Sony acquires world’s largest fighting-game tourney series


Enlarge / Street Fighter V‘s top-eight world finals event at EVO 2017, held on the Mandalay Bay on line casino area in Las Vegas, Nevada.

When it involves acquisitions within the gaming business, headlines often revolve round big-ticket video video games or backend software program. Some information from Sony on Wednesday noticed a significant acquisition are available in a a lot completely different type: the EVO gaming event series.

When it involves fighting-game tournaments, none has confirmed bigger or extra long-lasting than EVO, which grew from a grassroots group effort within the ’90s to a proper physical-event series in 2002. It expanded to incorporate a Japanese variant, EVO Japan, in 2018, and it hosted over 14,000 gamers in 2019 to compete for a prize pool of over $200,000.

However, after its 2020 tournaments have been reworked into an online-only, pandemic-era series, EVO co-founder Joey Cuellar was accused of sexual assaulting minors—and he confirmed the allegations in a public assertion (since removed from Twitter). Shortly afterward, EVO removed Cuellar from all operational duties and canceled its EVO 2020 plans.

Going on-line, (considerably) rolling again

Sony Interactive Entertainment did not point out the 2020 cancellation in its Wednesday announcement. Instead, the business behemoth is leaping forward to verify that it’s going to transfer ahead with an entirely on-line EVO 2021 event series. Fans who wish to compete should anticipate particulars on “on-line qualifier” occasions, whereas the official finals shall be held over the span of two weekends, August 6-Eight and August 13-15.

In a break from EVO custom, this occasion shall be wholly free to enroll in and compete in. Prior EVO tournaments have decided their prize swimming pools partly by variety of paying individuals; how prize cash swimming pools will change for EVO 2021 stays to be seen.

The introduced video games for EVO 2021 embrace Tekken 7, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, and the upcoming Guilty Gear Strive. Coincidentally, all of these video games can be found on PlayStation, and two of these series are at the moment PlayStation console exclusives.

On Twitter, EVO enterprise improvement relations rep Mark Julio introduced that “EVO remains to be open to all platforms” and that PlayStation’s management is “enabling us to proceed working with our group to help preventing video games.” Whether meaning we’ll see longtime EVO series, notably Nintendo’s Smash Bros., seem at future EVO occasions stays to be seen—however for EVO’s online-only 2021 version, the give attention to PlayStation-only video games does stand out.

For fighting-series diehards maintaining monitor, solely two of these introduced video games (MK11, GGS) embrace wholly useful delay-based rollback netcode, thus guaranteeing a smoother connection in circumstances the place opponents face off in wildly completely different areas and face the inherent limits of latency. (Devs for Tekken and Street Fighter allege that they’ve carried out related programs as properly, however real-world efficiency would not add up.) We’re pretty bullish about wanting more rollback, and in a dream world, Sony’s new relationship with EVO may prioritize such netcode in preventing video games going ahead.

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