Based on the account of an alleged sexual assault, Ohio-based fighting game player Andre “OMGItzAndre” Howard has now been banned from several major upcoming tournaments, including Winter Brawl, Final Round, Combo Breaker, CEO, and Kumite in Tennessee.
Several allegations against Howard were raised during a Jan. 30 stream of the OnBlastShow. The topic of the night’s show was Howard’s pattern of behavior at fighting game events, with guests sharing their accounts of Howard failing to pay for hotel rooms at events, and engaging in toxic behavior. During the stream a viewer in the chat accused Howard of physically and sexually assaulting an ex-girlfriend at a tournament in 2015.
Following the stream, Howard recorded a video attempting to describe the night in question, admitting to sexual contact while maintaining that both parties were intoxicated at the time. The next day, in response to speculation over whether or not the assault took place, the alleged victim of the assault posted a public comment to Facebook contradicting Howard’s story.
I hate to do this and I've been deliberating all day, but I feel saying this is necessary. pic.twitter.com/4Nfpy5XHe2
— Ian Davis (@KITVandy) January 31, 2018
Both the video and original comment in question have since been deleted, but allegations were enough for several major tournament organizers to ban Howard from their events indefinitely. Based on his Twitter account, Howard had planned to compete at Winter Brawl in Philadelphia later this month, but tournament organizer Eric “Big E” Smalls confirmed that Howard would no longer attend Winter Brawl or future events.
What’s good everyone,
Andre will no longer be attending any more Big E Gaming events.
Outta respect for all in attendance.
I spoke to André the last 2 days and he agrees with me that he needs to focus on his problems and not the fgc.
Thanks for for everyone’s time.
— Big E Gaming (@BigEgaming) February 1, 2018
No stranger to controversy, Howard was released from Mutiny Gaming in October 2016 due to his arrest and subsequent guilty plea on charges of credit card fraud. In November 2017 Howard was signed and quickly released by Syndicate eSports, after rumors of his impropriety followed the announcement. After the announcement of the bans, the alleged victim again posted on Facebook asking for the community to acknowledge the danger of Howard’s predatory behavior — but to respect his safety and privacy.