On July 2, 2020, Evo confirmed that President Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar is on “administrative leave” after allegations of sexual misconduct while the “third party investigation” is being conducted. Now, companies are coming forward to pull their games from Evo Online. So far, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Mane6, NetherRealm Studios have pulled their titles from the event. (Editor’s Note: The story has been updated to confirm Bandai Namco will not have its games at the event.)
First, here is Evo’s statement regarding Cuellar’s administrative leave.
A message to all players, attendees, and fans pic.twitter.com/TJfNxVPiXC
— EVO (@EVO) July 2, 2020
Here is Cuellar’s statement regarding the matter.
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
NetherRealm Studios was the first to pull out of Evo Online, as it noted Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath would no longer be a part of the open online tournaments.
We stand in solidarity with those who have spoken out against abuse. We will be pulling MK11 from EVO Online.
— NetherRealm (@NetherRealm) July 2, 2020
Capcom quickly followed suit and removed Street Fighter V from the Tournament of Champions lineup.
— Street Fighter (@StreetFighter) July 2, 2020
Mane6 then pulled Them’s Fightin’ Herds, another open online tournament game, from the event.
— Mane6 Dev Team (@ManeSix) July 3, 2020
Bandai Namco followed suit. It pulling out means that Dragon Ball FighterZ, SoulCalibur VI, and Tekken 7 will no longer be a part of the Tournament of Champions.
— BANDAI NAMCO ESPORTS (@BNEesports) July 3, 2020
Multiple members of the fighting game community, from competitors to commentators, have come over to also state they will not participate in Evo Online. Same have said they will not be participating in Evo again in any capacity as long as Cuellar is still a part of the association.
Also I won’t be participating any longer in Evo online.
— SonicFox 1312 (@SonicFox) July 2, 2020
No longer competing in Evo online this year. As long as MrWiz has any part in Evo, I won’t be competing in any other Evos.
— CLG Void (@gsmVoiD) July 3, 2020
A message to EVO,
— EQNX (@EQNXGaming) July 2, 2020
Alongside many of the players, I am currently stepping back from my scheduled commentary obligations at @EVO.
I’m not comfortable doing any work until the allegations are looked into, and we know what involvement Mr. Wiz will continue to have.
— Stephen Lyon (@Sajam) July 2, 2020
Evo Online is scheduled to be held weekends between July 4-August 2, 2020.