Hi-Rez Studios employee fired after arrest in child sex sting

Hi-Rez Studios community specialist and Twitch streamer Thomas Cheung was one of 21 men arrested during Operation Interception in Atlanta, GA.

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Twitch streamer and Hi-Rez Studios employee Thomas Cheung has been arrested as part of Operation Interception, a law enforcement sting that took place in Atlanta, Georgia around Super Bowl 53, for pursuing sexual acts with a child.

The goal of the Operation Interception investigation was to "arrest persons who communicate with children online, have sexually explicit conversations, and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex," Atlanta's NBC 11alive reported. Kotaku found additional information, reporting that Thomas Cheung was specifically charged with the felony of using a computer service to "to seduce, solicit, lure or entice" a child. He was one of 21 men arrested during the sting.

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Here's the statement from Hi-Rez Studios CEO Stewart Chisam, take from his official Twitter account:

"On Monday, February 4, we learned through local news that Thoma 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 My. 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 opf the Georgia Bureay 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.:

Hi-Rez Studios is an independent video game studio based in Alpharetta, GA known most recently for the MOBA Smite, hero shooter Paladins, and battle royale Realm Royale. One the studio's biggest releases prior to this new influx of games is the free-to-play multiple FPS Tribes: Ascend that released in 2012.

In the police report discovered by esports reporter Rod Breslau, Thomas Cheung was arrested in a parking lot/garage on January 30, 2019, for "Computer/electronic Pornography and Child Exploitation." Cheung worked full-time as a community specialist with Hi-Rez Studios, specifically assisting with Smite and Paladins Strike. Cheung was also known as "Elvine" on Twitch where he has 34,000 followers on the platform and regularly attended Twitch events and conferences. He was officially dropped by his sponsor SteelSeries after the arrest.

We'll continue to report on this story as more information is revealed.

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Charles Singletary Jr keeps the updates flowing as the News Editor, breaking stories while investigating the biggest topics in gaming and technology. He's pretty active on Twitter, so feel free to reach out to him @The_CSJR. Got a hot tip? Email him at Charles.Singletary@Shacknews.com.

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