Thursday, July 2, 2020

Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat Pull Out of Evo Online

Capcom and NetherRealm have announced they will be pulling out of Evo Online due to allegations against Evo organizer Joey Cueller. This is part of a larger alleged sexual abuse scandal erupting in the community. NetherRealms announced it would pull Mortal Kombat 11 from the Evo Online lineup on Twitter expressing "solidarity with those who have spoken out against abuse." Capcom followed soon after, specifically citing the "recent allegations of misconduct made against Joey Cueller" as a reason for not participating in Evo Online. This past week, several Super Smash Bros. esports competitors and members came forward with allegations of abuse from those within the community. Well-known personas were implicated on social media as alleged abusers, with some victims reportedly underage when the abuse occurred. Joey Cueller, president of Evo, faced allegations from members of the community that claimed Cueller (who also goes by Mr. Wizard) paid out tokens to local members of an arcade, who were underage at the time, to jump into a pool in only their underwear. In a statement by Evo, the company announced that “The behavior in these accusations runs directly counter to Evo’s mission of building a safe, welcoming environment for all of our players and attendees. We take this responsibility seriously. Accordingly, Joey has been placed on administrative leave pending a third-party investigation.” Cueller was only one of the many people named in a community-wide scandal that claims widespread sexual misconduct from within the fighting game community. A similar scandal hit the community last year following Evo 2019. Evo Online was created as a digital replacement event after Evo 2020's physical event was canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. IGN has reached out to Evo for comment. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN.


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