The first details for EVO Online have been revealed via an announcement trailer, unveiling a month-long series of events and a shuffled game lineup.
With the cancellation of the main EVO 2020 event due to worries about the COVID-19 pandemic, tournament organizers have pivoted to move the event online with a new focus on fighting games with the best netplay experience. To that end, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been removed from the roster, and Killer Instinct (2013), Skullgirls 2nd Encore, Them’s Fightin’ Herds, and Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath will be run as open online tournaments. These 4 games have well-implemented rollback netcode (Skullgirls just upgraded theirs into the best in the genre) and Smash Ultimate is infamous for having one of the worst online experiences in all of fighting games, making its removal quite sensible.
The rest of the lineup appears unchanged (featuring Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Samurai Shodown, Granblue Fantasy: Versus, Soul Calibur VI, Tekken 7, and Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r]), thought Marvel Vs. Capcom 2’s logo has been exchanged for the 2ournament of Champions banner. Although MvC2 is supposed to be the primary game of the Champions tournament series, there is no reliable way to play online matches in it now that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 ports are unavailable. There is not a precedent for a main EVO game being played on an emulator, so we’ll have to wait for further information on that front.
EVO Online will run every weekend from July 4th–5th to the originally EVO 2020’s dates of July 31st through August 2nd. While this does answer a lot of the community’s questions about the logistics of running EVO in an online format, there’s still some outstanding issues like the possibility of region-locking tournaments and the issue of prize money. No additional details have been revealed as to how the exhibitions and content are going to work for the mainstage lineup yet, though more event and registration information will be announced in the near future.