Hi-Rez Studios’ community manager for the MOBA game SMITE, Thomas Cheung, has been fired. The company made the announcement via a statement from Hi-Rez Studios’ president, Stew Chisam, who acknowledged the police reports and stated that Cheung was no longer with the company after he was arrested for child sex solicitation.
The statement was made via a tweet on February 5th, 2019.
— HiRezStew (@schisam) February 5, 2019
If you’re unable to read the tweet, it states…
“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.”
The reports that Chisam is referring to comes from 11Alive, which detailed how Cheung was caught in the Operation Interception sting, which was conducted over a five day period that ended on Super Bowl Sunday.
The article detailed how Cheung was captured, noting that he had been chatting with an enforcement agent who was posing as a 14-year-old, and Cheung had told them that he wanted to “show them” some things and didn’t like using a condom. The article states…
“According to the DeKalb County Police warrant, Cheung started communicating with a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl through the dating app, “Whisper.” The person Cheung was communicating with was actually an undercover agent with the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce.
“During the conversation Cheung allegedly told the undercover agent that he wanted to meet up for sex and was aware that he was talking to someone who appeared to be underage, according to the warrant. Cheung allegedly asked to meet in the parking lot of a Kroger on Johnson Ferry Road in Brookhaven. “
The police picked up Cheung when he went to meet the supposed 14-year-old in the Kroger parking lot on January 31st.
Cheung was also a Twitch partner, but since his arrest they note that his channel has been suspended.
Cheung worked for Hi-Rez Studios as a community manager since April of 2018, and has been a Twitch partner since 2012.
He’s expected to have his day in court on February 14th, 2019.