With the games industry continuing to see a swath of allegations levied against prominent figures, the fighting game community is reckoning with its own wave of sexual misconduct accusations. One such allegation has been brought against Evolution Championship Series founder and president Joey “MrWizard” Cuellar, and the company has placed him on administrative leave following a pending investigation.
According to a statement by Twitter user PyronIkari (who only goes by Mikey), Cuellar had engaged in inappropriate and predatory behavior with underage boys during the mid-to-late ’90s. Cuellar had egged Mikey to reveal himself for $20-$40 worth of tokens. As Mikey put it in his story, “Wizard was especially into this. He would pay people hundreds of tokens to do things like take off their clothes and jump in the water hazard pools for certain amounts of times. 99% of the time, it was young boys.”
The official Evo Twitter account confirmed that Cuellar was placed on administrative leave amid the rising accusations. “We are aware of the accusations that have been made against Joey Cuellar,” the statement reads. “The behavior in these accusations runs directly counter to Evo’s mission of building a safe, welcoming environment for all of our players and attendees. We take this responsibility seriously. Accordingly, Joey has been placed on administrative leave pending a third-party investigation.”
Cuellar has yet to issue a public statement about the situation.
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.