EVO 2020, this years iteration of the popular fighting game tournament, has been cancelled after allegations of sexually assault against a minor were made against co-founder Joey “MrWizard” Cuellar. With game companies starting to back out of the event, it has been cancelled with EVO stating that Cuellar would “no longer be involved with EVO in any capacity.”
— EVO (@EVO) July 3, 2020
The allegations come from Mikey “Crakpr0n” Pham, who accused Cuellar of coercing him into exposing himself while he was still a minor at the age of 17.
Cuellar acknowledged and apologised for his actions:
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
Following the allegations, and Cuellar’s acceptance and apology, numerous game companies and personalities backed out of EVO 2020.
NetherRealm Studios joined Capcom in removing their games from the tournament, depriving it of Street Fighter V and Mortal Kombat 11. This was followed by Mane6 of Them’s Fighting’ Herds and Bandai Namco
EVO had initially paced Cuellar on administrative leave pending an investigation, but with so many companies and people backing out and Cuellar’s statement, the decision to remove him from the company was the only logical step. Co-founder Tony Cannon will now take over leading the company and will be “prioritizing greater accountability across Evo, both internally and at [its] events.”
They are far from the only company currently trying to address allegations of sexual abuse, with a large number of Me Too allegations having been made over the last two weeks. Ubisoft suspended two VPs and a number of other employees pending their own internal investigations, restructuring the editorial team as of today. A number of Twitch Partner streamers have been implicated, with the streaming platform issuing a statement that they are actively investigating the allegations, while several game companies have distanced themselves from games writer Chris Avellone, and Insomniac Games issued a statement regarding allegations of a culture of sexual harassment within the studio.