EVO Online could have a lot of new faces and fewer regulars

Jun 04 2020 3 min read
Evolution Championship Series

EVO Online could have a lot of new faces and fewer regulars ⚡⚡⚡ Esports news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

New EVO Online details dropped yesterday, highlighting plans for the event's open tournament. Unfortunately, it won't be a truly global event like we're used to, but that was always to be expected considering the particulars of online play. 

Each weekend from July 4 - August 2, the event will focus on one of its four open tournament titles. Them's Fightin' Herds kicks things off from July 4-5, then Skullgirls 2nd Encore follows on July 11 and 12. Killer Instinct makes its long-awaited return from July 18-19, and Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath takes up the rear from July 25-26. The final weekend (Championship Weekend) will feature the main events, the top 8 finals for each game. 

It's an interesting setup that makes the tournaments easy to follow for fans that plan to watch the action live. Part of the reason we love EVO so much is the spectacle, and nothing beats a weekend full of high-level gameplay. So Championship Weekend should be on point. 

Besides Mortal Kombat, the remaining open tournament games aren't used to getting the EVO spotlight, which means that many of our favorite players won't be playing in them. Not unless they've always played these games before now or just decide to make the switch for this event. In essence, it means we should expect to see lots of new faces making waves in the event. It's not just a chance for less popular fighting games to shine but also unknown players, and I, for one, am a sucker for underdogs. 

The open tournaments will have matches played across three regions, meaning three sets of winners. Region 1 consists of the USA, Canada, and Mexico, while Region 2 features just Japan and South Korea, with Europe alone in Region 3. There's still the mainstage exhibition tournaments that feature more popular fighting games. Still, because of the restriction on location, we probably won't be seeing all of our favorite players here either.

The mainstage titles will probably also feature similar groupings or may just focus on select players from Region 1. Whatever the case, we may not see the likes of Arslan "Arslan Ash" Siddique, the Pakistani FGC, and other similar scenes participate in EVO Online. However, this is all speculation on my part as no specifics have been shared regarding this side of the event. 

The move towards online fighting game tournaments has both alienated several players due to high ping rates and given numerous others from permitted regions the chance to compete on the big stage. It's fantastic that the open tournaments are free to enter, and the inclusion of a $25 package that supports Project HOPE's COVID-19 relief efforts is just what the world needs right now. Contributors receive a commemorative Evo Online badge and lanyard, with those at home also able to chip in if they choose. 100% of all proceeds go to Project HOPE, a great move by organizers. 

EVO Online elicits mixed feelings in me, and I'm surely not the only one. It's a series of decisions that take the Evolution Championship Series brand both forward and backward, making it hard for me even to see it as a proper EVO offering. Registration for the open tournaments goes live on Friday, so it shouldn't be long before we start getting updates regarding the number of registered participants. 

It's not really anyone's fault, but that doesn't make my disappointment at a not-so-global EVO any easier to bear. We currently live in strange and hard times, so the best we can do is endure as we seek meaningful solutions to the problems that surround us.


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