Over the weekend, yet another amazing fighting game tournament, CEO 2018, took place. With some of the best matches in both Street Fighter V and Dragon Ball FighterZ being played, it was truly a sight to behold. Including Infiltration’s recreation of Val Venis’s WWE intro. I’ve added this below, in case you missed it – you need to watch it.
I’ll give Infiltration props for that, there’s no way in heck you’d see me doing that. That’s exactly the sort of stuff that made the event so enjoyable.
Sadly, it seems that what occurred inside of the event venue was the highlight of the weekend. Many of the attendees who were on hand weren’t too thrilled about what transpired outside of the venue. There have been multiple reports of people being harassed and threatened while venturing outside. Some who have gone on record as to being disgusted by the behavior of the citizens of Dayonta Beach, Flordia. Those who were harassed were POC, showing the racism is alive and in full effect in that area. As a POC, the news coming regarding this really bothers me. No one should be subjected to what the on goers for this event had to endure.
The fact that people simply couldn’t leave the venue to go take a stroll. To get something to eat or just to hang out with friends. Subjected to harassment, threatened and being fearful for your lives for no reason at all. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture, does it?
Just look at some the complaints and comments surrounding the event, from those who attended and participated.
Im glad people are putting Daytona Beach on blast for being a trash ass area, CEO was a fun ass event but the racism/ratchetness was not a good look.
— ….. (@Anti) July 2, 2018
I do definitely think the area should be addressed next year @CEOJebailey for CEO. The area as a black man made me highly uncomfortable with the amount of openly racist shit there. The venue is 10/10 but something should be done here.
— Echo Fox | SonicFox (@SonicFox5000) July 2, 2018
It sucks to say but I actually did not have a lot of fun this CEO. Daytona is by far the worst city I have ever visited.
— CLN | Yohosie @CEO (@yohosiefgc) July 2, 2018
Ceo was a great experience but this is probably the most racist place ive ever been to in my life. Had a white guy throw a cup of ice at me and my friends as he drove by, another was talking about the kkk rocking confederate flags. . People staring at us up and down
— Method|SylverRye (@SylverRye) July 2, 2018
Everyone out here is about to make a tweet during #CEO2018 talking about what a trash heap Daytona is like I ain't been out here tellin' y'all for years
— Antonio Del Valle (@RSHuggyBear) June 28, 2018
Ceo was great but Daytona was god awful. Never again
— NRG | HookGangGod (@HookGangGod) July 2, 2018
Attendees after ceo 2018 pic.twitter.com/67hnrKgM1d
— Method|SylverRye (@SylverRye) July 2, 2018
I heard about this and a few other similar stories. Had a black couple at night warn me about the police in the area.
Lost count of all the Confederate Flag themed clothing displayed. Didnt have this problem in Orlando
Venue was great, the city not so much https://t.co/wyhetEVAGo
— Ragnarök Tyr (@Ragnarok_FGC) July 2, 2018
The complaints and comments about the area just go on and one. Definitely not a good look for CEO, as this was the debut of the new venue for the fighting game event. Now it seems that if this issue isn’t addressed, there definitely could be lack of LGBT and POC persons from attending the event. The amount of ignorance that was displayed was simply deplorable and I feel for every who attended and was impacted by this.
To those people that caused the issue, I simply can’t fathom why the ignorance was thought to be alright. Putting down other human beings for the sake of entertainment is just cowardice. Yet it seems to be acceptable, and a common practice no matter where you go. Much to dissatisfaction of everyone else.
But more than anything, I feel frustrated for CEO organizer, Alex Jebailey. After everything that he went through to finally find a new home for his fighting game event, now he has to go through and try and address this mess. A mess that he isn’t backing down from if his recent tweets are any indication. He’s even stated that if he has to run for major to right the wrong, he’ll do so. I’m sure it doesn’t have to go that far, but I dig the dedication to getting this mess resolved.
I plan to meet with the city to see what can be done to help ensure CEO's attendees are provided the sense of security they expect from CEO, both inside the venue & outside. I don't have answers today, but I'm listening & willing to try anything I can to make CEO perfect.
— Jebailey 🛣 to Recovery (@CEOJebailey) July 2, 2018
Truthfully, I hope that this issue gets addressed. For the sake the continued growth of the CEO event. If not, what are the options? Having fewer people hit up the event and it fails to attract participants and goes by the wayside? Or have Alex Jebailey saying the hell with it all and walking from a multi-million dollar agreement – which simply isn’t going to happen.
While I’ve only met Jebailey once at PAX East, the man is very outspoken, focused and really loves the fighting game community. I’m sure a solution will be found and I wish him nothing but more success.