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Members of the Super Smash Bros. Code of Conduct Panel have announced their decision to formally disband the institution. Founder Josh “Roboticphish” Kassel made the announcement in a TwitLonger on December 14.
According to Roboticphish, maintaining the Smash Conduct Panel has become a logistical impossibility. The Panel consisted exclusively of volunteers who were already stretched thin before the events of this summer. Given the Panel’s previous pace, it could have taken up to ten years to address allegations from this summer alone. As a result, continuing the work it started became simply impractical.
Despite its dissolution, the Conduct Panel hopes that its impact on the Smash community will still persist. Its Code of Conduct will remain publicly available for tournament organizers and community members to use. Now, the burden of dealing with abuse allegations will fall on individual local communities.
More about the Super Smash Bros. Code of Conduct Panel
Roboticphish announced the creation of a Harassment Task Force in April 2018. This eventually became the Smash Conduct Panel, which took on the responsibility of reviewing abuse accusations and recommending bans. While the Panel never had any official power, many tournament organizers were signatories to the Code of Conduct. Thus, they enforced whatever player bans the Conduct Panel recommended.
Throughout much of its existence, the Conduct Panel was the subject of great controversy. In order to preserve the privacy of victims, the Panel often kept the rationale for its decisions from the public. This led many people to distrust the organization.
For example, the Panel received widespread backlash for its decision to ban Zack “CaptainZack” Lauth for five years. Several people believed that this was too severe for a match-fixing incident, although members of the Panel noted that information unavailable to the public informed their decision. Some of this information later came to light when Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada accused CaptainZack of raping him.
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.