The world’s most prestigious series of fighting game tournaments has cancelled its in-person tourney on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. In its place, the Evolution Championship Series (EVO) will be played over the internet for the first, and possibly only, time in its history.
What Sets EVO Apart
EVO is an experience unlike any other, both as spectator and participant. Despite attracting some of the best players in the world, EVO remains a fully open tournament- at least under normal circumstances. This means any person who wants can pay the entry fee and test their skill against the hundreds, or potentially thousands, of other players in that game.
The best players in the world start at the bottom, just like anyone else, and it’s entirely possible for someone amazing to get eliminated on the first day (colloquially referred to as drowning in pools).
Usually all this takes place over an exciting weekend in the Las Vegas desert; thousands fly in but only a few leave as victors. This time around, however, EVO will take place entirely online.
From One Weekend to Five
The online format brings with it certain disadvantages. Obviously, not being able to play in person means there will almost certainly be complaints and drama with regards to latency and netcode, something that the fighting game community has a reputation of being hostile towards. However, there are some advantages as well, such as significantly reducing the possibility of contracting the disease which is currently burning through the United States.
The schedule being extended to five weekends also makes it easier checking in on, even if you’ve never played fighting games.
Where to watch
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Games start on July 4th and will take place every weekend until August 2nd. You can watch the action on one of EVO’s official twitch channels, with the main channel found at twitch.tv/evo.