Despite some major controversies, this year’s edition of the Evolution Championship Series was a massive success, with nearly 15,000 registered players across 9 games, as well as exposure to a wider audience through coverage on ESPN 2. EVO is now expanding its influence by announcing a Japanese branch of the popular fighting game tournament.
Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono and Bandai Namco’s Katsuhiro Harada took the stage alongside community figure Mark “MarkMan” Julio on the last day of EVO 2016 to deliver the groundbreaking announcement.
Talks of an EVO Japan were originally made back in 2010. It was promoted as a crossover between EVO and Japan-based fighting tournament Godsgarden. It was planned to take place in May 2011. However, all work surrounding the tournament was delayed following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country earlier that year.
Additional details on EVO Japan will be unveiled at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, this September. From the appearance of both Harada and Ono, it’s safe to say that we can expect potential appearances from both the Street Fighter and Tekken franchises at the competition.
EVO is the world’s most popular fighting game tournament. It was originally founded in 1996, where it ran under the “Battle By The Bay” until 2002. This year’s tournament took place at the Las Vegas Convention Centre and saw American competitor Hungrybox take the victory in the Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament after years of 2nd and 3rd place victories; as well as the crowning of the tournament’s first Street Fighter V winner in Korean player Infiltration. Over 5000 players alone registered for the Street Fighter V tournament, the highest for a single game. In addition, both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros for Wii U broke their own registration records, with each game scoring over 2000 participants. Other games featured at EVO 2016 include Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator-, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Mortal Kombat XL, Killer Instinct, Pokken Tournament, and Tekken 7.