This article references accusations of sexual assault.
EVO 2020, which was to be an online tournament in 2020, has been cancelled. Earlier, it was reported that EVO CEO Joey Cuellar was being placed on administrative leave following several accusations of sexual misconduct. Now, the event will no longer go ahead, and Cuellar will no longer be involved with EVO.
In a statement released to Twitter, it has been announced that Tony Cannon is taking over as CEO, and that he is “prioritizing greater accountability across Evo, both internally and at our events.”
Evo Online has been cancelled, and refunds will be issued to all players who have purchased a band. Furthermore, a donation will still be made to Project HOPE by the event organizers.
This announcement follows numerous publishers pulling out of EVO following these allegations, including Bandai Namco (publishers of Tekken 7), NetherRealm (Mortal Kombat 11) and Capcom (Street Fighter V).
Cuellar has addressed matters in a brief statement on his Twitter account, before the event’s cancellation, in which he seemed to be trying to distance himself from accusations. “I was young and reckless and did things I’m not proud of,” he says, claiming to have grown and matured “over the past 20 years”.
This comes as several high-profile fighting game community members, particularly those within the Super Smash Bros. scene, have been accused of sexual misconduct with minors. This includes pro gamers D’Ron “D1” Maingrette, Cinnamon “Cinnpie” Dunson, Richard “Keitaro” King, Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada, and others.
Nintendo has issued a statement to IGN about these allegations, declaring that they are “deeply disturbed” by them. “We want to make it clear that we condemn all acts of violence, harassment, and exploitation against anyone and that we stand with the victims,” the statement reads.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was not to be a part of Evo 2020 this year after it moved online, but this speaks to the breadth of the issue within the fighting game community.
SonicFox, who played 2nd in EVO 2019’s Dragon Ball FighterZ competition and first in Mortal Kombat 11, has tweeted about the allegations that have come out, encouraging players and fans to “wake up and really hear these voices.”
FGC wake up and really hear these voices. We have to protect our community at all costs. Keep speaking up.
— SonicFox 1312 (@SonicFox) July 3, 2020