*DISCLAIMER* This article contains sensitive material about potentially triggering topics including sexual assault.
In a stunning turn of events, Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada, former Smash Bros. Ultimate pro and streamer, returned to social media for the first time in months to allege that he was sexually assaulted by another former Smash Bros. pro Zack “CaptainZack” Lauth. Nairo also announced that he would be taking legal action against CaptainZack and other potential parties.
Months ago, a series of allegations levied against numerous pro players, commentators, and tournament organizers rocked the Super Smash Bros. scene. One of the most notable of these accusations was made by CaptainZack, who accused Nairo of being in a sexual relationship with him when CaptainZack was underage.
Whilst both former pro players initially denied anything had transpired between the two, CaptainZack made a public statement on July 2nd. He stated that at the age of 15, he was involved in a sexual relationship with a then 20-year-old Nairo. Nairo eventually admitted to the allegations a few hours after Zack’s statement, and shortly after took a hiatus from content-creation and social media.
Nairo, formerly heralded as one of the best Smash players in the world, broke his silence yesterday afternoon (October 28th), with a lengthy statement accompanied by a letter from his legal representatives NeJame Law. The released statement explains Nairo’s side of the story. Nairo claims that CaptainZack raped him, a complete contradiction of CaptainZack’s previous allegations.
Nairo begins the statement with an explanation of his absence. Since July 2020, Nairo had been in contact with lawyers and planned to take legal action with a compiled 30-page document. The yet to be released document reportedly details the full timeline of events that transpired between CaptainZack and Nairo, beginning with their encounter at Dreamland 2017.
Nairo affirms that Zack’s allegations “are all completely false” and explains what actually happened, at least according to him. Whilst staying together during the weekend of Dreamland 2017, Nairo claims that he “woke up to Zack molesting” him, and began to “freak out” whilst yelling at him to stop. Eventually Zack stopped but only after Nairo pushed him away.
As the months passed by Nairo rebuffed Zack’s further attempts, and alleges that Zack attempted to blackmail him as well. Nairo also alleges that the initial rumors about their encounter were leaked by Zack, as Nairo “never told anyone the full story (at that point in time). He then details his struggles with accepting what had happened to him, dealing with “constant severe anxiety and depression that (Nairo) kept hidden from everyone else.” It was only after the allegations came about that he sought therapy and guidance from friends and family, whilst also learning that what had allegedly happened to him was rape.
Nairo concluded his statement by stating that if “Zack or any other party continue to escalate this, my attorney will be dealing with this legally whilst I (Nairo) continue therapy.” As of the release of this article, CaptainZack is yet to respond to these counter-allegations made by Nairo.
The nature of these and many other allegations made in the past within the Smash community, shows how this has transcended the threshold of normal online ‘drama’ and ‘gossip’. With potentially more information to come about this situation, it is vital to not only carefully listen to both sides of the story, but to respect the potential victims involved.