This weekend, competitive fighting game players from all over the world will once congregate at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas for the Evo Championship Series. From the most elite players in the competitive scene to casual crowd just looking to have a good time and sacrifice their entry fee to the prize pot, Evo is the largest international fighting game tournament in the world.
This year, Evo will running 9 games, with many having more than a thousand entrants per game. The official games are Street Fighter V, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Tekken 7, Injustice 2, Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, BlazBlue: Central Fiction, King of Fighters XIV, and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
The games chosen to be a part of Evo’s official lineup are determined by the game’s popularity, with newer games usually taking priority. Injustice 2 will be replacing Mortal Kombat X this year, and the latest versions of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue will be taking their spots as the anime games of the year. This will be the first Evo for Tekken 7, and with 1,278 registered entrants, it’s also become the most popular 3D fighter ever at an Evo. Of course, Street Fighter V remains the main event, at 2,622 players, which is actually a severe drop from the previous year’s 5,065. Perhaps it’s the higher entry fee or the backlash that the game has received from fans over the new season of the game, but it should still be an exciting finals nonetheless, as Street Fighter sees the most international competition out of all the games. Players from countries like Japan, Mexico, France, Singapore, Korea, and our homeboys in the U.S. all compete on the international stage that is Evo.
The presence of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a special one. With a new game in the series on the horizon, it seems like this will be the last year for fan-favorite UMVC3. The game originally wasn’t even part of the 2017 lineup. The 9th game was chosen through a donation drive in which fans donated money in the name of their favorite game. The drive raised more than $150,000 for Make-a-Wish International, with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as the winner. And with that, Evo 2017 will likely be the last hurrah for the legendary game before it’s replaced by Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite next year. There’s certainly going to be a lot of intense competition to determine who will be the final champion of UMVC3 and the game’s definitive greatest player.
And while these 9 games make up the official line-up, that won’t stop the thousands of players in attendance from running their own cash games of Windjammers, Skullgirls, or Jackie Chan in Fists of Fire in their hotel rooms.
In addition to the numerous side-tournaments, Evo will also be hosting Anime Evo on Friday, a tournament series specifically focused on Japanese games, and not necessarily limited to fighting games. In addition to tournaments for Person 4 Arena Ultimax and Under Night In-Birth: Exe Late, they’ll also be running brackets for a few oddball games like Catherine and Puyo Puyo Tetris.
You’ll be able to catch all main Evo game action live on Twitch. Last year’s Evo also set the precedent for a live broadcast of the Street Fighter V finals on ESPN 2, and ESPN’s coverage will continue again this year. In addition to that, Disney XD will be airing the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U finals on television as well.
The tournament runs from Friday, July 14 to Sunday, July 16. The finals schedule is as follows:
- Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2Finals: Saturday, 4 PM
- Injustice 2 Finals: Saturday, 8 PM
- Super Smash Bros. Melee Finals: Saturday, 10 PM
- Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 Finals: Sunday: 9:45 AM
- BlazBlue: Central Fiction Finals: Sunday, 12 PM
- Tekken 7 Finals: Sunday: 2:30 PM
- Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Finals: Sunday, 5 PM
- Street Fighter V: Sunday, 9 PM
It’s definitely going to be an intense weekend of competition of bitter rivalries between players, countries, and the Las Vegas heat.