Evo CEO Joey Cuellar Replaced by Tony Cannon, Evo Online Canceled

Ruben Fields
July 5, 2020

The event was set to start on July 4th as a month-long series of online-only competitions, the format having been rejigged in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fighting game tournament EVO Online has been cancelled following allegations of sexual misconduct and paedophilia against CEO Joey Cuellar. The company also confirmed Evo's former president "will no longer be involved with Evo in any capacity".

In a statement to IGN, Evo announced that effective immediately Joey Cuellar "will no longer be involved with Evo in any capacity" and that Evo Online is canceled.

"We are now working toward his complete separation from the company and have relieved him of all his responsibilities", the statement said. EVO Onlline has since been canceled, and the EVO organizaiton has announced they will be parting ways with Cuellar as Tony Cannon takes his place as acting EVO CEO.

Evo announced refunds will be issued to all players who had already paid to participate and that an equivalent donation will be made to Project Hope, a global health and humanitarian organization.

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The announcement from Evo comes after companies like Capcom and Bandai Namco withdrew their support of the tournament, and prominent players like SonicFox announced they would not be participating in the event. This past week, several Super Smash Bros. esports competitors and members came forward with allegations of abuse from those within the community. NetherRealm's statement on the matter reads as follows. "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". I was young and reckless and did things I'm not proud of. "I never meant to hurt anyone". "This is what happened to me almost 19 years ago. Once again, I'm truly sorry", he wrote in his public statement on Thursday.

"Wizard" Cuellar, revelations so damaging that multiple game publishers and developers chose to withdraw their games from the event so that they wouldn't be tarnished by the accusations now being thrown at Cuellar. Still, the organisers were planning to hold exhibitions in the Capcom-developed fighter between the event's main games. We are shocked and saddened by these events, but we are listening and committed to making every change that will be necessary in making EVO a better model for the stronger, safe culture we all seek.

We'll continue to update this story as more news reaches us.

The event holder has not yet given information on how the removal of these games will affect the event.

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