Evo CEO Fired; Evo Online Tournament Canceled

Fighting tournament organizer Evo has dismissed CEO Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar following multiple allegations of misconduct with minors. Evo released a statement, visible on Twitter, outlining their position.


Only 24 hours prior to the statement, Evo had indicated that Cuellar was being placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a third-party investigation. Evo’s other co-founder, Tony Cannon, has been named interim CEO in the wake of Cuellar’s firing.

Despite Cuellar’s removal, the Evo Online Tournament (intended as a replacement to the Evo 2020 Tournament which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic) has been canceled. It is not entirely clear if the cancellation came about as part of an executive decision or as a consequence of the number of companies who pulled out of the tournament in response to the initial allegations.

NetherRealm Studios announced they would be pulling out of the tournament at roughly the same time as Capcom made a similar announcement, which would have removed Mortal Kombat 11 and Street Fighter V, respectively. Shortly thereafter, developer Mane6, whose My Little Pony-inspired Them’s Fighting Herds, also announced they would be withdrawing from Evo Online. Just before 9 p.m. EDT, Bandai Namco announced their withdrawal, taking Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Soulcalibur VI out of the exhibition.

Evo concluded their statement by indicating that they would be issuing refunds for all players who purchased badges and would be donating the proceeds to Project HOPE. “Progress doesn’t happen overnight, or without the bravery of those who speak up against misconduct and injustice. 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, safer culture we all seek,” they wrote.

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