The world of e-sports is an evolving one. Lately, a lot of focus has been put on team-based objective multiplayer; see League of Legends, DOTA 2, Call of Duty. Lurking in the shadows, a familiar face, one made up of singular names, combo-breakers, and one v one skill. I’m talking about the fighting game genre.
Founded in 1996 by Tom Cannon, what was once the Battle of the Bay, has blossomed into the Evo Championship we know today. Or EVO as it’s spoken of affectionately.
Since then, the tournament’s popularity has ebbed and flowed with the fluctuating popularity of fighting game franchises worldwide. But the true fans, the die-hards, never left. EVO has arguably been the most impactful influence on adopting new fans to the genre. Names like JWong, Daigo, Mike Ross, Luffy, and many others; heroes.
Competitive gaming has always had a smaller mental barrier better a person, and entry. Something about video games, and the icons that rule them, that make it easy for young hopefuls to say “I could do that, with a lot of dedication, and practice.”
This years tournament takes place this weekend, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and will feature more than 5,000 of the worlds best fighters, and a prize pool north of $300,000 dollars. Any share of which isn’t bad for a weekends work, and a chance to reign as an EVO Champion for the next 12 months.
2016 also marks the debut of Capcom’s newest addition to the Street Fighter lineage; SFV. “Street Fighter V is a brand new game and a vast majority of people are playing it. The success of their beta tests confirms this. Street Fighter IV has had an incredible run of seven years, and we hope people continue to play this game, but for this year Evo will be running Street Fighter V only (puts on Guile shades).” Said Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar, the event organizer, in an interview with Shoryuken earlier this year.
All of the events are well covered with live-streams, so if you’re not one of the 10’s of thousands attending, you can catch all of the action in Twitch.
“”This will be a monumental year for Evo,” Mr. Wizard said in an interview with ESPN. “We’re trying a lot of new things and seeing record attendance. The feeling is kind of a throwback to the early years, where we were still trying to figure out the core formula. This year is a big challenge for us, and we’re doing our best to deliver on expectations.”
“We’ve always believed that if you held an excellent event, people would come, so when you listen to the players and fans, you will have a respected event,” he added. “All we’re really trying to do is shine a light on the passion that these players have for the fighting genre.”
There are 9 official Evolution games. They are as follows:
- Street Fighter V
- Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
- Mortal Kombat X
- Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator
- Pokken Tournament
- Killer Instinct
- Super Smash Bros. Melee
- Super Smash Bros. for WiiU
- Tekken 7: Fated Retribution