EVO Online Shouldn’t be Cancelled

Justice can be served with unity instead of mob mentality.

At the height of the so-called “cancel culture” in 2020, accusations against Joey Cuellar, co-founder and former EVO CEO, were made online, exposing him as an alleged sexual abuser against minors (as reported in this Gamasutra article). These serious accusations have not been denied at all by Cuellar; he has even made a public apology, presumably accepting responsibility for this past criminal behavior.

I want to be crystal clear regarding this: putting out an apology is not enough, or even commendable. He should turn himself in to the authorities so a criminal investigation and trial can occur to serve justice for the people he has affected.

Having said this and made obvious how Joey Cuellar deserves the full capacity of the American criminal justice system, EVO, as an FGC (fighting game community) institution, bears no responsibility for the criminal actions of this individual. In fact, the correct decision to replace him with Tony Cannon going forward while the company is cutting all ties with the former CEO was taken swiftly. I, personally, applaud this.

Sadly, what ensued was the raging power of cancel culture targeting EVO Online as an event, not Joe Cuellar as a sex criminal. Companies such as Capcom, Arc System Works, and NetherRealm pulled their games from the tournament. Commentators and high-profile players also joined the misguided protests by severing ties with the organization. 

The following image was shared by EVO’s official Twitter account:

EVO

Justice for the victims is not being served at all with these gestures. On the contrary, EVO employees, participants, and the FGC – in general – are also becoming victims of the crimes of Cuellar as an individual. EVO did not provoke or endorse the crimes, nor did the companies and their games, the competitors, or the fans.

Let’s be constructive here. What if the fighting game community as a whole unites to actually help the victims and use this massive platform called EVO to raise money for their legal representation and the treatment they might need? We are gamers and solving problems to make things better is the description of our hobby. Let’s punish this bad move and make it a net positive. We can show them and everyone else the support system this community was always meant to be and represent. We have to actually fight for them like Ryu or Terry Bogard would. These are the values I’ve learned from these games since I was a kid playing arcades like Street Fighter II and Fatal Fury in 1992.
EVO

 

Comments (10)

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July 3, 2020 at 8:38 pm

An interesting take, and I do partially agree. None of these developers/publishers are at fault for any of these alleged crimes. However, I can understand their decision to distance themselves from this mess. It’ll be interesting to see if any actual charges happen with some of these cases between now and next year.

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    July 3, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    It’s a valid opinion even though I think it’s only as much of a PR nightmare as you let it be. I think if the companies were pro-active in supporting the victims instead of trying to wash their hands it would be a better look.

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July 3, 2020 at 9:26 pm

I don’t feel bad for them at all. This is the same organization that cancelled DOA6 because the mob told them to. This is the same organization that cancelled MK11.
The fact the mob is coming after them now is hilarious.
The people they bent the knee for are the same people that destroyed them.

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    July 4, 2020 at 3:17 am

    It’s not like that. The guy who did the DOA 6 thing, which also happens to be one of the most toxic microtransaction fest video games out there, was actually Joey Cuellar.

    It’s the perfect time to rebuild, not destroy.

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      July 4, 2020 at 8:51 pm

      And Joey Cueller did it to pander to the mob.
      How you feel about the microtransactions also has nothing to do with the anything.
      I’d argue 90 dollar season passes that include 90+ costumes, stages and characters is a higher value than 5-10 dollars for a single skin, which has been the trend for a while (Mk11 charged 20 dollars for the classic female ninja skins and made them available for 2 weeks.). Do the math one what your paying per skin and character in DOA6 vs almost every other fighting game and you’ll realize DOA is no worse than every other fighting game company. Probably a little better.
      Unless you wanna ignore facts to push a narrative, of course.

      And yes, I am glad it is destroyed. When all these companies that pander are dead, companies with a backbone can, hopefully, be born.

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      July 4, 2020 at 8:56 pm

      Quite frankly, it’s time ANYTHING that panders to the mob is destroyed. Luckily, the mob, itself, will destroy it for us.

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July 6, 2020 at 6:52 pm

Fair Opinion, but change doesnt take a week or a month to take into effect. EVO I feel needs a year off so they can try getting some respect back. After what Joey did its a good idea to take this year off imo

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    July 6, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    More than change I see this as an adjustment. Taking out the trash so-to-speak.

    But you might be right, these types of events are complex.

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July 9, 2020 at 4:16 pm

Facts my guy, straight up FACTS

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    July 11, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    We shouldn’t turn into irrational Social Justice Karens ourselves.

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