Evolution — or EVO — is one of the biggest fighting game tournaments in the world. Although it’s best known for its Street Fighter and Smash Bros championships, it showcases a bunch of titles, and the roster varies from year to year. This year, we’ll have Pokken Tournament joining the fray… and it’s shaping up to draw plenty of attention.
Shoryuken reports that already over 1,000 players have signed up to compete in EVO’s Pokken Tournament, er, tournament, held this July in Las Vegas. The unexpected enthusiasm has even prompted comment from EVO co-founders Tony and Tom Cannon, who welcomed the game into “the one comma club.”
Unlike esports, which often feature large prize pools, fighting game community events are considered “grassroots” and usually more about the bragging rights that come with winning, rather than the cash you get at the end. However, EVO does have considerable cash prizes for its winners, usually funded in part by registration fees — so the more people sign up to compete with a given game, the bigger the prize if you beat out the competition.
One potential wrinkle to this is Nintendo, which has sought to shut down EVO’s Super Smash Bros Melee competitions in the past. That hasn’t appeared to be an issue in the last couple of years, though, and Pokken is already jockeying to become a competitive sport with its own championship, so it would be against Nintendo’s interests to clamp down on online streaming with EVO again — but Nintendo is a bit weird on these things, so we’ll see, I guess.
Evolution 2016 runs from July 15th to 17th, and registration is still open, if this looks up your alley.
Kris Ligman is the News Editor for ZAM, and is still amazed they didn’t think of the R. Pika pun first. Be filthy casuals with them on Twitter @KrisLigman.