Days ahead of its event, Online open tournament EVO Online has been cancelled as multiple game developers pull their games from the tournament following serious sexual misconduct allegations against now-former-CEO Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cueller.
Following a third-party investigation, EVO’s twitter account has announced the removal of Cueller as CEO and terminated any and all affiliation of his with EVO.
Fans who bought badges for EVO online will also be receiving refunds, While EVO will continue to go forward with donating the proceeds of badge sales to Project HOPE.
Mr Cueller has also issued an apology regarding the allegations, though he does not get into specifics regarding the allegations levelled against him.
“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 “Mr. Wizard” Cueller, @MrWiz on Twitter.
In a twitlonger post, Twitter user @PyronIkari recalls his time as a teenager in the 90s at the arcade, where the adults, Cueller included, would make (usually very young) boys do things like jump in water hazard pools in exchange for arcade tokens.
EVO took this allegation very seriously, suspending Cueller pending an investigation which ultimately led to his removal and the cancellation of EVO Online.
EVO Online was set to be a unique year for the fighting game open tournament as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the organizers to focus on games with good netcode, giving many less-mainstream games such as Skullgirls and Them’s Fighting Herds a chance to be seen by the larger fighting game community.
However, given the increased scrutiny of toxic behavior in the fighting game community, it makes sense for the tournament’s cancellation to promote a more inclusive community.