The past 24 hours for the biggest fighting gaming tournament has been a complete trainwreck. Back in April, EVO announced that they canceled this year’s tournament at Mandalay Bay due to COVID-19 concerns. Instead, they were going to run a fully online tournament with games with good netcode to support the different bandwidths around the world. Certain games like Fightin Herds, Mortal Kombat 11, and Killer Instinct were among the select that were to be played fully online with virtual brackets. Well, not anymore.
Earlier today, EVO co-founder and president Joey Cuellar has been relieved of his duties as the company works towards a complete separation. He is the subject of a pending a third-party investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations posted early Thursday morning. The accuser under the Twitter handle @PyronIkari claims that Cuellar was involved in multiple sexual misconduct situations in the late 90s to early 2000s. You can read their TwitLonger message by clicking here.
A message to all players, attendees, and fans pic.twitter.com/TJfNxVPiXC
— EVO (@EVO) July 2, 2020
After the apology from EVO, Cuellar, aka MrWiz, posted an apology on his Twitter page:
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
Then the floodgates opened. Companies like Capcom, Bandai Namco, NetherRealm Studios pulled their games from Evo 2020 in support of the victims:
— BANDAI NAMCO ESPORTS (@BNEesports) July 3, 2020
— Capcom Fighters (@CapcomFighters) July 2, 2020
— Mane6 Dev Team (@ManeSix) 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
With the companies pulling their titles from EVO Online along with important competitors like SonicFox refusing to compete in solidarity, EVO ultimately cancelled their event for this year entirely. We will have to wait and see what the future will hold for this tourney.