Evo, the premier fighting game tournament, has joined the PlayStation family.
Sony Interactive Entertainment has acquired fighting game tournament Evo. PlayStation now co-owns Evo, along with a new esports venture called RTS. The 25-year-old tournament will return this year, as an online-only event.
Evo co-founders Tom and Tony Cannon will remain involved with the tournament in “advisory roles.” As for this year’s event, it will take place entirely digitally on August 6 – 8 and again 13 – 15. The line-up so far includes Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition, Tekken 7, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, and Guilty Gear Strive.
The tournament’s open format will be available to players from North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, and qualifiers will be livestreamed. Entry will be free, and more details will be announced over the coming weeks.
“For PlayStation, today’s announcement marks an exciting step in our journey to foster the growth of the fighting game community and esports, and support competitive gamers widely on our consoles,” Sony said in a statement.
“Fighting games are hugely popular on PlayStation consoles, with gamers logging more than 1.1 billion gameplay hours in 2020 alone. We’re committed to breaking down the barriers for gamers to compete at all levels and providing a best-in-class, global platform for them to showcase their skills and passion.”
For their part, EVO organisers said this won’t change what Evo is. Business development lead Mark Julio confirmed on Twitter that the tournament is still open to all platforms.
“The teams at PlayStation and RTS are enabling us to continue working with our community to support fighting games,” said Julio.
“In order to deliver on the trust you have all put in EVO, we realise that we need an experienced strategic partner who truly respects that spirit of the FGC [fighting game community],” said organisers Tom and Tony Cannon.
Last year’s Evo, which was supposed to be entirely online, ended up getting cancelled entirely after organisers had to remove Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar from the company following many accusations of paedophilia and sexual harassment.