The Evolution Championship Series, more commonly known as Evo, was the biggest fighting game tournament in the world. However, a combination of coronavirus complications and allegations of sexual misconduct put a stop to Evo 2020 and subsequent online event, Evo 2020 Online.
Following an overhaul in management, it was unclear whether Evo would make a return this year, but now we have confirmation that it's happening — and it's Sony pulling the strings. The Japanese giant has actually just acquired Evo in partnership with esports business RTS, and it's pushing forward with plans for Evo Online 2021, which will take place in August.
You can find the official announcement below.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce the next chapter in the story of PlayStation and Evo, the world’s largest and longest-running fighting game tournament. Sony Interactive Entertainment has teamed up with RTS to acquire Evo through a joint venture partnership. With expertise spanning esports event management, brand and developer consulting and gaming talent management, RTS is a new venture led by CEO Stuart Saw and backed by investors including global entertainment, sports and content company Endeavor.
Evo co-founders Tom and Tony Cannon will remain closely involved in an advisory role to ensure Evo continues to service the fighting game community and support its vibrant growth.
Considering the rich history of Evo as a global event, this move could be viewed as a significant step into the world of esports for both Sony and PlayStation. Indeed, the company has been dipping its toes into the world of competitive gaming for quite some time; it was a major sponsor of Evo for a number of years previously, and PlayStation hosts regular online fighting game tournaments through its official YouTube, Twitch, and social media channels.
Evo Online 2021 begins on the 6th August, running until the 8th August, before taking a short break. It'll then return on the 13th August, and end on the 15th August. Entry will be free.
The following fighting games will have tournaments as part of Evo Online 2021:
PlayStation's official press release concludes:
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. 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.
So there you have it: Evo is now a Sony PlayStation gig. Will you be tuning in to watch the tournament this summer? Get ready for the next battle in the comments section below.
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Hm. Part of me kinda feels like they should really drop the Evo name. It’s become synonymous with a systemic culture of abuse. Hopefully Sony can turn it round.
With how down the EVO Brand was last year this was most likely pretty cheap lol
@nessisonett Yeah I hope they clean(ed) out the house throughoutly
Microsoft out there buying companies that have direct competition with Sony and Sony out there buying a low install base anime streaming company and this. SMH
It's interesting that Soul Calibur is in the PS Open Series but not this, while Tekken is here but not in the OS. Just a random thought
@Voltan Since its an Online Tournement this year (EVO) they might want to focus on FGs with good Online Netcode
A potentially smart move from Sony. As far as gaming events go, there are few more prestigious than Evo (despite the recent horribleness). Having it become synonymous with PlayStation could be a pretty big deal.
I wonder what ramifications this might have with games like Super Smash Bros.? Nintendo's already quite protective of its properties and it stands to reason that Sony will want everything played on PlayStation.
Not that I imagine Smash Bros. will be a part of Evo Online 2021 anyway, given the state of its netcode, but you get where I'm coming from.
@Voltan I thought the same. BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle as well!
@OmegaStriver Evo definitely didn't cost $7.4 billion, though!
@ShogunRok I saw on Twitter that they’re still allowing games on non-PlayStation platforms.
Yeah, uh, I don’t see the point of this.
@ShogunRok Nintendo are currently updating their multiplayer network actually. The old code references Windows 98 😂
@IonMagus yeah, but the Open Series is also an Online thing
On a semi-related note, there will be a big offline event for fighting games held in Ukraine (but featuring players from around the world, mostly Americans) starting next weekend. I guess if there's a place where you can have this kind of thing these days, it's gotta be Eastern Europe. Hope they keep it safe and I'll definitely be watching some MK11 streams.
They should of bought a studio instead.
apparently this is the next big sports thing.
not for me i prefer to play the game than watch.
mma and boxing fan here but thats gone stale at the mo.
meh i miss the 90s 😂
@Voltan I know but EVO might be a bit...bigger than the Open Series^^ I remember before they canceled Online EVO last year they explicitly choosed FGs with good Rollback/Netcode. Even obscure ones like Them's Fightin' Herds
@IonMagus I'll admit I don't know whether Tekken has better or worse net code than Soul Calibur
Guilty Gear Strive is a no brainer in that regard though.
I'm not entirely sure on what to think about PS getting EVO, but I do know that I'll be skipping it if it's online. It's just not the same.
@OrigamiCrane One of EVO's founders, Joey Cuellar (AKA Mr. Wizard) was busted for sexual misconduct, so did many Smash players. The FGC as a whole has been trying to clean up any troublemakers since.
Like Rob says in the article, if you look at PlayStation's YouTube channel it feels like they're streaming fighting game tournaments every day.
In that sense, seems like a natural fit. I'm eager to see what they've got planned.
@Voltan Both at least dont have Rollback haha...hope Bamco works on that someday
@OrigamiCrane Evo’s president preyed on young boys for years. It all came out around the same time that the Super Smash Bros competitive community was dealing with their own deep-rooted culture of rape and pedophilia. I’m sure somebody can explain it better than me in one of the many articles about it. Needless to say, the community has a lot of skeletons in its closet.
Now that's surprising
@OmegaStriver MS is top 5 richest companies in the world and Sony was almost dead 7 years ago. Sony is investing in entertainment that is growing because they want to EXIST and if they are alive PS will have resources for new stuff.
Not exactly the Sony acquisition I was expecting, but okay.
@DerMeister Bro we are in the middle of a world crisis, don't expect irl tournaments any time soon.
@munstre I deleted it after I googled it. I misremembered.
Sony bought Insomniac for 229m, Crunchyroll for 1.2b.
Microsoft bought Zenimax for 7.5b.
Square Enix is worth 1.6b, Sony needs to jump on that.
That’s awesome news for fighting game community.
@nessisonett yeah I know what you mean. But like you said, hopefully they can turn this around.
@munstre Yeah, I understand that, I was just stating that as I came across it during my Google research.
@nessisonett I had less lag playing Unreal Tournament 2004 on our horrid dial up internet in the early 2000s than playing Smash Ultimate lol.
Jokes aside I can see Sony really amping Evo up for this year.
Smart move for sure,.get everyone using PlayStation systems, otherwise it doesn't change much in regard to the event itself
Bluepoint games.wtf sony.😱.word up son
For anyone that doesn't know the reason for this acquisition (even though it is kinda obvious).... you can read this:
Out of all the things they could have announced as taking ownership of, this is the most rubbish. Interest levels at a grand total of 0%.
This can be a very good thing for the FGC! And Sony. Finger crossed. Glad EVO is not dead
Another random though: do you think Sony will make a Sony Fight Stick for PlayStation now?
@Voltan Better make the ew Playstation Allstars game i found it quite fun the only fightinggame i ever Platinumed. 🤪
@Snake_V5 I'm sure they will, but buying a studio is a large investment with a somewhat risky and slow return. This is a large investment with a huge and fast return. They're probably doing this to rake in money so that they can easily buy up studios. This is easy money on Sony's part.
My guess is that it's a large investment with a fast and even larger return. This is Sony's brilliant way of getting easy money so that they can buy up more studios and/or put more money into their gaming development.
Sony cares this much about fighting games but strangely enough they don't care to make one themselves. But I guess they don't have the proper developers for it since a lot of them are more focused on making cinematic experiences.
@Nepp67 I don't think anything is set in stone in term of what games Sony could make. Sony just bought EVO, I would be surprised if they didn't make a fighting game at some point.
I don't know about anybody else but I'd prefer to see Sony putting the $ it's invested in anime and now Evo towards purchasing close studio partners like Bluepoint and Housemarque.
I was afraid something like this would happen once Microsoft purchased Bethesda. Good to see MK11 back in the lineup.
@Gamer83 anime is making more money than any money sony could make from a BP/Housemarque game dude. Right now sony with their company Aniplex is the official distributor of "kimetsu no yaiba the movie" the highest grossing film of all time in Japan. They are putting the money in the right stuff right now.
But i know you were talking about what you would prefer so see it like this. For the past decade sony's only source of real income was PS, if they start to make money with sports and anime (entertainment that is growing) they will have money to invest in PS.
Cool. Now get on tying up deals with Sega/Atlus, SquareEnix (because im increasingly concerned by what Microsoft are doing), Housemarque, Bluepoint, and Level 5 plz Sony. Thx
Glad to read that Smash isn't going to be affected by the purchase. A logical move by Sony as aside from Smash Bros every game in Evo is essentially a PlayStation game so makes for a nice fit.
Through people's PSN's they can organise greater involvement in the tournaments too. Sounds very good. Seems I need to brush up on my Granblue Fantasy Versus.
Yeah, I just wish Sony would lock up some of its closer partners is all I'm saying. I don't want to see a big move like buying a gigantic publisher, I hope Bethesda is the last we see of a hardware maker grabbing a company that size, but these smaller studios like Housemarque that have provided PlayStation gamers with some great content over the years? It'd be nice to see it locked up before MS or one of the other tech giants swoops in.
This News just reminds me how Sony REALLY needs it's own Fighting Game, this is one thing I've always been firm on.
I think Sony needs to give PlayStation All-Stars a second chance, give it a fair budget, make it a collaborative effort between a couple of Sony's First-Party Studios with some outside help from Bluepoint (I think Bluepoint has a good enough understanding of PlayStation Characters to make it work), improve upon what worked in the first game, and remove/tweak what didn't work while adding new features, and it absolutely MUST require a compelling Story Mode, and it is MANDATORY they make deals to include iconic Third-Party characters that are/were synonymous with PlayStation,
From a personal perspective this is a very exciting move and one that makes sense. As a fighting game connoisseur it is also a good fit. For years Sony has seemed as the de facto FGC platform, along with the growing PC market too.
Really excited for what the future holds. I was actually going to go to EVO last year to compete in SC VI but Covid-19 happened.
I think this is a very smart move even if I would have preferred news of an acquisition of say Bluepoint, Housemarque or Ember Lab, however I've been reading the comments and @dudeAmarillo & @B_Lindz make some excellent points as to why this move could be quite beneficial for Sony / PlayStation in the long run and how some of the moves Sony have been making lately could lead to some interesting acquisitions down the road. Still an acquisition of Bluepoint, Housemarque & Ember Lab is still something I really hope Sony does before they slip through the cracks like Quantic Dreams, Supermassive Games, Sanzaru Games & Ready At Dawn did.
@dudeAmarillo Yes. I know. I am fully aware of that. It's not changing my opinion that it's going to suck because rollback netcode or not, it's not a substitute for the real thing, and there's still a good chance the connection goofs during a game.
I acknowledge that they're doing the best with what they have, and I respect that, but I hated the idea of online tournaments since they were proposed last year. It wouldn't make a fun watch, definitely not a fun play.
I think Insomniac Games was a bargain at $220 million. On average, they release a well reviewed new game every two years, with some indie style games and DLC in between. Since 2014 they have released Sunset Overdrive, Ratchet & Clank, Marvel's Spider-Man, Miles Morales and the Spider-Man Remake, with Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart releasing in 3 months.
I just hope at some point they reboot the Resistance franchise. I really enjoyed those games.
Take two of the more popular ZeniMax studios, Bethesda and id Software, and you have Fallout 4, Skyrim Special Edition, Fallout 76, Doom, and Doom Eternal during that same timeframe, with some VR games and DLC sprinkled in. Oh, and Deathloop coming sometime this year.
So the same output, comparable review scores, but at a much cheaper price.
As for EVO, Sony has basically been the de facto console choice for anyone wanting fighting games. This purchase will only amplify that. They basically now own an entire genre, albeit a niche one.
@lacerz - I think the Resistance series has a higher chance of coming back now more than ever, my reasoning may be flawed but the recent news that Insomniac Games hasn't started the voice-recording and motion capture for Spider-Man 2 because of the pandemic, and with them nearing end of development on Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart, I think they could IF they haven't already, work on a new Resistance game, as a Resistance game probably won't require a lot of or any motion capture, and I do think they want to Reboot the series because after Resistance 3 they admitted they were never entirely sure where they wanted the series to go, and expressed that they wished they could have done things better than how it ended up.
Plus I have a really hard time believing that Insomniac Games is only working on just two games at this time, considering how many employees they have and their track record for working on 3 - 4 at once, wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if they had at least one more unannounced game in development, and with how regularly Insomniac Games seem to tweet about Resistance these past few years, I think a revival of the Resistance series is inevitable.
@Snake_V5 Pretty sure this was nowhere near the money needed to aquire a studio.
They did just announce they are supporting Jade raymond's new studio. Haven or something.
Though i could swear that is what Mike Morhaims new studio is called too.
@lacerz Own an entire genre? You mean aside from the show’s far and away largest attraction, Smash Bros? Of which Ultimate has higher sales at ~23m copies than all of the other titles in the article combined.
If they lock Nintendo out, or Nintendo decide not to participate in a Sony event, the numbers for Evo will nosedive. Apart from Street Fighter, Smash is the only game with any sort of mainstream interest.
This is a small and interesting acquisition. But they have bought an event company with a bad rep who haven’t held an event in two years. This isn’t exactly what I call claiming ownership of a genre just yet.
Why does everything have to be so tribal?
@Rob_230 level 5 would be amazing but I highly doubt it.
Waste of money...some people buy devs who make games others buy this *****
@vyseofhr they already said they won't lock smash bros out. Which would have been obvious. They'll just advertise Sony everywhere while you watch Nintendo games.
@NomNom That isn’t really the thrust of my original post; of course they won’t. The question there is more whether Nintendo think the exposure is worth their game being surrounded by Sony advertising. Or whether they can get that same exposure through other channels.
Shouldn't Sony be buying...like actual Developers?
To me, this is like buying a bunch of advertising billboards.
Billboards don't make the products, they just advertising them later.
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