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The competitive Super Smash Bros. community tweeted #UnBanNairo en masse on Feb. 26 in an attempt to get Twitch to reverse its ban on Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada. Within a half hour, it became the No. 1 Twitter trend in the United States.

Nairo was one of many Smash players ostracized from the community following a wave of sexual assault allegations last summer. Zack “CaptainZack” Lauth accused Nairo of engaging in sexual acts with him while Nairo was 20 and CaptainZack was 15. Nairo initially deactivated his Twitter account, then reactivated it to issue an apology on July 2 before deactivating again.

However, Nairo effectively rescinded his apology in a statement he released on Oct. 28. He alleged that CaptainZack had raped him, initiating both of their sexual encounters. In a video uploaded last week, Nairo expressed his interest in returning to livestreaming, but noted that Twitch banned his account in September.

As a result, Zain “Monkeyman” Hussain initiated an organized movement to get #UnBanNairo trending on Twitter. He also created a document with a full timeline of events relating to the accusations against Nairo, encouraging Smash community members to share the document in order to explain their push to restore Nairo’s Twitch account.

Smash community pushes for Twitch to unban Nairo

Many top Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players participated in the effort to get Twitch to unban Nairo. These included Leonardo “MkLeo” Lopez Perez, Samuel “Dabuz” Buzby, James “VoiD” Makekau-Tyson and Rasheen “Dark Wizzy” Rose, among many others. In addition, Kolawole “Kola” Aideyan tweeted for the first time since November in support of the movement.

Others tempered their expectations in regard to the efficacy of the movement. William “Leffen” Hjelte stated that he is personally inclined to believe Nairo’s account, but that he does not expect Twitch to reverse Nairo’s ban just because he reached a legal settlement. Esports writer Tim Masters noted that the legal facts of the case are largely unknown, and he suggested that fans of Nairo are pushing a narrative without knowing all of the information.


Dylan Tate is a student in 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.


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