Competitive gaming organizations are continuing to crack down on pro players giving eSports a bad image. The latest example comes from Capcom, which this week banned pro player Noel Brown for grabbing a woman from behind at a tournament on the Capcom Pro Tour last weekend.
"Over the past weekend, we were notified that an unfortunate case of sexual harassment occurred at Combo Breaker 2016, a Capcom Pro Tour Ranking Event, where a female attendee received unwarranted and unwanted contact from a male attendee, who is confirmed to be Noel Brown," Capcom said in its official statement. "This incident was also captured on camera during the live stream before the Street Fighter V Losers Finals match."
Capcom called the incident a first offense, and has banned Brown from competing in the 2016 Capcom Pro Tour. If Brown commits a second offense, it will result in a lifetime ban. The publisher said that escalation of penalties will serve as the template for any similar incidents from other players in the future. The organizers of the Combo Breaker tournament banned Brown from the 2017 event, and will re-evaluate his eligibility in 2018.
"We do not condone any acts of harassment and we want all of our players and fans to know we will continue our work to ensure that all Capcom Pro Tour events provide safe, inviting environments where the focus is on healthy competition and exciting rivalries," Capcom said. "We support Combo Breaker's decision to ban Noel Brown and support any tournament organizer who decides to ban anyone from their event who they feel is creating a hostile environment for other attendees."