The Championship Evolution Series known as EVO is the longest running fighting game tournament in the entire world. Tony and Tom Cannon’s “Battle by the Bay” began with small roots in Sunnyvale, California (1995). This 40-man tournament eventually spawned into an entire culture spanning across the globe.
Since its beginning EVO has played host to the most skilled gamers from as far as Japan and as close as your hometown. This year EVO found itself in Las Vegas at the beautiful Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino and although this isn’t its first appearance at the Caesars it was definitely the largest as the conference room was filled to the brim with competitors and spectators; small business owners and game developers.
Entering the grand conference room you could immediately see familiar faces from years past as well as newcomers and hopefuls awaiting their chance to place in the Grand Finals. Many of the biggest titles in fighting games were on the roster including Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (Version 2012), Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter x Tekken, SoulCalibur V and making its debut after thirteen installments; The King of Fighters XIII.
There were even opportunities to experience Sony’s All-Stars Battle Royale, WB Games’ Injustice: Gods Among Us, which we can look forward to this coming year and Namco’s newest Tekken Tag Tournament II slated for this September. Among the big names were quite a few indie games like a crowd favorite called “Dive Kick”, a homage to the popular children’s show My Little Pony and even a playable demo of Atlus’ Persona 4 Arena.
The “Road to EVO” is what the Fighting Game Community awaits every year, it’s the small tournaments in their local that give them the strength to make it to such a large competition that rivals many sports events in other categories. Here you learn that this is more than just strategy or “button mashing” and like any other sport it takes the mental capacity to get into the mind of your opponent to hit them where it hurts.
As the Grand Finals began, the room filled with spectators awaiting their champions for this year’s tournament. The crowd comes alive as the spectators root for their players, their teams and their countries; the feeling is nothing short of electric. Streaming live to over 90 thousand viewers who are just as much a part of the tournament as anyone there filling the seats in the conference room. It’s almost as if the characters within the game are alive, the hype and the chanting easily add a dynamic to the competition that makes it more than just a game, but an experience of a lifetime.
For more information visit: http://evo.shoryuken.com/