The online iteration of this year’s Evolution Championship Series (EVO) has been officially canceled following allegations of abuse towards one of the most prominent figures in the fighting game community, the now-former CEO of the organization Joey Cuellar. The company posted an official statement in regard to this and has also removed Ceullar from the company effective immediately saying that “Joey Ceullar will no longer be involved with EVO in any capacity. We are working towards his complete separation from the company and have relieved him of all his responsibilities.”
— EVO (@EVO) July 3, 2020
The accusations against Ceullar surfaced on Twitter from fighting game circuit player Mikey “Crackpr0n” Pham, who stated that Ceullar was allegedly behaving inappropriately towards himself when he was much younger, as well as other people for several years. Within a very short timeframe, multiple gaming studios and publishers pulled out of EVO Online which include many stalwarts such as Capcom, NetherRealm Studios, and Bandai Namco. Ceullar himself has apologized in a tweet, saying that “I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
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
Evo mentions in their statement that Tony Cannon will be the new acting CEO for the company until further notice. The organization also states that due to the cancellation of EVO Online, all of those who purchased a ticket will be given a full refund, as well as donate the equivalent amount to the charity Project Hope which they promised to do earlier. The allegations against Ceullar come during a plethora of other stories being brought to light. Similarly, these stories have also made claims of abuse, racism, and other forms of harassment that will no doubt have a long and lasting impact on the industry for years to come.