There’s no getting around how rough the last year has been for the competitive fighting game scene. COVID-19 halted in-person tournaments both small and massive, the Smash Bros. community saw numerous allegations and instances of improper conduct with minors come to light, and fans are still left wondering what the future for titles they love will be as we enter a time where game development is happening in homes versus dedicated offices.
Despite that, online tournaments are thriving more than ever as the importance of netcode continues to be stressed by players. Not to mention DLC character roll outs for existing titles – Dragon Ball FighterZ, Smash Ultimate, Samurai Shodown, Street Fighter V, and believe it or not Skullgirls all received new challengers recently. Hell, we’re getting a new Mortal Kombat movie in a month, and in a surprise announcement we’ve now learned that Evo has a future after all.
Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced that they, in partnership with eSports venture RTS, have acquired the world’s largest fighting game tournament. Yes, Sony now owns Evo. Often the event for fighting games every year, Evo was completely canceled in 2020 despite an announced online structure due to allegations towards a then-prominent, now completely removed executive for the brand.
— EVO (@EVO) March 18, 2021
In a full statement on the acquisition, this is recognized along with the fact that a more experienced “strategic partner” was necessary to keep the event itself alive. While it’s been announced that Evo Online will take place this August, the announced line up of titles (Tekken 7, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, and Guilty Gear -Strive-) is sans Super Smash Bros.
This is not surprising, as Smash was also sitting out 2020’s proposed Evo Online. Due to one of their major competitors effectively owning the stage they would be on now, it’s uncertain what that could mean for Ultimate. IGN received a statement on the matter from Nintendo themselves seems to indicate Nintendo isn’t outright against it, or at the least they’re “assess[ing]” it as an option.
Nintendo says it will “continue to assess Evo, and other opportunities, as we plan for future online and offline Super Smash Bros. tournament activity.” https://t.co/6bZaJ3TG9e https://t.co/q8QokjVNV6
— IGN (@IGN) March 18, 2021
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They do specifically mention online tournaments, so all you WiFi Sonics should keep doing what you do.