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.