EVO has announced that it has cut all ties with co-founder and CEO Joey Cuellar following allegations of sexual misconduct. The news follows a number of high-profile cancellations for EVO Online that came as a direct result of the allegations, including Capcom, NetherRealm, and Bandai Namco. Cuellar had previously been placed on administrative leave. Tony Cannon will take over as the new CEO, and Cuellar will no longer have any role with the company. Additionally, EVO Online has been officially cancelled. The online tournaments were set to begin on July 4th. The company's statement can be read below in its entirety:
"Over the past 24 hours, in response to serious allegations recently made public on Twitter, we have made the first of a series of important decisions regarding the future of our company. Effective immediately, Joey Cuellar will no longer be involved with Evo in any capacity. We are working towards his complete separation from the company and have relieved him of all responsibilities.
Going forward, Tony Cannon will act as CEO; in this position, he will take a leadership role in prioritizing greater accountability across Evo, both internally and at our events.
Progress doesn't happen overnight, or without the bravery of those who speak up against misconduct and injustice. We are shocked and saddened by these events, but we are listening and committed to making every change that will be necessary in making Evo a better model for the stronger, safer culture we all seek. As a result, we will be canceling Evo Online and will work to issue refunds for all players who chose to purchase a badge. We will donate the equivalent of the proceeds as promised to Project HOPE."
With EVO Online now cancelled, the future of the company's fighting game tournaments remains to be seen. EVO has been a major draw for fighting game enthusiasts since it first launched in 1996. Cuellar was the co-founder of the tournament, alongside Cannon, the company's new CEO. Over the last few years, the tournament has grown significantly, attracting some of the biggest names in esports. Several of those big names announced plans to skip the tournament this year, following the allegations against Cuellar.
To learn more about what you can do to prevent sexual violence, please consider donating to RAINN or visit RAINN's website for a number of resources. If you or a loved one has suffered because of sexual violence, contact RAINN's National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline.