Over the course of the last year, the Super Smash Bros. competitive scene has endured many hardships, whether that be dealing with COVID-19, Nintendo shutting down tournaments, or sexual misconduct allegations that were brought forward.
And as a result of the latter, the Super Smash Bros. Code of Conduct panel, a mostly anonymous group of Smash community members that worked to uphold a cohesive community structure, has disbanded.
This decision was made for several reasons, but one of the main points was that the team is so small, the list of allegations from the summer could have taken them years to investigate.
“During the summer, many voices asked ‘Why wasn’t someone doing something about all these people?”, and the reality is that at our current pace of work, we would need five or ten years just to go through all the accusations and possible cases brought up this summer,” said Josh Kassel, Smash player and member of the CoC. “Thousands of hours would be spent listening to testimonies or getting details of the darkest parts of our community, and that is when you consider only the people from this summer. Any questionable behavior in the meantime would get added to a waiting list that could be a decade long.”
Kassel also said the hostility the CoC faced from the community played a factor in this decision. Some of the publicly-known members faced harassment, even if they had nothing to do with the people included in their cases.
Now, the small team has concluded the task is “ too big for it to be sustained through faith and strength of will alone.”
Following the panel’s disbandment, the former members are encouraging everyone—from major tournament organizers to local players—to hold others accountable when they notice inappropriate or dangerous behavior.
The code of conduct itself will remain available to the public in document form if anyone wants to have a guideline for how to handle future situations on hand. The panel, along with two lawyers, constructed these comprehensive and well-researched guidelines.