Capcom bans player from Pro Tour after sexual harassment incident

Noel Brown's ban has been extended to other tournaments through 2018.


In a story that has been developing over the past several days, Capcom has banned popular Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom player Noel Brown from the remainder of the Pro Tour 2016 season following a sexual harassment incident at the Combo Breaker Tournament in St. Charles, Illinois.

Brown was one of several players who posed for a group photo during the event. As the group dispersed, Brown could be seen groping a female attendee. Brown then acted nonchalant when she turned around to see who had touched her.

As footage from the livestream caught fire online, Brown tried to play off the incident as consensual horseplay between two acquaintances. "We were playing around as you can tell, she clearly laughed in the video after it happened. Of course people will blow things out of proportion and make them seem like they're something they're not which is definitely the case here," he wrote in a Facebook post that has since been deleted (via Polygon). "I don't understand how someone else calls sexual harassment on someone else's behalf if they're not any of the parties involved. Actually all three (her, her boyfriend and I) of us drank and ate pizza together that night after seeing the screen shot."

He goes on to write that he and the female player texted about the incident later.

Capcom and the female player saw differently. After catching wind of the footage, Capcom removed Brown from competition. "We have worked closely with the tournament organizer of Combo Breaker to gather all details surrounding the incident. We have found that the victim, who wishes not to be named, has gone on record and confirmed this was an inappropriate act from Noel Brown and was not consensual," Capcom representatives said in a statement.

Taking Capcom's lead, organizers of Combo Breaker forbade Brown from attending future tournaments. "Due to the nature of the offense, Mr. Brown will not be permitted to attend Combo Breaker's 2017 and potential 2018 events," per a statement from Combo Breaker organizers. "Combo Breaker will re-evaluate Mr. Brown's eligibility to attend our events in 2018. Harassment will continue to have a zero tolerance policy at Combo Breaker events. Be considerate and respectful of all attendees."

EVO co-founder Joey Cuellar contacted Polygon via email and confirmed that Brown will not be allowed to participate in this year's tournament.

For many members of the community, Brown's moratorium has been a long time coming. He attacked a player at a 2011 event, and was arrested for assault at another tournament in 2013.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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