The New York City Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament organization team released a statement Monday announcing the TOs intend to lift Aziz “Hax” Al-Yami’s ongoing suspension. NYC Melee TOs plan to allow Hax to return to local tournaments beginning on Jan. 1, 2023.
NYC Melee's Statement on Aziz "Hax$" al-Yami https://t.co/roQ04i2RPD
— NYCMelee @ The Nightclub (@nycmelee) September 19, 2022
Hax was indefinitely banned by a number of Melee TOs in September of 2021 following the release of Evidence.zip 2. In the since-deleted video and accompanying document, Hax accused William “Leffen” Hjelte of attempting to establish a totalitarian regime within the Smash community, among other things. Hax has since released a formal apology to Leffen and others impacted by Evidence.zip 2.
In Monday’s statement, NYC Melee upheld the validity of the initial ban, while also attempting to clarify what it meant for Hax.
“The aforementioned ban was stated to have an ‘indefinite length’ which we believe leaves all affected parties in limbo as to a resolution; it is our belief all bans should have a defined end date or be explicitly stated as a lifetime ban,” the statement said. “We’ve also come to a consensus that a portion of this ban can be seen as retroactively served since the original indefinite ban was issued.”
Details about NYC Melee lifting the ban on Hax
NYC Melee laid out four prerequisite conditions that Hax must adhere to in order for his ban to end in January as planned:
- He cannot release any further public statements about Melee community members that would qualify as defamation of character or malicious gossip with the intent of manipulating the victim’s social circle
- Hax cannot participate in public interviews or discussions regarding the subject of his ban
- He cannot attempt to appeal his ban any further with the NYC Melee TOs
- Despite being the founder of The Nightclub tournament series (formerly known as Hax’s Nightclub), Hax cannot ask to be reinstated as a member of the NYC Melee TO team
“Hax$ has demonstrated to us and to the community at large remorse and an understanding as to why he was originally punished,” the statement said. “This decision was not made lightly and was the result of countless hours of discussion by the team over the course of multiple months, many of the details of which we are not at liberty to disclose.”
This decision only applies to events hosted by NYC Melee, such as The Nightclub locals and regionals like The Nightclub VIP and The Function. Up to now, no other tournament organization team has announced a decision to unban Hax.
About the Author
Dylan Tate is an alumnus of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.