Thanks to the Coronavirus, numerous different events that were supposed to take place this year have been cancelled. Many of those events have been game-related of course, since gathering in one place is always quite dangerous, but surprisingly, EVO 2020 is getting cancelled for something else entirely.
EVO 2020 was supposed to be held online this year because of the aforementioned COVID-19 situation, but it wasn’t supposed to be cancelled. But now, it, unfortunately, has been. That’s because it was reported that EVO CEO Joey Cuellar was being placed on administrative leave due to more than one accusation of sexual misconduct. Because of this, the event has been cancelled, and naturally, Cuellar will not be involved with EVO from here on out.
In a statement that was made on Twitter, it has been stated that Tony Cannon is taking over Cuellar’s position and that he is “prioritizing greater accountability across Evo, both internally and at our events.”
Since EVO online has been cancelled, refunds will be given to all the players that purchased a band for the event. But even though the event has been cancelled, a donation will still be made to Project HOPE, as was originally intended by the event organizers.
All of these announcements came after various publishers decided to cancel their participation in EVO following the various accusations. The publishers that pulled out of the event prior to its cancellation includes NetherRealm with their Mortal Kombat 11 entry, Bandai Namco and their Tekken 7 entry and Capcom with Street Fighter V.
Other things that may have led to the cancellation of the event includes some of the commentators, including popular names like Maximillian Dood and James Chen, stating that they would not participate in EVO 2020 for as long as Cuellar was still a part of it. With both publishers and commentators making it clear how unhappy they were about the situation, the bad publicity no doubt had an effect on EVOs cancellation this year.
AS for why Cuellar was being accused, according to a statement by Twitter user PyronIkari (who only goes by Mikey), Cuellar had supposedly engaged scandalous and illegal behaviour with underage males sometime during the 1990s.
Cuellar made a brief statement about this accusation on his Twitter account prior to the cancellation of EVO 2020. The purpose of this statement seems to have been distancing himself from the allegations as much as possible, with the words “I was young and reckless and did things I’m not proud of.” Cuellar claims to have matured “over the past 20 years.”
This may be one of the more recent scandals in the gaming community, but there have been quite a few on the gaming scene recently, causing a lot of problems in the community. As for EVO 2020 in particular, while it has been cancelled this year it is unlikely that we will not see it in 2021, since it is one of the biggest tournaments for fighting games.