considered him a friend as well, and how the whole situation was handled by the BR)
Her reaction was a very emotional twitlonger (https://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sqao5g)
I don't want to go into detail in this one. This is a very emotional text that was probably written in one sitting. It was written in english, because she wanted this to go international. There are a lot of misconceptions in there and some made-up stories to make me look worse.
"So i talked to him at an event, to clear things up. I asked him what this was about and why he did this. He just reacted with 'Huh? What are you talking about?' and then he walked away, laughing like it was a joke. The fact that he responded like that knowing i had something that was genuinely bothering me made me really dislike him."
This has never happened and her actions all the years don't reflect this. (Inviting me, giving me presents, cuddling with me etc.)
A lot of things mentioned in Pandalis Twitlonger don't reflect her actions and most of the german community knew this. Everyone knows her and her personality for years at this point. This "victim blaming" is people not buying her story, because it doesn't add up and it came out no where. Something similar has happend before so the people were suspicious. Any form of harassment she endured is obviously not okay.
After Pandali dropped her Twitlonger, Eve suddenly started to attack me. "I start respecting you, when you start to respect my gender" and the UK people started to flood my twitter. 3 hours after the Twitlonger dropped DAT Team announced that I'm banned from all their events, without ever talking to me. I decided to withdraw and deactivate my twitter as I was completely overwhelmed and didn't know what to do anymore.
I was gone for about 4 months until some TCL Members asked me to come back. I hesitated as this whole incident caused a strong trauma but I've agreed.
My internet life was a nightmare. I was very scared to use Twitter at first and everytime I met someone at a tournament I didn't tell them my name, because that stigma was around.
My posts where regulary harassed with "pedo" memes, people I've never heard of before posted to make people unfollow me and more.
I received death threats via Facebook from complete strangers; people called me rapist, pedophile, child abuser, predator. A lot of people who didn't even know who I am started to adopt that, because they heard it somewhere.
People at tournaments called me straight up "Rapist" behind my back in a group of multiple people. A lot of people distanced themselves from me and it became very hard to build new friendships.
I want to clear that up once and for all:
I'm not a predator. I do not sexually harass or assault people.
Smash has always been my safe space and I saw other players as friends, since I didn't have many close friends outside of Smash. I always got very comfortable with strangers very quickly and I'm pretty naive as well.
I didn't realize that my borders are not necessarily the borders of others so I made people uncomfortable without realizing.
I have one specific example where you can see this clearly
I was super worked up and it felt like such a close game to me that I just tried to hug him in relieve and missed the hint. He pushed me away and was visible discomfortable. I felt pretty horrible seeing this later in the vods but I think I didn't apologize to him. I learnt from this and never did it again but I think I owe Sabaca an apology.
I'm sorry that I did that. It looks horrible and I feel horrible and I will never do something like this again..
There are probably many other circumstances where this happened, where I didn't realize it and I want to apologize to all the people where I intruded your comfort zone.
I'm awfully sorry. Please forgive me my stupidness.
I'm not a bad person. I was oblivious that other people have different borders and I always wanted to be as nice, welcoming and forthcoming to everyone as possible but this was the wrong way.
I learnt this the hardest way possible and nothing like this will ever happen again.
The allegations are 2 years ago (and the occurrences 2-4 years ago) and I have grown as a person. I'm always open to talk. If I have ever done anything to you please talk to me about this. Communication is very important.
Additionally I want to apologize to Spade (@abigspade) for the germans who were flooding your post with insults. They were thinking that you were posting this with malicious intent and attacked you. This is unacceptable.
And please stop harassing Pandali as well. This whole situation must finally come to an end. There was so much bad blood and a lot of damage done to community as a whole and individuals.
Thank you for reading my side of the argument and especially thank you, if you did come up to me and explained to me what exactly I did wrong. I would have never grown if no one ever told me. So thank you for helping me grow as a person!