Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat Out of Evo Online Over Recent Allegations [Update]

Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat Out of Evo Online Over Recent Allegations [Update]

As more withdraw from Evo Online, two major players won't be present.

Update 2 [6:30 p.m. PT]: Evo Online has been canceled, with refunds being issued for those who purchased badges and the equivalent proceeds being donated to Project HOPE. Additionally, Joey Cuellar will no longer be involved with Evo in any capacity; per an official statement from the organizaton, Evo is currently working towards his "complete separation from the company" and has relieved him of all former responsibilities.

Update [6:15 p.m. PT]: Bandai Namco and Mane6 have also pulled out of Evo Online. The former had three games set for exhibitions—Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Soulcalibur 6—while the latter is the developer of Them's Fightin' Herds, an indie fighting game that was to be one of four online opens.

A new wave of allegations of harassment and misconduct have swept the fighting game community throughout the last several days. Today, two major publishers are stepping back from this year's Evo Online tournament series over accusations brought against its president.

In a statement shared on Twitter, NetherRealm Studios announced it would be pulling Mortal Kombat 11 from the Evo Online lineup. This follows allegations brought against Evo president, Joey "MrWiz" Cuellar. "We stand in solidarity with those who have spoken out against abuse," the statement reads.

Capcom, publisher of Street Fighter 5, also announced it would no longer be participating in Evo Online. In a statement name-checking Cuellar, Capcom said that "out of respect to those who have been affected and to the current investigation, we felt this was the appropriate course of action."

Cuellar was recently placed on administrative leave following accustations that he offered compensation for dares with male minors in the past. The Evo organization posted a statement to Twitter, announcing it was "aware of the accusations that have been made" and Cuellar was on administrative leave pending a third-party investigation.

A number of notable fighting game players and personalities have also stated they won't be participating in Evo Online, including Dominique "SonicFox" McLean and commentator Stephen "Sajam" Lyon. Mortal Kombat 11 was due to be one of four of the open entry tournaments taking place throughout July, while Street Fighter 5 would have been one of the games set to host exhibition matches.

This is part of a larger movement not just within fighting games, but the gaming industry as a whole, as members of the industry have come forward with stories of sexual harassment, misconduct, and assault. A number of responses have already occurred, with Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot promising "profound change" at the company after a number of its employees were named in allegations.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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