Polar Ace announced on Friday that it would cut all ties with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate player Zack “CaptainZack” Lauth. CaptainZack had joined Polar Ace on March 13, 2019. The organization issued the following statement about CaptainZack’s controversy on its Twitter page:
We have decided to cut ties with @CaptainZack_ effective immediately for blackmail, match fixing, and irresponsible behavior. We will release a statement in the following days with more details regarding our decision.
— Polar Ace (@PolarAceEsports) August 3, 2019
The announcement came after CaptainZack admitted to bracket manipulation. While in a relationship with Elliot “Ally” Carroza-Oyarce, CaptainZack pressured Ally into throwing tournament matches. Because of this, Ally intentionally lost to Sota “Zackray” Okada at 2GG: Prime Saga. Ally also threw his set against Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada at MomoCon 2019.
A since-deactivated Twitter account known as “The Truth” initially broke the news of CaptainZack and Ally’s collusion. This account posted screenshots of messages between the two players. CaptainZack later confirmed the accusations and offered his side of the story in a TwitLonger.
According to his TwitLonger, CaptainZack’s motivation for the bracket manipulation was jealousy. After breaking up with Ally in September 2018, CaptainZack began to envy Ally’s strong bracket performances. CaptainZack’s frustrations were amplified by the fact that he believed Ally should not have been allowed to compete anymore.
Though CaptainZack apparently re-entered his relationship with Ally in December 2018, his frustrations with Ally’s success continued. CaptainZack did not want to resume his relationship with Ally, so he tried being mean to prompt Ally to leave him. He ultimately resorted to encouraging Ally to throw significant tournament matches.
CaptainZack closed his TwitLonger with an apology and a promise that he would not manipulate tournament results again. He also claimed that his case was “being looked at and dealt with.” Despite this controversy, CaptainZack is still competing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate at EVO 2019 this weekend.
The Smash community has been immersed in much controversy recently. CaptainZack’s admission adds to this even more, especially considering the controversial nature of his and Ally’s relationship.
CaptainZack is No. 32 on the first PGRU. Although Ally is officially No. 6, he did not receive a celebratory presentation like every other ranked player. This is because of his controversial actions and his ban from competitive Smash. However, CaptainZack’s admission now cast some doubt on his celebratory appearance on the PGRU.
Multiple Super Smash Bros. community members are calling for CaptainZack to receive a suspension or ban in some form, since he compromised competitive integrity. Currently, it is unclear who will spearhead this decision. The SSB Conduct Panel is the primary decision-making body that recommends player bans. However, this panel has traditionally dealt only with those involved in sexual assault cases.
Dylan Tate is a student in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, including Smash Bros., Splatoon, ARMS, and Pokémon. Dylan also writes Nintendo news articles for Nintendo Enthusiast.