Every July, thousands of people descend on Las Vegas to partake in what is considered the biggest and most competitive fighting game tournament of the year. Even people who don't play fighting games at all know about "Evo Moment #37" with Daigo Umehara, which took play at Evo 2004. They may not know what exactly they're watching, but they know it's epic. It gets the blood pumping and gets you ready for the competition ahead.
It's been 10 years since that famous Daigo parry video, and with Evo 2014 now upon us, we take a look at what the people in attendance, and the hundreds of thousands of people who will watch online should be expecting of the event. There are a number of games being featured this year, both in main and side tournaments, as well as a who's who of top level fighting game players, but when it comes down to it, Evo is all about the competition.
The main tournament games at Evo 2014 are Ultra Street Fighter IV, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Super Smash Bros. Melee, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, Killer Instinct, Injustice: Gods Among Us, The King of Fighters XIII and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. In addition there will be side tournaments for Skullgirls, Soul Calibur V, Soul Calibur II HD and Persona 4 Arena, among others. Of the main games, the lowest turnout is Tekken Tag 2 with 257 entrants, while the highest turnout is Ultra Street Fighter IV with 1,979 entrants. Think about that, there are nearly 2,000 people heading to Las Vegas this weekend just to play Ultra Street Fighter IV.
There are players from around the world who are flying or driving to Vegas to participate in Evo 2014. Let's break this down into numbers so you can better understand the magnitude of the event. There are 836 players from outside of the United States who will be playing at Evo 2014. They represent 46 different countries from across the globe, with Canada offering the highest number of entrants outside of the US, followed by Japan and Mexico.
In an official statement, Tom Cannon, primary organizer for Evo had this to say, "Evo's primary mission is to provide a common meeting ground for fighters all over the world to come together not just to compete, but to make new friends and share a common love for these great games, so we're incredibly happy and humbled that Evo's international presence continues to grow year after year. The overwhelming majority of attendees fly out to Evo on their own dime, which is a testament to the power and passion of fighting game fans worldwide."
Here's a complete breakdown of the international attendance numbers:
- Canada - 331
- Japan - 127
- Mexico - 114
- Australia - 28
- United Kingdom - 27
- France - 23
- Brazil - 21
- Chile - 19
- Germany - 15
- Colombia - 13
In addition to the players and games, many developers are on-hand to make announcements, host panels, and talk about their games with Evo attendees. This year Microsoft and Iron Galaxy will be hosting a Killer Instinct: Season 2 panel, and it's widely rumored that the two companies will be showcasing at least one new Season 2 character (likely Cinder). Ed Boon of NetherRealm Studios fame has been tweeting about a surprise announcement for Mortal Kombat X during Evo as well, so expect new characters or some form of new information on the upcoming MK title. Meanwhile, Capcom is almost always in attendance with a few surprises of its own, so anything can happen this weekend.
Evo is a three day event that runs from Friday morning all the way until late Sunday night. While epic and grueling matches are taking place throughout the weekend, it's the Sunday finals that really bring the hype. This is when the top eight players of each main game duke it out to see who will be crowned the best in the world. If you miss Friday and Saturday, Sunday is the day you want to watch. This is the day when everything comes to culmination.
You can watch Evo online at the following stream links: