The popular fighting game tournament EVO has been canceled after learning its chief tournament operator, Joey “Wiz” Cuellar, was allegedly involved in incidents of sexual harassment and pedophilia.
Everything began late Wednesday night, with a fighting game community member explaining how, at one point in the late 90’s and early 2000s, Cuellar had been challenging under-aged boys to sexually explicit “dares”. The story alleged Cuellar also paid someone to look at their genitals on a dare to prove they were “above average”:
This story comes amidst a number of abuse reports by other members of the FGC; the most noteworthy case being that of Super Smash Brothers player Cinnpie, who was accused of statutory rape by Puppeh, a Smash player who was 14 at the time of his interactions with Cinnpie, then 24.
Though EVO made an announcment about an investigation, companies immediately began pulling out, in support of victims and out of a refusal to be associated with Cuellar.
It began with Mortal Kombat developer NeatherRealm Studios:
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
Then continued with Capcom:
Finally, Cuellar admitted to some misconduct. Shortly afterwards, EVO both announced the removal of Cuellar from their company and the cancellation of EVO for 2020.
Currently, the new CEO will be Tony Cannon, one of the founding members of the company. Plans have been announced to refund all players who already paid to enter. And as stated in the tweet above, the company will donate an “equivalent of the proceeds” to Project HOPE, an organization dedicated to those working on “the front lines of the world’s health challenges,” According to its website, it partners “hand-in-hand with communities, health care workers and public health systems to ensure sustainable change.”