EVO tournament sees sudden exodus over allegations launched at founder
A huge scandal involving the founder of the long-running and most popular fighting video game eSports tournament, EVO, ended up with the event being canceled and several departures from the company. The man in question is the co-founder, Joey Cuellar, who apparently acknowledged, in a post on social media, the accusations of sexual assault against a minor. Of course, this post was followed by EVO firing Cuellar from the organization and canceling EVO 2020’s online tournaments shortly after.
EVO, the tournament dedicated to championship series in games like Street Fighter and Tekken, was later rocked by more departures. Capcom was the first company to announce the decision of parting ways with EVO 2020 on that same evening and refrained from any participation. Shortly after, NetherRealm Studios, the developers of the Mortal Kombat and Injustice series, did the same. This is a huge impact for EVO as it means that tentpole games Street Fighter V and Mortal Kombat 11 won’t be played at this event. Actually, Mortal Kombat was one of the games that had a major role in transitioning EVO into an online-only event.
But those were not the only departures.
New EVO participant, Mane6, the developers of games like Them’s Fightin’ Herds, followed suit shortly after. Later in the day, Bandai Namco joined the group of companies unwilling to work with EVO anymore. Among reasons shared by these companies, Capcom said that it was directly related to the allegations against Cuellar, while NetherRealm gave a similar statement, “We stand in solidarity with those who have spoken out against abuse.”
Besides companies leaving, EVO seems to be crumbling as other participants announced EVO 2020 departures, including commentators James Chen, Maximilian Christiansen and several renowned players.