The fighting game tournament EVO Online has been cancelled after CEO Joey Cuellar was fired over allegations of sexual misconduct.
“Effective immediately, Joey Cuellar will no longer be involved with Evo in any capacity.” the company said. “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 prioritising great accountability across Evo, both internally and at our events.”
The company’s statement ended by stating that it “will be cancelling EVO Online and will work to issue refunds for all players who chose to purchase a badge. We (EVO Online) will donate the equivalent of the proceeds as promised to Project HOPE.”
You can read the full message below:
— EVO (@EVO) July 3, 2020
Cuellar acknowledged the allegations in a tweet, saying: “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.”
Cancellation of the event comes after multiple companies and numerous players decided to withdraw from attendance following the allegations. Capcom announced that it “in light of recent accusations made against EVO organizer Joey Cuellar, Capcom will no longer be participating in EVO 2020.” Meanwhile, professional esports player SonicFox said that he would not “be participating any longer in Evo online.”
— Capcom Fighters (@CapcomFighters) July 2, 2020
— BANDAI NAMCO ESPORTS (@BNEesports) July 3, 2020
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
Also I won’t be participating any longer in Evo online.
— SonicFox 1312 (@SonicFox) July 2, 2020
The gaming community has been under the spotlight recently as multiple members of the industry have come forward with allegations. EA said it would be investigating multiple allegations made against members of its company, declaring that it is “deeply committed to ensuring there is safe space for people to come forward and taking the right actions on behalf of our community.”
Numerous employees at Ubisoft were also accused of multiple accounts of misconduct and the company has pledged to review its systems so situations like these will not happen again.