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EVO Online Cancelled and CEO Joey “MrWizard” Cuellar Fired After Multiple Sexual Harassment and Abuse Claims

Evo

Organizers of Evolution Championship Series (EVO) have announced the cancellation of EVO Online, and the firing of co-founder and CEO Joey “MrWizard” Cuellar, after multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse were made against him and other prominent members of the fighting game community.

Between July 1st and July 2nd, multiple accusations of sexual harassment and abuse (including those against minors) was made against several competitive fighting game players and commentators, including Cuellar [1, 2].

Three individuals who had been accused later confessed to what they did, including Cuellar, Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada, and Richard “Keitaro” King. Editor’s Note: We will not report on allegations that have yet to be proven true or false in a court of law, or had confessions from the accused; so as not to vindicate the guilty or condemn the innocent.

After that, numerous publishers and developers involved with the tournament stated they would not support EVO Online; the alternative to EVO 2020 that was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

These companies included NetherRealm Studios, Capcom, Mane6, and Bandai Namco Entertainment. Between them, only three of the 12 game tournaments would have remained.

On July 2nd, EVO organizers initially stated that Cuellar was placed on administrative leave pending a third party investigation.” Later that same day, EVO organizers announced that Cuellar was fired, and that EVO Online was cancelled.

“Over the past 24 hours, in response to serious allegations recently made public on Twitter, we have made the first of a series of important decisions regarding the future of our company. Effective immediately, Joey Cuellar will no longer be involved with Evo in any capacity. We are currently working towards his complete separation from the company and have relieved him of all his responsibilities.

Going forward, Tony Cannon will act as CEO; in this position, he will take a leadership role in prioritizing greater accountability across Evo, both internally and at our events.

Progress doesn’t happen overnight, or without the bravery of those who speak up against misconduct and injustice. We are shocked and saddened by these events, but we are listening and committed to making every change that will be necessary in making Evo a better model for the stronger, safer culture we all seek. As a result, we will be canceling Evo Online and will work to issue refunds for all players who chose to purchase a badge. We will donate the equivalent of the proceeds as promised to Project HOPE.”

EVO Online would have taken place every weekend through July 4th to August 2nd. The registration for the event had ended on July 1st.

Image: Twitter

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Ryan Pearson

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Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.