The world’s biggest fighting game tournament EVO has just announced the games for its 2016 tournament. It was announced straight from the Red Bull eSports studio that the nine games for EVO 2016 are Street Fighter 5, Mortal Kombat X, Killer Instinct, Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-, Tekken 7, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Ultimate Marvel VS. Capcom 3, and Pokken Tournament. EVO’s Joey “Wizard” Cuellar stated that any DLC that comes out five weeks before the competition will be allowed, so the all the new Smash Bros. and Mortal Kombat X fighters can be used. The first two days of the tournament will take place in the Las Vegas Convention center, with the Sunday Finals taking place at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. Anyone interested in the tournament can book their stay at The Westgate, the official hotel of EVO.
One omission from the list of games that has dissapointed fans is Ultra Street Fighter 4. Since it first released in 2008, Street Fighter 4 and its numerous expansions has been a staple of the EVO tournament. “I just think that [Ultra Street Fighter 4’s] time is over, it’s not going to be on the [Capcom] Pro Tour, we’re just moving on,” said Cuellar. Cuellar said that fans of Street Fighter 5 would probably also enter for USF4, making tournament players bleed into each other. Some fans question the motivation seeing as there are two Smash Bros. games as part of the lineup, making fans wonder why USF4 can’t be played alongside Street Fighter 5? However, Cuellar also stated that if there is enough fan support and convention space, there is a possibility for a smaller, independent USF4 tournament. As EVO has grown more popular over the years, it’s clear that developers have seen the event as a great marketing opportunity. Marvel VS. Capcom 2 was part of the EVO tournament for nine years until Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 came out, and now it seems the same thing is happening with Street Fighter 4. With Capcom’s plan for Street Fighter 5 DLC, hopefully they will continue to expand the game so that it can achieve the same level of hype as Ultra Street Fighter 4.
Perhaps more surprising is Pokken Tournament’s place in the lineup. It’s hard to say if Pokken Tournament has a place in a professional fighting tournament, as the game looks less technical than something like Street Fighter or Guilty Gear. We’ll see how all of these games will play out when EVO begins this summer.