SSB Code of Conduct Panel recommends bans for CaptainZack, Mew2Queen
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The SSB Code of Conduct Panel publicly suggested banning Zack “CaptainZack” Lauth and Kayla “Mew2Queen” Mackay today, Jan. 16. The Conduct Panel initially made the announcement via a quarterly email on Jan. 15.

An eight-person panel recommended indefinitely banning CaptainZack, with an opportunity to appeal the ban in November 2024. A separate group of five Code of Conduct Panel members recommended an indefinite ban for Mew2Queen. Mew2Queen would have the chance to appeal in June 2021.

While CaptainZack and Mew2Queen can appeal their bans in the future, reentry into the Smash community is not a guarantee. Both players must demonstrate “sufficient growth” before they can return to competition.

Breaking down the bans of CaptainZack and Mew2Queen

CaptainZack’s ban is a result of match fixing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Some members of the panel advocated for a lifetime ban. However, they ultimately settled on a five-year ban due to CaptainZack’s extenuating circumstances.

At the time, CaptainZack was in a relationship with Elliot “Ally” Carroza-Oyarce, a competitor more than 10 years his elder. CaptainZack previously confessed that he had blackmailed Ally into throwing sets. Specifically, Ally intentionally lost to Sota “Zackray” Okada at 2GG: Prime Saga and Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada at MomoCon 2019.

Ultimately, the Conduct Panel opted to give CaptainZack a temporary ban because his match fixing was not “a calculated decision to harm the game.” Rather, they considered it an “impulsive, emotional desire to harm an individual” with whom CaptainZack was in a “fraught relationship.”

In contrast to CaptainZack, Mew2Queen has been banned due to allegations that she sexually assaulted two players. While Mew2Queen has held to a self-imposed ban for nearly a year, this concrete ban will prevent her from returning on a whim. In addition, the panel advised tournament organizers to prohibit her from ever attending a tournament with the players she harmed.

Public reaction to the Conduct Panel recommendations

The Code of Conduct Panel has received largely negative feedback in response to its suggested bans of CaptainZack and Mew2Queen. Particularly, many have questioned the decision to punish CaptainZack more harshly for what is seen as a lesser offense, especially since CaptainZack was considered to be a victim of grooming at the time. Multiple prominent Smash community members have taken to Twitter to criticize the decision.

One of the Conduct Panel members, @pooch182 on Twitter, explained his rationale for voting to ban CaptainZack. He noted that the conduct panel receives evidence that is not public but that would “change the public’s opinion of the entire case.” In light of this classified evidence, he personally voted for an indefinite ban with an appeal available after one year.

Kyle “Dr. Piggy” Nolla runs the Conduct Panel Twitter account and is typically viewed as the face of the panel. As a result, she has borne the brunt of the criticism for the bans of CaptainZack and Mew2Queen. Melee commentator “Chroma” lamented this fact, reprimanding the SSB Code of Conduct Panel for “throwing [her] under the bus.”

The SSB Code of Conduct Panel’s suggested bans of CaptainZack and Mew2Queen are not technically binding. However, many prominent tournament organizers are signatories of the panel. As a result, they will likely adhere to the panel’s recommendations.

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.