Cross Assault is a Capcom sanctioned event meant to pit a team of Tekken experts against a team of Street Fighter experts as a promotion for the new Street Fighter X Tekken coming out soon. The entire event is being run as a live streamed tournament with a $25,000 prize for the victors.
During the stream, Team Tekken’s coach Aris Bakhtanians, can be heard constantly talking to Miranda “Super Yan” Pakozdi, a Team Tekken member, as she trains for her matches. He asks her what size her bra size is, makes crude jokes about installing cameras in the washroom for when she goes to use it and other such wonderful subjects.
Pakozdi: “I’m trying to play Aris, you’re messing me up.”
Bakhtanians: “You’re need to be able to focus when people are heckling you!”
Pakozdi: “That’s fine but like, this is just creepy.”
Bakhtanians: “You need to be able to play when people are harassing you”
Pakozdi: “Thanks for that Aris.”
Bakhtanians: “Take off your shirt.”
But it didn’t really hit the fan until day five during a conversation between Twitch.tv community manager Jared Rea and Bakhtanians.
The conversation started off with Rea commenting on how some players don’t know how to treat others with respect.
“Can I get my Street Fighter without sexual harassment?” says Rae at one point during the conversation.
“You can’t. You can’t because they’re one and the same thing. This is a community that’s, you know, 15 or 20 years old and the sexual harassment is part of a culture and if you remove that from the fighting game community, it’s not the fighting game community it’s StarCraft,” replied Bakhtanians.
He continued to defend the fighting game community to that end.
Since then the story broke it has spread all over the community and across popular video game news sites. People have been taking different stances on the issue, some decry Bakhtanians comments while others are trying to filter through the offensive comments for that bleak ray of sunlight.
As for the girl at the receiving end of much of Aris’ attention, Miranda Pakodzi expressed her distaste for her treatment on the team on Twitter, even going as far to say the only reason why she continued to be at the event was because she was on contract.
On her Twitter she says that she pulled him aside ‘dozens’ of times trying to tell him to stop.
She ended up deciding not to attend the final round of the tournament.
Unfortunately, any which way the event and comments are interpreted, re-interpreted or outright dismissed, it definitely casts a negative light on the fighting game community.
Capcom has said the comments aired don’t reflect their personal views and that they believe everyone should be treated with respect.