Coach, Not Community, is to Blame, Says Female Fighter Striking Back in Sexual Harassment ControversyS

The fighter inside the controversy that stirred allegations of sexism and misogyny in fighting video games says that its community, fans and star performers do not deserve the collective blame they have endured, and vows that she will not leave her sport despite the alienating remarks of the man who once coached her.

Miranda Pakozdi, who apparently forfeited a match in protest during the Web-broadcast "Cross Assault" competition, singled out her Tekken team coach Aris Bakhtanians for blame in starting a bitter two-day conflict that has roiled passions among fighting game fans and professional contestants in reports by the specialty press.

Moreover, Pakozdi condemned media reports—including Kotaku's by name—that seemed to blame the fighting game culture at large for the ugly incident and the uncomfortable discussion of it.

"The fact is one person, with the assistance of a few stream monsters, brought me to my breaking point," said Pakozi, in extended remarks published via Twitter late Thursday. "Maybe some people (like the people who wrote the @Kotaku article) don't understand that it was just one person who did this to me. I understand it looks like this is the FGC [fighting game community's] fault, I felt that way too until I got home and had a couple days to process everything that happened.

"I was so appalled at what Aris said on the 5th night that I could not stop crying, the next day I made the decision to leave because of it," Pakozdi said. "But that night, and every minute since then, I've received hundreds of comments/tweets from people both in and out of the [fighting game community] supporting me. Those people outnumber Aris like 200-1."

At bottom, "the only people who could make me feel part of the FGC again was the FGC," Pakozdi said. "All the support made me realize that only one person has wronged me, not the entire FGC."

Bakhtanians—her team's coach—"doesn't represent the entire community," Pakozdi said. "I'm not ever leaving. See you at NCR."

NCR is the Northern California Regionals, one of the premier fighting video game tournaments in North America. It will be held March 24-25.