EVO organisers have moved to suspend one of their own following paedophilia and sexual harassment allegations.
Earlier today, Mikey, a fighting game competitor, shared his account of repeated incidents with EVO organiser Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar. In a Twitlonger story, Mikey recalled some of his time at the Southern Hills Golfland arcade in the late 90s.
A teenager at the time, Mikey would hang out with a group of older players, Cuellar amongst them, who frequented the arcade. This “old boys club” as he called it, would dare them to do “stupid shit just for a laugh” and reward them with free food or arcade game tokens.
“Wizard was especially into this. He would pay people hundreds of tokens to do things like take off their clothes and jump in the water hazard pools for certain amounts of times,” said Mikey.
“99% of the time, it was young boys. There is only a singular instance I know of where it wasn’t a young boy, and that singular instance, she was allowed to do it in the future, in whatever clothes she liked and only for a few seconds. But for all the boys (out of recollection 12-16) it was like 10-15 minutes, we HAD to be in our underwear (under the reasoning that it would be colder) and they were always challenges at the time so we couldn’t prepare change of clothes, towel, or anything like that.”
Mikey has other claims in his story, many of which are of Cuellar’s behaviour. Since his story came to light, EVO issued a statement saying that Cuellar has been placed on administrative leave while a third-party investigates these allegations.
“We are aware of the accusations that have been made against Joey Cuellar. The behaviour in these accusations runs directly counter to EVO’s mission of building a safe, welcoming environment for all of our players and attendees. We Take this responsibility seriously. Accordingly, Joey has been placed on administrative leave pending a third-party investigation,” it reads.
A message to all players, attendees, and fans pic.twitter.com/TJfNxVPiXC
— EVO (@EVO) July 2, 2020
Other members of the fighting game community came out in support of Mikey, and a number of them said they had heard similar stories from other people in Cuellar’s circle.
It's incredible to me that Mr Wizard has held a position of power for so long
I'm not even in the FGC and I've heard dozens of horror stories to differing degrees
— The Crimson Blur (@OXY_Crimson) July 2, 2020
It also appears this has been an open secret amongst the fighting game community. The two-year-old video below from Super Arcade’s Mike Watson recounts a different incident.