Smash communities ban SleepyK following grooming scandal
Close Menu

Hit enter to search or ESC to close

Local Super Smash Bros. Melee communities have started banning John “SleepyK” Lee following allegations that he had previously groomed a minor. Clementine Datta laid out her accusations against SleepyK in a TwitLonger posted on June 28.

Clementine’s TwitLonger described her relationship with SleepyK in 2017, during which time she was only 14 years old. It was initially platonic, but SleepyK later asked for explicit pictures of her and eventually asked to have sex with her, but she said no. One night during Super FamiCon 2017, SleepyK allegedly began to touch Clementine’s thighs in her hotel room, only stopping when another person walked into the room. Clementine noted that SleepyK eventually apologized to her and that she “regretfully instantly forgave him.”

Shortly after the allegations surfaced, SleepyK made a brief statement saying that he would create a formal write-up. However, SleepyK has since deleted his Twitter account and will seemingly impose a ban from Smash events upon himself. Notably, he did not deny the allegations against him. Rather, he called it “one of the worst mistakes” he had ever made and “unforgivable and inexcusable.”

Smash community responds to (and bans) SleepyK

Several Smash community members expressed feelings of disappointment and betrayal upon learning of SleepyK’s grooming scandal. Many had viewed him as a friend and ally to the LGBTQ+ community. Even so, some Smash communities were quick to enact bans against SleepyK. VGBootCamp has already put a ban in place, as has his local scene in Georgia.

The SSB Code of Conduct Panel is the institution responsible for recommending bans in the Super Smash Bros. community. It has not issued a formal ban against SleepyK yet and will not conduct an investigation without Clementine’s consent. However, it has signal boosted Recursion’s ban to other communities, as Recursion is one of the Conduct Panel’s signatories. Some Smash community members have noted that SleepyK was previously a member of the SSB Code of Conduct Panel. However, he resigned before the panel was even fully formed according to Kyle “Dr. Piggy” Nolla.

The Conduct Panel has come under scrutiny recently, with #UnbanCaptainZack trending among Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players. Of course, this refers to Zack “CaptainZack” Lauth, who previously received a five-year ban for match fixing. Many players held that CaptainZack’s punishment was extreme, considering Elliot “Ally” Carroza-Oyarce was grooming him at the time. Nevertheless, the Panel maintained that CaptainZack’s ban was justified given information that remains hidden from the public.

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.