Multiple Fighting Game Tournaments Ban Competitor After Woman Says He Beat And Raped Her

Multiple Fighting Game Tournaments Ban Competitor After Woman Says He Beat And Raped Her

Multiple organisations have banned fighting game competitor Andre “OmGiTzAndre” Howard from competing at their events after a fellow community member said he raped and assaulted her. The woman described the abuse last night after her boyfriend spoke about it in a podcast on Tuesday.

Howard is a regular competitor on the fighting game scene, with multiple finals appearances in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. (He’s also known for pleading guilty to credit card fraud and identity theft in 2016.)

As Howard came up on Tuesday night’s episode of The On Blast Show, a weekly Twitch podcast, fellow player Joey “Joey D” D’Alessandro dropped a bombshell.

“He’s a rapist,” D’Alessandro claimed in the stream’s chat. “He raped my girlfriend.”

Discussion at the time was focused on Northeast Championship, an annual tournament series in Pennsylvania. One of the show’s hosts, Melanie “MoxXiePeachez” Shaw, described an incident in 2015 during which Howard physically assaulted the woman in the room they shared at the event.

Shaw added that, after the woman got away from Howard, she found a friend who intervened by “knocking Andre the fuck out.”

After the podcast, many community members called on tournament organisers to ban him from their events.

Some, like Kumite in Tennessee head Ian Davis, did so, but most remained silent.

Community reactions to serious charges or accusations against fighting game competitors have been inconsistent. Noel Brown was involved in numerous altercations before getting banned from events after inappropriately touching a woman on camera, and at least one woman in the community has spoken out about the lack of support she’s received dealing with a stalker.

Howard uploaded a video to YouTube (which has since been removed) denying claims that he raped the woman. He also referred to what happened at Northeast Championship as an “argument,” saying that the attendee who intervened only did so because “he thought I was coming at him to fight him” and “the liquor took over”.

The woman who says Howard raped her shared more details late Wednesday night in a now-deleted Facebook post, claiming that Howard forced himself on her one night in December 2015, just a few days before the tournament, despite her cries and pleas to stop.

After the assault at Northeast Championship, she says Howard threatened to cancel her flight home and leave her stranded, effectively blocking her from involving the proper authorities.

“Andre was torn up over this, crying, threatening to hurt himself for what he did, etc.,” she wrote. “I was still scared of him but I did not want anything bad to happen to him. Could I really call it rape or go to authorities if we both were drunk and the abuser claims he doesn’t remember doing it? So I decided to keep quiet about it all and protect myself the best I could.”

Since the Facebook post, some of the biggest fighting game organisations in the world have banned Howard from their tournaments, including Combo Breaker, Community Effort Orlando, Final Round, and Big E Gaming.

Compete has reached to the woman and Andre for comment. This post will be updated if they respond.


    • Noticed yesterday that whole comment sections appear to be removed.

      Can’t help but notice that it seems to be happening when the majority of the comments are negative of the article.

      Hoping it’s a error or moderation bug.
      Won’t be impressed if it’s purposeful censorship when a narrative is rejected.

      • Kotaku take great liberty re: their community guidelines in cultivating a supportive comment section.

        I will be surprised if this comment gets approved.

        • If a parent comment gets deleted for whatever reason, it will trash the comments beneath that. That’s not something that I can change, unfortunately, and it does result sometimes in perfectly fine and reasonable comments going in the bin because of something that’s too far.

          I try to foster debate as much as I can, but I have little tolerance for trolling and shitposting. That doesn’t cultivate a good community or good discussion.

          • except many comments may not be trolling or shitposting. mine own comment was removed after asking someone to clarify and explaining what I understood of the article. I don’t understand what was wrong and why it was removed. just saying something breaches guidelines tells me nothing. it was not attached to a parent comment or anything like that.

            If there is something wrong with such a comment please explain which part of the community guidelines I have breached so that I don’t repeat that mistake again.

          • Was yours a top level comment?
            I think what Alex was saying is that if you are in a thread, no matter how far down a top level item being deleted can cause issues

          • nah posted it as a regular comment and not a reply to anything a few hours ago. it was the only comment there at the time. unless there was briefly a bunch of other comments before I came back and everything was canned.

          • Slightly OT – have I been stopped from commenting on Gizmodo AU? I can’t see comment sections for any articles anymore.

          • Me either. I get the feeling that people just aren’t commenting over there anymore.

            Edit: Correction, it appears that there is just no way of commenting on that site anymore. Interesting.

          • Also, just noticed that all my Gizmodo comments have disappeared from my profile, and it appears the ability to comment on any article ever has been removed.

          • Yeah, I just noticed the other day that not only do Giz articles have no comments section any more – even historic comments seem to have been nuked, and the section for them in your profile no longer shows up. Went to try and see if they’d put an article up mentioning it happening, but nothing came up in searches and the tagging system seems to be broken so you can’t see more than one page of articles (and trying to add /page/2 to the URL didn’t work either). Was going to search through past TAYs for any mention, but effort.

          • The official response is it has been shutdown. It came up on kotaku 2 days ago or so in a comments section.

          • Supposedly they have disabled comments completely. According to a writer over on lifehacker.

            Ive tried contacting rae and gizmodo through various means and i have not gotten a single reply. I dont want to say it but it seems like they are ignoring us.

            Kinda dissapointing really. One of the main reasons i went there was to comment and engage with others. Now Gizmodo just seems like another boring tech blog. I havent been on it in over a week.

            I really wish the Gizmodo editors would give us some kind of answer and not just ignore us.

          • I don’t have much reason to visit Giz if that’s what they’re doing. I get that the comments could get heated, but that’s why they have moderators isn’t it?

            There’s also way too many US articles (of worse quality than the AU ones) and too much moralising lately (again mostly from US articles).

          • Like i cant think of any logical reason why they would disable comments completely. If it was advertisers asking for it. It would be on Kotaku and lifehacker as well. Not just gizmodo. I loved reading the articles and then discussing it with others and even the writer themselves. Now there is no point. I can just go to CNET if i want the same tech news.

            If the gizmodo editors had provided a reason beforehand as to why comments were being disabled i would have agreed and been fine with it. But they just slowly rolled it in with some articles and then disabled them completely. And now everyone at gizmodo has gone radio silent making it worse.

          • On the off chance Rae might actually be reading comments.

            @raejohnston a reason for why comments have been disabled on gizmodo would be appreacted greatly 🙂

          • Oh of course, no argument there.

            I was referring to the Bojack horseman story, all comments removed and no option to post anything new.
            (Like most Gizmodo stories atm)

            My comment there was in no way a troll of shitpost and was a parent comment. The article even vanished before it reappeared without comments.

            You do good work mate and we definetly don’t make it easy on anybody. xD

          • Not surprising my account is in perpetual moderation because it doesn’t align with the moderators narrative and the 5 speshal kotaku users that get to bomb people into moderation.

            It’s just so much easier when everyone agrees with you because you’ve deleted everything else.

          • Yes I hear you, Clem Fandango! You arsehole!
            (I’ve been waiting for you to comment just so I could say it xD)

            Seriously though, I’m not having a crack at the mods or the folks on our end.
            The BJH story caught my attention because the comments were almost 100% fine but reacted against the article, the removal (if done purposely) was reason for me to pack my bags and be done with Kotaku, not because of conflicting ideological reasons, but because almost everyone is picking a side in this whole full circle partisan human centipede nonsense being artificially spread around the world.

            It’s fair to say that despite our differences, the community here is mostly inclusive, accepting, fans of games and somewhat resistant to bullcrap when it starts going to far.

        • yeah mine was removed in the last couple of hours or so. I basically said I was confused as to what was going on and pointed out what I understood of the article. it has now been removed. it’d be nice if it told me why rather than just breaching guidelines that I have read and don’t have anything to do with my comment.

          • It’s pretty straightforward. While a discussion in the livestream was going on regarding accusations of assault, someone in the livestream chat piped in mentioning that their girlfriend had been raped.

            The stream host then talked about how the person in question messaged them saying he’d been punched and assaulted by the boyfriend “and that he didn’t know why”. The rest of that discussion can be heard in the full livestream on YouTube. About 1hr 17-18 minutes in.

            Interesting element too is that the accused in question contacted one of the hosts before the podcast kicked off because they were concerned about what would be mentioned on stream. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say this was expected to some degree, but that’s just my own speculation.

            Background context is that this was someone who was arrested for credit card fraud; he was picked up by a team only a few months ago and promptly dropped within 24 hours after the FGC let them know of this players’ background. The stream actually covered “people who pulled scams in one way, shape or form” and that’s how the player in question was first brought up.

            There’s a few extra bits and pieces beyond what your initial comment indicated. You initially put it as “that a woman was raped, except both parties were drunk and the offending party also does not remember the event in question”. There’s a lot more going on here than that, plainly, although I’m not trying to cast judgment one way or another. This is just the information that’s in the post and what’s already been mentioned and/or publicly verifiable.

            Anyway, I’d encourage everyone to listen to the full livestream or at least 10-15 minutes of it.

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