The Evolution Championship Series (EVO) has a new owner, as well as a new home. Evo has been acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment, which will be promoted through a joint esports venture between them and RTS, a subdivision of Endeavor. In short, EVO is now part of the PlayStation family, something that not a whole lot of people saw coming. This move seemingly came out of nowhere, and there are undoubtedly questions from both the EVO and the PlayStation communities for this new endeavor.
Sony Interactive Entertainment and new esports venture RTS have jointly acquired the Evolution Championship Series pic.twitter.com/efOkbf61lU
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) March 18, 2021
In addition to this, both the organizers for Evo and Sony have revealed that the prestigious fighting game tournament will in fact return this Summer, taking place on two separate weekends as an online-only event. Going once again by the name Evo Online, the first weekend will be from August 6-8 while the second weekend will be from August 13-15. Each tournament will have an open format entry for players from North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, meaning that it won’t cost anything to register. The main EVO lineup will feature the current meta of games which includes Tekken 7, Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, and Guilty Gear Strive, which launches later this year in June.
Two of Evo’s founders, Tony and Tom Cannon, stated that they “are incredibly excited by the partnership with SIE and RTS. Both companies bring a wealth of experience and share our passion for what makes the fighting game community so great. We are looking forward to working with them to launch Evo to the next level while remaining true to our roots.” Tony and Tom also acknowledged the incidents that allegedly happened in previous Evo events by stating that “harassment or abuse of any kind has no place within Evo or any of our future events” and reassuring everyone that they will be taking extra steps to ensure that people feel safe and respected.
Evo has been annually held every single year from 1996 to 2019. The 2020 in-person event was canceled due to the worldwide effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The organizers attempted to hold an online-only event in the Summer, but due to the allegations against then CEO Joey Cuellar, they instead decided to completely cancel it for the entire year. Either way you splice this up, Evo is back. It will be interesting to see if Sony adds anything PlayStation related to the event, or if they decide to just leave it as it is. If you’re interested in registering for the Evo fighting game tournaments, you can check it out here.