Started in 1996, the Evolution Championship Series, commonly referred to as EVO, has been quite popular among fans of fighting games. Usually held in the US, this tournament attracts gamers from across the globe, with especially high numbers from Japan. Discerning potential in this particular event, Sony Interactive Entertainment joined hands with Endeavor's subsidiary RTS to acquire EVO from Triple Perfect Inc.
According to Sony, fighting games are popular on PlayStation consoles. The Japanese company further added that these titles clocked in a staggering 1.1 billion gameplay hours on Sony's gaming consoles last year. There's little wonder why it wants to get involved with the fighting game community. Teaming up with RTS is a strategic move considering that its parent organization, Endeavor, comes with a wealth of experience in managing esports and grand events such as UFC and Miss Universe.
Post-acquisition, co-founders Tom Cannon and Tony Cannon will assume the role of advisors. Another co-founder, Joey Cuellar, is missing from the proceedings,as Cuellar was accused of sexual misconduct with minors. In light of this information, publishers such as Capcom, NetherRealm, and Bandai Namco distanced themselves from EVO, which led to the cancellation of last year's event.
With Joey Cuellar out of the picture, EVO is set to return this year but in an online format due to the ongoing pandemic. To make the competition more accessible, there's no entry fee for this event. It will be open to gamers from North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The entire tournament, including the qualifiers, will be live-streamed on Twitch.
So far, EVO has confirmed popular titles such as Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, Tekken 7, and Guilty Gear Strive on this year's roster. There's a catch though, as players from Asia won't be able to participate in Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate.
On Twitter, fans were quick to point out that Super Smash Bros. is missing from the list. However, since the tournament's official website has promised to add more games in the coming weeks, it would be too early to rule Nintendo's game out.
For years after its inception, EVO pitted players against each other on arcade machines. A major technological shift took place in 2004 when the organizers made a switch to gaming consoles. Now, the next big change in the tournament format will happen this year as it goes online. Fans of fighting games have until August to hone their skills. The EVO event will be held from August 6 to 8 and 13 to 15.
Although the very "first" fighting game can be dated as far back as 1976's Heavyweight Champ, the genre really saw landslide popularity and the formation of a competitive community with Capcom's Street Fighter II in 1991. The rest, as they say, is history. Franchise after franchise continued to spring up and establish their own legacies, such as Mortal Kombat's controversially high impact violence, and the rabidly competitive scene surrounding Super Smash Bros.
Although the genre's offerings have become a veritable smorgasbord of beat-up-your-friends simulators by the year 2019, some are invariably remembered as the absolute best among the competitors, and those are the games that Game Rant's here to check out today. Below are the ten best fighting games to have ever stepped into the ring, as ranked by Metacritic. As a note, we'll only be including the best-rated version, re-release, or update for each title, as a list consisting entirely of different Street Fighter IV editions would get old pretty fast.
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