This year's Evolution Fighting Game tournament, which was already canned as a public event due to the effects of the Coronavirus, will officially put and end to any efforts to launch in 2020 as reports of sexual misconduct from EVO co-founder Joey "Mr. Wizard" Cuellar became public knowledge.
After the reports came to light, Cuellar, tweeted a statement and apology.
"I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt anyone. I was young and reckless and did things I'm not proud of. I have been growing and maturing over the past 20 years, but that doesn't excuse anything. All I have been trying to do is become a better person. Once again, I'm truly sorry."
Once the allegations became confirmed, companies Capcom (Street Fighter V), Neatherealm, (developers of Injustice 2 and Mortal Kombat 11), and Bandai Namco (Tekken 7 and Soul Calibur VI), withdrew their participation in this year's event. Prominent FGC ambassador and Twitch streamer Maximillian Dood denounced his participation, as well as well known faces of the fighting game community like commentator James Chen, Stephen Lyon (Sajam), Dominique Mclean (SonicFox).
"Evo is run by a team and not a single individual." Chen stated in a tweet. "But a single individual can stain the entire event. Until Joey "MrWizard" Cuellar is removed from Evo, I can no longer participate. I have withdrawn myself from all commentary duties at Evo this year."
Evo is run by a team and not a single individual. But a single individual can stain the entire event. Until Joey "MrWizard" Cuellar is removed from Evo, I can no longer participate. I have withdrawn myself from all commentary duties at Evo this year.— James Chen #BlackLivesMatter (@jchensor) July 2, 2020
Yet it seems like this is only the beginning of what may be a culling of sorts in the fighting game community, as more than several notable Smash Bros Ultimate players were also in the center of many allegations of inappropriate sexual misconduct. Smash player "Anti" was accused of actions against a minor, and has claimed these allegations were false. The flooding of these accusations sheds light on a facet of the American FGC that stems from many players' elevated status leaves them to not be held accountable. This is no doubt a black eye for the community, which hopefully leave an opportunity to rebuild the character from which it was once built upon.