Evo: More Than Just a Gaming Tournament


Evo, or Evolution Championship Series, is a annual fighting video game competition where the best players around the world gather to prove their fighting skills. What started as the small tournament “Battle by the Bay” in California in 1996, eventually moved over to Las Vegas and became Evo in 2002. Originally there were only 3 games: Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, and Capcom vs. SNK 2. As the years went on, more and more games were added to the line up, while others were removed.

Evo 2014 officially begins on July 11, 2014. This year’s competitors will be playing in 8 different games: Ultra Street Fighter IV, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Injustice: Gods Among Us, The King of Fighter XII, Killer Instinct, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2.

Everyone will be able to stream this year’s Evo on Twitch from July 11-13.

Last Year’s Evo

Evo 2013 was an interesting spectacle to see, because it showed game developers how much the consumer cares for their games. Evo had an extra game slot to fill and left it up for the fans to decide what game would be played at Evo. Instead of taking a poll to decide, fans would donate money to the game of their choice with the proceeds going cancer research. The fans had a choice between 11 games: Capcom vs. SNK 2, Dead or Alive 5, Divekick, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core +R, Injustice, Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code, MLP: Fighting is Magic, Playstation All-Star Battle Royale, Skullgirls, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. Melee won the vote.

A few days before EVO 2013, Nintendo announced they would not allow the Super Smash Bros. Melee competition to stream over the Internet. Fans quickly voiced their opinion, resulting in Nintendo recanting their previous statement, and allowing the website Twitch to stream the tournament. Nintendo even went as far as hosting their own Smash Bros. tournament at this year’s E3 and streamed it online for the world to see.

What We Might See This Year

With Nintendo’s quarrel with Evo over Melee, the Injustice: Gods Among Us creator announcing the much requested Martian Manhunter DLC, and other companies showing up, it’s clear that video game companies of these game are very aware of what Evo is. We can anticipate we’ll receive an announcement related to either a completely new fighting game, but at the very least, more info on previously announced games.

With the new Super Smash Bros. being developed by both Nintendo and Namco Bandai, we can assume we’re going to see some sort of announcement related to the game. The release date is getting closer, and the character roster has not been confirmed to be complete. It is possible Nintendo will announce a new character to join the series or even a veteran Smash Bros. fighter’s return, like Ness and Captain Falcon.

As we saw last year, Netherealm Studios was very present at Evo, showing the first look at both Martian Manhunter, and the John Stewert Green Lantern skin. With their recent announcement of Mortal Kombat X, we probably won’t be seeing anything new related to the game. Hopefully a playable demo or a release date will be announced, but we’re not holding our breaths.

Capcom recently announced they were no longer taking action to stop large amounts of shares to be purchased, meaning the company could be bought out. This, along with Yoshinori Ono, the fighting developer over at Capcom, recently resigning from the company, means the chances of a new Capcom fighting game being announced at Evo 2014 are slim to none. Though this might be disappointing news, we are reminded that this is the same company that released the same game over again, with a few much need changes (looking at you Street Fighter IV).

The Hype

The above video shows footage from last year’s Evo’s Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament.


Be sure to check out the live steam of Evo 2014 on Twitch from July 11-13. Learn more about the event on their website.