It has been confirmed that Johnathan "Alex Strife" Lugo will no longer be involved with the Smash tournament Apex.
Lugo - who held the positions of Chief Executive Officer, Sponsorship Manager and Qualifiers Manager at Apex, which he helped found back in 2008 - has voluntarily stepped down following a series of damning allegations relating to sexual harassment towards female members of the Super Smash Bros. competitive community.
A tweet by Smash player Kay on Sunday seemed to be the catalyst for recent events, and since then other female players have come forward voicing their own concerns about Lugo's behaviour - many citing troubling online conversations they had had with him over the past few years.
Possibly the most damning claims came from fellow Apex organizer Mark "ChiboSempai" Korsak, who wrote of his own experiences with Lugo:
I have known Strife for quite a while, and have been quite close with him as a friend in the past. Due to the sheer amount of activities I have been involved with in the communities and the amount of work I have done with Strife, I know some of the most terrible, embarrassing, and disgusting things that this person has done to our community.
Apex has been running for six years now and ranks as one of the biggest Smash tournaments in the world. The timing of these allegations couldn't be worse, as this year marks the first time that Nintendo has officially supported the event.
Apex has issued an official statement regarding the matter:
At this time, Alex Strife will be stepping down from his duties at Apex. We will be moving forward with Apex 2015. As it stands Apex 2015 is the largest Smash Brothers tournament ever and the Apex staff hopes to bring you the best experience we can.
Speaking to Kotaku, Apex social media coordinator Will Hsiao added:
Team Apex and Alex Strife made a mutual decision that he will step down from Apex. No Apex members were aware of any of these allegations that became public. Alex has made no comment. That's all we can say at this point, thanks.
According to Kotaku, Lugo is unavailable for comment.