UPDATE: In a further show of support for the upcoming fighter Nintendo has announced a “Pokkén Tournament Championship Series” that will be running throughout 2016. EVO will be the kickoff point for the event and it will carry through to further events to promote, celebrate and display the dynamic Pokémon battle action. Prizes will be available for those who come out on top, including but not limited to, the Pokkén Tournament World Championships taking place in San Francisco this August. Past that, the series will also be a part of the Pokémon U.S. National Championships occurring later this year. These three represent the only announced series events– but it’s clear that Nintendo, Bandai-Namco Games, and the Pokémon Company will be showing off Pokkén Tournament all throughout 2016 and beyond.


Fans of fighting games rejoice: The list of games coming to EVO 2016 has been announced and there’s a trio of Nintendo titles among the lineup. Returning to the event will be Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Both titles represent a continued amount of support Nintendo has shown for the Smash Bros. community, with Melee being the oldest title on the main stage this year.

Event organizer Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar was recently interviewed by Shoryuken.com, a dedicated fighting game website. When asked why both of these Smash titles were selected, event organizer Mr. Wizard stated:

“The Smash community has proven time and time again that they are here to stay, and with the diverse number of crossover players, it was very clear that each game has their own following. It so amazing that a fifteen year-old game can get record numbers, and so we decided to bring them both back.”

This level of confidence and support is fantastic to see, shining a worldwide light on Nintendo’s mascot fueled fighting series.

The real surprise is that Pokkén Tournament will be one of the nine main titles this year! Releasing on Wii U this March, it’s definitely the wild card addition to the lineup. While all the others are from established franchises, Pokkén will be a relatively unexplored and underexposed game being brought to the public eye. When asked about its inclusion, Mr. Wizard noted that:

“Every so often, we like to take a chance on a game, and Pokémon is such a huge brand, we decided to take a chance on Pokkén Tournament. Having Bandai Namco work on the game works well, as they are familiar with how fighting games work and balancing, so it should be interesting…”

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While Japanese players have been able to train since the arcade launch last July, international players will have four months to ready themselves.

These pieces of news reflect Nintendo’s recent trend towards expanding its brand and showing flexibility as a business. As a fan of fighting games I can’t wait to see what the top level of players have to show this year, and it only serves to keep the Pokkén hype train running!

EVO 2016 will take place July 15th to the 17th at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with full online streaming available for the event for these and the other announced titles.


Source for the interview quotes: Shoryuken.

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Written by Ricky Berg

When he isn’t writing for Nintendo Wire, Ricky’s anticipating the next Kirby, Fire Emblem, or if the stars ever align, Mother 3 to be released. Till then he’ll have the warm comfort of Super Smash Bros. to keep him going.

Ricky Berg