The recent wave of scandals in the wider gaming scene has now reached the close-knit Fighting Games Community. In the wake of the revelations EVO Online 2020 has been cancelled entirely.
The new accusation wave rolled over numerous people involved in the scene. EVO’s CEO Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar was among the implicated personalities. With severe allegations against him consisting of sexual harrasment and pedophillia he was first put on administrative leave before being removed by the organiser.
Talent and games withdraw from EVO Online 2020
After the first accusations were made public several players and personalities withdrew from the event, NetherRealm Studios took it a step further and removed their title Mortal Kombat 11 from the game roster.
We stand in solidarity with those who have spoken out against abuse. We will be pulling MK11 from EVO Online.
— NetherRealm (@NetherRealm) July 2, 2020
Although Capcom games were not to be played in the online competition due to poor netcode, the Japanese developer was slated to have a exhibition side event at the online tournament. After the allegations were made Capcom also cancelled their participation at EVO Online 2020.
— Capcom Fighters (@CapcomFighters) July 2, 2020
Cancellation and restructuring
On July 3 EVO relieved Joey Cuellar from his duties at the company and cancelled the online tournament entirely. EVO’s co-founder Tony Cannon will take over as acting CEO with priority to increase accountability at EVO and its tournaments.
— EVO (@EVO) July 3, 2020
In their statement EVO stressed out that they aim to make the scene a stronger and safer culture that speaks up against misconduct and injustice.
Tickets will be refunded to the fans and players with the equivalent proceeds going to Project HOPE, an international health care organisation.
Allegations of sexual harrassment and pedophillic behavior
In a TwitLonger PyronIkari was the first the raise accusations against Joey Cuellar.
My own story in the FGC
— Mikey~ CrackPr0n (@PyronIkari) July 2, 2020
In it he detailled allegations of sexual harrassment and Cuellar paying an underaged boy money to see his genitals. Cuellar was also accused of giving tokens to teenage boys for jumping into a pool with just their underwear on.
Cuellar responded to the allegations with an apology, shortly before EVO issued their statement.
I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt anyone. I was young and reckless and did things I’m not proud of. I have been growing and maturing over the past 20 years, but that doesn’t excuse anything. All I have been trying to do is become a better person. Once again, I’m truly sorry.
— Joey Cuellar (@MrWiz) July 3, 2020
EVO is set to return in 2021 at Las Vegas.
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