Hi-Rez Community Specialist Fired Following Arrest in Child Sex Ring

Hi-Rez Community Specialist Fired Following Arrest in Child Sex Ring

Thomas Cheung was one of 21 people arrested as part of an undercover sting.

Thomas Cheung, a community specialist for Hi-Rez Studios (Paladin, Smite) was arrested as part of an undercover sting operation in Brookhaven, Georgia to arrest people who communicate with children online and travel to them for the purpose of having sex.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation issued a press release detailing "Operation Interception" which arrested 21 people ranging from the age of 20 to 55. "The goal of 'Operation Interception' was to arrest persons who communicate with children on-line, have sexually explicit conversations, and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex. Additionally, the operation targeted those who were willing to exploit children by purchasing sex with a minor."

Hi-Rez issued a statement to USG regarding Thomas Cheung's arrest, stating:

"On Monday, February 4th, we learned through local news that Thomas Cheung was arrested in an operation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. At this point, we know only what has been reported in the local news and by local law enforcement, and cannot comment on specifics of Mr. Cheung's case, other than to say that, as of today, Mr. Cheung is no longer employed by Hi-Rez Studios. As a parent, it is difficult to imagine more disturbing allegations than those laid out in the news reports. We commend the efforts of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and other law enforcement to protect our state's children and to send a strong message that the behavior targeted in their Operation Interception will not be tolerated in Georgia."

Known online as "Elvine," Cheung was also a prominent Twitch partnered streamer and was active in the World of Warcraft community. Since the news of his arrest, PC accessories company SteelSeries dropped its sponsorship of him, according to a tweet.

For a full report on the investigation, head to the GBI press site.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

In other news

Valve Is Aiming For a New Hero in Dota 2 By End of November

The publisher asserts more heroes are coming, and at a more regular cadence.

AMD's Ryzen 5000 Processors Will Give PC Gamers Another Upgrade to Chase in November

Just ahead of the next-gen console launch, AMD is introducing its new Zen 3 CPUs for PCs.

No Taxation Without Misrepresentation

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Electronic Arts sees a phenomenal surge in sales due to the pandemic, but the impact on the bottom line is minimal compared to a good tax dodge.

New Valve Doc Showcases Long-Lost Projects, Including a Dota 2 RPG

On top of Half-Life 3 and Left 4 Dead 3, the studio abandoned something in a new genre.

You may also like

Press Start to Continue

A look back on what we tried to accomplish at USgamer, and the work still to be done.

Mat's Farewell | The Truth Has Not Vanished Into Darkness

This isn't the real ending, is it? Can't be.

Eric's Farewell | Off to Find a New Challenger

It's time for us to move on, but we'll carry USG with us wherever we go.