The fighting games community has come a long way, as tournaments and the glory of victory have evolved from humble arcades of the early 90s to giant stages and live streams attended by thousands today. The Evolution Championship Series (EVO) is one such organisation that provides the platform for professionals to make fighting game history as the genre careens its way toward the attention of the mainstream media.
This year, EVO has announced its official games lineup for EVO 2024 — their official global fighting games tournament — and some of these titles will be making their first appearance.
The announcement was presented in a video, detailing the touurnament to take place on 19 to 21 July 2024 at a new venue: The West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Centre. The tournaments were moved to the Las Vegas Convention Centre to accommodate a growing fighting game tournament audience, with the previous EVO 2023 having hosted over 11,000 spectators and much more will be expected this year.
The featured game lineup shows that fans of eight different titles will gather and witness the next bout of fighting game glory, with half of the titles making their debut. It will be the first time contenders vie for first place and prize monies in Tekken 8, Mortal Kombat 1, Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, and Under Night In-Birth II Sys: Celes. Returning titles include Street Fighter 6, Guilty Gear: Strive, and The King of Fighters XV. Finally, for nostalgia’s sake, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike will grace the arena for the 7th time as EVO 2024’s Throwback Tournament series.
To entice players to get in the fight, the esports organisation promised an increased minimum guaranteed prize pool of US$30,000 (about S$40,000) per title. Attendees are not left behind as they are also promised upgrades to the attendee experience like a new dedicated stage for panels and interviews, and the largest free-play arcade for the community to engage in couch battles.
Priming up to EVO 2024, the tournament giant has also organised EVO Japan from 27 to 29 April 2024, where fans can spectate their favourite fighting game pros contend for a collective prize pool of ¥14 million (about S$127,000) for all 8 titles.
As the fighting games community prepares for the world’s largest global fighting game event, EVO has already opened registration for players to get their foot in their battle of choice. Players from around the world and from all walks of life can purchase tickets for EVO 2024 or join in as contenders via EVO’s official website. Should gamers be unable to attend the tourneys physically, they can spectate the fights through EVO’s new YouTube or TikTok channels.
Regardless of how you choose to enjoy this season of EVO, everyone can agree that so much love is invested in fighting games today. It’s hard to imagine that a genre like fighting games had to face a bad rep for their depiction of ultra-violence in the past, and yet, they still stand the test of time. With EVO, everyone’s a winner.