EVO Online Cuellar accusations

Game Tournament Organizer Evo has released a statement regarding allegations against CEO Joey Cuellar. The organizer referred to a Twitter user’s complaints accusing Cuellar of sexual misconduct with underage boys. As soon as the accusations went viral, Evo decided to suspend Cueller, ultimately leading to his termination. Additionally, the company has canceled this year’s Evo Online in order to make necessary changes for a safer culture.

Evo became aware of the allegations early Thursday, and it later informed readers of Cuellar’s sudden suspension. The accusations began with a Twitter user who identifies as Mikey “PyronIkari.” The Twitlonger story explained that Cuellar, a well-known figure in the gaming world, had sexually abused Mikey and others in the early 1990s and 2000s.

According to the story, Cuellar, known by his gamer tag “Mr. Wizard,” met Mikey through the Fighting Game Community (FGC). This community would often meet at arcades and use tokens to pay for games. After their friend group was established, Mikey noted some odd behavior that at the time didn’t seem too suspicious.

Predatory behavior in the community

As the youngest member of the group, Mikey noted that he tried to join in on mature conversations between the group. “…a lot of the old boys club would often have us do stupid shit just for a laugh,” he continued, “and they’d give us tokens or buy food for us if we’d be willing to do whatever stupid thing it was.” He then stated that Cuellar often instructed others to “take off their clothes and jump in the water hazard pools for certain amounts of times.” In return, he paid participants hundreds of tokens. Mikey added, “99% of the time, it was young boys.”

Throughout the story, Mikey reveals that Cuellar had also manipulated him into showing his genitalia to settle a bet. He admits, “This is what happened to me nearly 19 years ago. I recognize how stupid I was in the situation for not realizing it, even though I also recognize how it’s not my fault for not being able to recognize it.”

Towards the end of the story, he asks for his readers to believe sexual assault victims. “Recognize these people and their pain and understand this is happening in our community.” The topic of misconduct in the industry is nothing new, with many victims recently revealing their own experiences.

Evo steps in

Evo has since addressed these accusations and taken several steps to handle the sensitive situation. Aside from eventually cutting all ties with Cuellar, they have replaced him with Tony Cannon, co-founder of Evo, Radiant Entertainment, and developer at Riot Games.

Several gaming companies pulled out of this year’s Evo online event as they became aware of the accusations. Additionally, organizations such as NetherRealm, Capcom Fighters, and Bandai Namco have all made their opinions heard on social media. On Thursday night, Evo revealed its cancelation of Evo Online, months after the cancelation of Evo 2020 due to COVID-19.

Daily Esports will continue to update readers as details continue to develop.

Carly Soba
Digital artist, bunny mom, and avid League of Legends fan. I write about all sorts of things, mostly esports business deals, investments, and game coverage. I'm passionate about helping professional women succeed in the esports industry. Catch me on Twitter: @carlysoba