By William Haderlie / July 15th, 2016
It’s been a busy day in Las Vegas. Today started the Evolution Championship Series (Evo) tournament. This is always a busy time for fighting games, but no year has been quite like this one. The estimated attendance is around 15,000 people, and beyond that is the game registry numbers as well. Pulling in almost twice the number of entrants as the second place game, Street Fighter V has set a new record for tournament entries at just over 5,000. The real question heading into this weekend was how the tournament organizers would be able to handle the load.
So far, it turns out, not too bad at all. This is only from an outsider’s perspective as, unfortunately, I was unable to attend in person this year, but the brackets and streams have went along at a good pace. As you can imagine with a field this size, there have not been a lot of major upsets, but the higher-seeded individual has definitely not always come out on top. I have a couple takeaways from the first day. The first is that the talent in Street Fighter V is definitely diversifying even more than in the last game. While the reflexes of youth are still going to mostly dominate (other than a few old hats that still made a good showing for themselves), this is definitely a wide array of genders and nationalities and ethnicities that have come here to display their skill.
The other thing that I’ve noticed is there has not been much love for the DLC characters as of yet. I did see some scattered Guile play on the CapcomFighters official stream, but that was about it. For all the seeming controversy surrounding the inclusion of Ibuki and Balrog (Boxer) in the list of qualifying characters, I did not see them being played. However, I do expect to see Boxer played at some point when I see PR Balrog on a stream. He may have picked up another character previous to this, but there is little doubt that he wants to go back to his namesake. If you want to keep up with the brackets, you can check out the official version here. Click on the various group codes to view that particular group bracket. When you are dealing with this many entries, you have to split up into many different groups.
We’ll report back tomorrow with more news from the largest fighting game tournament ever. As the brackets are pared down, you will have many more chances for top level talent to knock each other off, and even set up a few surprises before the top 8 is broadcast worldwide on ESPN.
In other Evo related news, I have also been checking in on AnimEvo (Waifu Series). Because my primary focus was on Street Fighter V, I only really caught the end of their streaming today. Thankfully that happened to be when Koihime Enbu was getting streamed.
For those who don’t know what this game is, check out my review for the site here. It was a really fun stream to watch with some great competition. Lay from Japan ended up taking the tournament in very flashy fashion with Soso. For anyone that read my review, they will find me very unsurprised that a Soso won that game (I pointed out in my review that she is by far the best character). But it still ended up being a lot of fun to watch and the players obviously had a blast. Besides, nothing says Poverty Tournament like a player wearing a Muv-Luv cosplay outfit (that he could barely see out of) and bodying people in a 2D doujin fighter like Koihime Enbu. And all of this was for some anime DVDs for a reward. Check out the stream archive of the action here on Numakie’s Twitch channel. And for more fun with the anime side tournaments, check out the schedule and streaming location with this Twitter post.
2D Fighting GameCapcomDegica GamesEvo2016Evolution Championship SeriesKoihime EnbuPCPlayStation 4SteamStreet Fighter V