Evo 2015 Recap: The Good, Bad and Ugly

It was a wild and crazy weekend of fighting games in Las Vegas!

July 20, 2015, 3:32 p.m. by Bryan Dawson

The 2015 Evolution Fighting Game Championships have come to a close. There were a lot of highlights this year, a lot of surprises and only a few hiccups along the way. Nearly $200,000 in prize money was awarded to the winners as over 7,000 competitors and several thousand spectators converged on Bally's Casino in Las Vegas this past weekend. Let's take a look back and how the event went down!

The Good

There was a lot of good going on this year at Evolution 2015. In addition to the nine main games that took center stage, there were over 20 side tournaments that took place at the venue. Just about every modern fighting game was represented, and even a few classic fighting games were on hand. If you've ever played a fighting game seriously, there was likely something for you to enjoy this past weekend. Everything from Persona 4 Arena Ultimax to Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo were represented, with the best in the world competing for the title of Evo champion.

With eight streams to capture as much match footage as possible, there was always something to watch. If you were on Twitch this weekend, there's a good chance whatever was being streamed on the primary Evo Twitch channel was number one on the streaming website. It's rare to see League of Legends knocked off the number one spot, but Ultra Street Fighter 4 and Super Smash Bros. Melee both dethroned the champ over the course of Evolution 2015.

If that weren't enough, Evo was being broadcast with Japanese and French commentators via other streaming channels so ensure that language barriers were broken down. With hundreds of international competitors it was almost a requirement to offer streams in multiple languages and that's exactly what fans got over the weekend. It's always best to be at the event, but if you couldn't make it out, at least the streams allowed people to experience the event in some way.

The Bad

While Evo is always a spectacular event, there were some issues that will hopefully be addressed in time for Evo 2016. First and foremost, the size of the venue. Last year Evo took place in the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. This year the Evo crew went back to Bally's (where the event was held in 2013). While the rooms were nicer, they were also smaller. Unfortunately, when you have an even the size of Evo that's continually growing year-over-year, holding it in a smaller venue is a disservice to fans.

To be fair, much of the event space in Las Vegas is booked multiple years in advance. It's unlikely the Evo production staff intentionally chose to go with a smaller venue. However, Evo isn't going anywhere. The event won't suddenly die off next year. If anything, with Street Fighter 5 coming, it's likely to be even bigger. It shouldn't require too much effort to book Evo several years in advance to ensure they get the proper space and dates they require.

It was also difficult to determine where and when the side tournaments were taking place. AnimEVO created a Google Doc that listed all of the side tournaments with as much information as possible, but if you didn't check Shoryuken the week of the event, you probably missed that. In addition, it still didn't offer exact locations or even how to sign up in some cases. If Evo is going to allow side tournaments, there should at least be a tab on the official site with all of the details of even side event. More specifically, fans need to know where to sign up, where the event will be held within Evo and what day each side tournament will be.

The Ugly

The minor bad things aside, Evo certainly got ugly this year. Let's just list off a few of the "uglier" issues that took place over the weekend.

  • 8am pools.
  • America didn't win Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • KaneBlueRiver was not allowed to have a mic to say a few thankful words after winning UMVC3. Seriously?!
  • Both American players were knocked out of top 8 in SF4 in the first round.
  • Mr. Naps made top 8 in Tekken 7. Take that Japan/Korea! America doesn't need a head start.
  • The line at the Gaming Generations booth. It was always at least one hundred people deep!
  • All those cosplayers and no official cosplay competition. Special props go out to Kat Gunn (Lady Scorpion), Frieza (Unknown), VampyBitMe (Casual Morgan) and The HogKing (Ganondorf).

The Winners

Congrats to all of the winners this past weekend. Some tournament had over 2,000 entrants, so even making top 64 was a tremendous effort! We'll see everyone again at Evo 2016.

Ultra Street Fighter IV

1. EG|Momochi (Ken, Evil Ryu, Elena)
2. AVM|GamerBee (Elena, Adon)
3. INFILTRATION (Evil Ryu, Chun-Li, Abel, Juri)
4. BE|NEMO (Rolento)
5. r/Kappa|aiai (Juri)
5. MCZ|TOKIDO (Akuma)
7. EG|PR Balrog (Balrog)
7. Liquid|NuckleDu (Guile, Decapre)

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

1. BE|Kane Blueriver (Hulk/Sentinel/Haggar)
2. CTRL|RayRay (Magneto/Doctor Doom Sentinel)
3. ApologyMan (Firebrand/Doctor Doom/Super-Skrull)
4. TA.Tier3|Frutsy (M.O.D.O.K./Captain America/Doctor Doom)
5. YKWIS|GoldenBoyNeo (Magneto/Doctor Dom/Phoenix)
5. TMP|Cross (Zero/Doctor Strange/Dante)
7. SF.T3|Dizzy (Zero/Doctor Doom/Vergil)
7. RF (Morrigan/Doctor Doom/Vergil)

Super Smash Bros. Melee

1. [A]|Armada (Fox, Peach)
2. Liquid|Hungrybox (Jigglypuff)
3. EG|PPMD (Marth, Falco)
4. PG|Plup (Sheik, Samus)
5. TSM|Leffen (Fox)
5. C9|Mang0 (Fox, Falco)
7. Tempo|Axe (Pikachu)
7. MH|ChuDat (Ice Climbers)

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

1. ZeRo (Sheik, Diddy Kong)
2. LLL|Mr R (Sheik)
3. Nairo (Zero Suit Samus)
4. ASA|Abadango (Sheik)
5. Boreal_Ally (Mario, Marth)
5. IQHQ|Dabuz (Rosalina & Luma, Olimar)
7. PG|Esam (Pikachu)
7. GW|Fow (Ness)

Mortal Kombat X

1. cR|SonicFox (Outlaw Erron Black, Royal Storm Kitana)
2. AF0xyGrampa (Tempest Kung Lao)
3. cR|HoneyBee (Swam Queen D’Vorah)
4. YOMI|MIT (Kobu Jutsu Tanya, Covert Ops Sonya Blade)
5. PND|Ketchup (Sorcerer Quan Chi)
5. YOMI|DJT (Tempest Kung Lao)
7. JLA|Milky Situation (Noxious Reptile)
7. YOMI|Zyphox (Flame Fist Liu Kang)

Tekken 7

1. orz|Nobi (Dragunov)
2. BE|Ao (Alisa)
3. NJF|Saint (Shaheen)
4. NJF|JDCR (Heihachi)
5. Take. (Bryan)
5. Pekos (King)
7. orz|Yuu (Feng)
7. Mr. NAPS (Bryan)

Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-

1. Ogawa Zato (Zato-1)
2. ODG|Nage (Faust)
3. Woshige (Millia Rage)
4. Nakamura (Millia Rage)
5. Dogura (Sin Kiske)
5. Rion (Ky Kiske)
7. Mr. KitKat (Syuuto) (Axl Low)
7. Zidane (Leo Whitefang)

Killer Instinct

1. Rico Suave (Fulgore, Thunder, Glacius, Omen, Spinal)
2. GutterMagic (Thunder)
3. Sleep NS (Kan-Ra)
4. LCD (Maya, Orchid, Hisako)
5. Domi (Cinder)
5. UA|mygod (Sabrewulf)
7. UA|Bass (Spinal)
7. The Maciaga 5 (Sadira)

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

1. KSB|Superboy (Chou) (Ken Amada)
2. NiceBurst|Tahichi (Margaret)
3. Hagiwara (Teddie)
4. Aguro (Yu Narukami)
5. NiceBurst|Souji (Teddie)
5. Koichi (Aigis)
7. JEO (Shadow-Mitsuru Kirijo)
7. NiceBurst|Okusan (Sho, Minazuki)