Since 2002, gamers have flocked to Las Vegas from all corners of the world to participate in the largest fighting game tournament in the country and possibly the world: The EVO Championship Series, or EVO, for short. EVO takes place in mid-July each year and features numerous fighting games based on what is most popular in the fighting game community at the time, having previously included Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Capcom vs. SNK 2, and featuring newer games, such as Super Street Fighter IV, Tekken 6, and Melty Blood: Actress Again.
EVO is taking place this year between July 9-11 with pool play and semi-final play occuring on the 9th and 10th, respectively, with Sunday the 11th being reserved for finals for all games officially represented at the tournament. Since Street Fighter IV was released, the fighting game scene has been revitalized in a way many never thought possible, and tournament attendance worldwide has been at an all-time high, EVO being no exception. EVO is much more than just the tournament, however. Due to the large number of gamers available, after-hours presents an opportunity to engage in widespread betting and money matches between tourney entrants, often for large sums of money as well as bragging rights outside of the normal event.
Here’s a quick rundown by game on the final day:
· Melty Blood: Actress Again – the latest iteration in a fighting game that has its roots in the Japanese doujin scene, it features a largely female cast and traditional sprite work
· Marvel vs. Capcom 2 – Well-loved party game for nearly ten years now, its strength is its large cast of recognizable characters from both Capcom and Marvel franchises, as well as its hyper-kinetic form of gameplay.
· Tatsunoko vs. Capcom – Last year’s Wii continuation of the Capcom “VS” series, it simplifies some of the gameplay of its predecessors and adds in some new game mechanics of its own.
· Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix – A graphically revamped and updated version of a classic fighting game with a new remixed soundtrack courtesy of the community over at http://www.ocremix.org.
· Tekken 6 – The latest in the long running 3D fighting game franchise, featuring a large cast and a style of gameplay that emphasizes long combos and air juggles.
· Super Street Fighter IV – the followup to 2008’s Street Fighter IV, it adds 10 more characters to the mix as well as the ability to select between two different Ultra combos for increased flexibility.
There is another game to look out for, however. Yoshinori Ono, project director for the Street Fighter IV series, announced earlier via Twitter that he would be appearing at EVO on Sunday night, which may or may not be connected to the planned exhibition of an early build of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 later in the evening, which should add even more excitement to an already busy final day.
The stream for the competition can be viewed on EVO’s website here: http://evo2k.com/live/ or on Level|Up’s Ustream channel here:http://www.ustream.tv/channel/leveluplive, and the stream for the after-hours money matches can be viewed here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/teamspooky