Bringing The Community Back Together
The last year has been a whirlwind for the fighting game community. EVO is the biggest event in their yearly calendar, but EVO 2020 was canceled among a host of challenges. Trying to hold an in person tournament featuring thousands of competitors from all over the world was always going to be impossible during a global pandemic. Initially though EVO 2020 announced a shift to an online format which could have been possible. Even that was put on ice however after allegations of abuse against a minor were made against founder Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar. After major sponsors pulled out, the decision was made to cancel that year’s tournament.
With Cuellar no longer involved, Sony stepped in back in March and acquired the company. While having the biggest fighting game tournament in the world acquired by one publisher has concerned some in the community, there are upsides to having that kind of power behind an event. Sony today announced three new tournaments leading up to EVO 2021.
Things get started on June 10th, with FGC Arcade: EVO Edition. This tournament will feature Guilty Gear Strive, Granblue Fantasy: Versus, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, and Tekken 7. Matches will be streamed online and sign up is free. Players will compete for a $20.000 global prize pool.
Then on June 26th the EVO 2021 Online Warm-Up will kick off. This will feature the same four games set to be part of EVO 2021, Guilty Gear Strive, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, Street Fighter V, and Tekken 7. This time the prize pool will be $19,000.
On July 8th the EVO 2021 Online Side Tournaments. This will provide an opportunity to compete in many titles that won’t be featured during EVO. Available titles include BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Granblue Fantasy: Versus, Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost ON, Skullgirls 2nd Encore, Soul Calibur VI, and Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r]. This prize pool will be $35,000.
EVO 2021 will get the main events started online on August 6th. If you’ve missed watching the fighting game community compete over the last year, you’re about to have plenty to watch. You can find full details of scheduling and how to sign up here. Matches will be streamed on Sony’s Twitch page, Youtube page, and on the Evo Twitch page. I know I’m excited to watch the best in the world get back to competition. Hopefully by the time EVO 2022 rolls around we’ll all be able to come together again for a really memorable brawl.