It’s no secret that we here at NSFW Gamer are huge fighting game fans so some of us are super pumped for EVO 2013 happening this weekend.
This year will be the biggest EVO yet and that isn’t just hyperbole. The official game roster has been expanded from six to nine games with over 6,000 entrants from 51 countries. Of course to accommodate the increase of players and spectators the tournament organizers had to move the venue from Cesar’s Palace to Paris. No, not Paris France, but the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casio in Nevada. It’s going to be a hell of a weekend filled with action, surprises, and HYPE!!!!
Full schedule and details after the jump.
If you can’t make it out to Vegas then you’re in luck because the whole tournament and more will be streamed across three official SRKEVO twitch channels (including a Japanese stream with Japanese commentary on NicoNico)
In addition to six or more community lead streams.
With so much going on, I thought I’d write an article to drum up some interest, and break down a bit of what to expect in during the finals of each game.
Though of course this is EVO so you never know what might happen.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Entrants: 355 players
Finals: Friday 2 PM PST
If you’re a Tekken fan you better clear your schedule on Friday. While it’s great that the number of official games have increased there just isn’t enough time to cram the finals of each one into Sunday. So while Tekken will be done early don’t expect it to be any less hype. The game itself is fun to watch with the addition of a tag team combat bringing flashy combos and extra risk-reward management. The finals will be the only Tekken action on the main streams but you can catch Tekken pool matches on IE battle grounds stream.
Some players to look out for would be Aris Bakhtanians, though he’ll most likely be doing commentary, Inkognito, Rip, and of course CafeId’s Knee and Nin coming from Korea.
Persona 4 Arena
Entrants: 400 players
Finals: Friday 4 PM PST
Persona 4 Arena had a very well received launch pleasing both JRPG and fighting game fans as well as giving players of “air dash fighters”(think Guilty Gear, Blazblue) a new game to get into. Though not as prolific as other scenes it has had its share of rivalries, like the one between Lord Knight and BananaKen, two top players who usually square off with each other in grand finals of what ever Persona tournament they attend, although it’s still anyone’s game since EVO will be attracting competitors from all over including Die-chan, Stunedge, Tomo, and more.
Mortal Kombat 9
Entrants: 233 players
Finals: Friday 6 PM PST
This will be Mortal Kombat 9‘s third year at EVO and the competition is still going strong thanks to a dedicated kommunity. Though Perfect Legend has won MK9 both years prior, the competition leading up to EVO has been fierce. With other top players like CD Jr, also REO attending he’ll more than have his work cut out for him.
Fatalities are generally frowned upon during tournament play since it takes up too much time though players are encouraged to let loose during finals (they’ve more than earned it), also characters like Kitana and Mileena (flesh pit costume FTW!) are strong and frequently used characters. What I’m getting at is be prepared for plenty of boobs, gore and good times on the main stage!
Street Fighter X Tekken v2013
Entrants: 545 players
Finals: Saturday 6 PM PST
At launch Street Fighter X Tekken was not well received by competitors or stream monsters. Later on in the game’s life the players found an interesting game to play beneath all the B.S of on disk DLC, broken gem mechanics and lots of matches being won by time overs. Capcom in response gave the game a second shot by releasing a patch that changed things mostly for the better. Now the game is faster paced and generally more fun to play and watch.
Last year the game was played in teams of two with the winners being Infiltration and Laugh. This year however it’s every man for themselves. Infiltration’s been on a heck of a winning streak (more on him in a bit) but he’ll no doubt be getting serious competition from the likes of Ricky Ortiz, Justin Wong PR Balrog and fLoE.
King of Fighters 13
Entrants: 433 players
Finals: Sunday 10 AM PST
Kicking off Sunday in the morning will be King of Fighters 13. The finals for KoF 13 was the hypest moment of EVO last year in my opinion, coming down to B.A.L.A from Mexico vs MadKOF from Korea. Sadly we won’t be getting a rematch since B.A.L.A couldn’t make it to this years EVO. The CafeId guys (MadKOF, Kensouzzang, Verna) as still coming out and they’ll have to contest with the likes of Romance, Reynald, and Luis Cha.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Entrants: 696 players
Finals: Sunday Noon PST
The EVO tournament organizers reached out to all the sub fighting game communities with a challenge. You all complain that your game isn’t on the official line up? Put your money where you mouth is. The community which raises the most for breast cancer research will become the players choice tournament and its finals played on the main stage and streamed on Sunday. I’m paraphrasing of course.
The Smash community more than stepped up raising over $90,000 dollars for breast cancer research. Now some of you might be saying “But Smash Bros isn’t a fighting game…” and you can just stop right there. The Smash Community has taken their game to a technical and competitive level worthy of a bit of admiration but more importantly they’ve kept their community alive, healthy and even steadily growing for the better part of ten years. You can’t argue with dedication like that. Besides we all love Smash Bros and watching it at the highest competitive level on Sunday is sure to be awesome. Lunatics at Nintendo’s legal department threatening IP infringement be damned.
Injustice: Gods Among Us
Entrants: 582 players
Finals: Sunday 2 PM PST
Injustice has had an interesting life. Made by NetherRealm, its mechanics are not wholly Mortal Kombat and has attracted players across different fighting game sub communities and it’s still pretty much any one’s game at this point. While a few characters have stood out as being strong, new tech and strategies are being found every day. No one person has been dominating a this game either. One tournament you’ll have Mortal Kombat veteran Tom Brady taking it, the next you’ll have Street Fighter master Alex Valle and then next you’ll have upstart Chris G taking all the money. What ever happens at EVO it’s sure to be an exciting watch.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Entrants: 1,297 players
Finals: Saturday 6 PM PST
IT’S MAHVEL BABY!!! or at least that was they battle cry a year ago, now it’s Marvel is dead and stupid. We’re at a point in MVC3 competition where a lot of the strong teams and strategies are being set in stone and without any balance patch or expansion on the horizon it looks like it will stay that way. The elephant in the room is Chris G and his team of Morrigan and Dr Doom. After coming in third place at last year’s EVO he’s been nigh undefeated for the better part of a year. It’s mirroring a similar situation in MVC2‘s competitive history where Justin Wong went undefeated for a really long time.
Yet this the fighting game community and people are hungry to win. We’ve seen people developing and trying out all kinds of anti Morri-Doom tech to varying levels of success. Yet you still have to account Chris G in the equation. His team is a strong team yet it’s only him that has been able the make the team work so well for. It’s a combination of a strong team, intimate knowledge of the ins and out of said team and a talented player
So in terms of Marvel vs Capcom 3 it’s basically Chris G vs the world.
Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition v2012
Entrants: 1,601 players
Finals: Saturday 6 PM PST
Of Course it all comes back to Street Fighter. Street Fighter 4 revitalized the fighting game scene and competition for Street Fighter 4 has been expanding and tense ever since. Veterans have clashed with new opponents and it looks like the trend will continue at this year’s EVO. The break away star of last year has been Infiltration. He’s made a pretty penny for himself winning not only EVO 2012 but almost every major tournament he’s attended since then, topping it off at the Street Fighter 25th anniversary tournament where he won both Street Fighter X Tekken and Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition V2012, snagging $50,000 and a brand new Scion FR-S Sports Coupe.
That’s not to say he hasn’t had competition along the way or that this year’s EVO will be a breeze. Players from all over the world want the Street Fighter title, it has become an international game at this point. He hasn’t been completely flawless either, having just recently loosing to Popi a Swedish player at this years Summer Dreamhack.
Players from all over the world are hungry for the title. You’ll have guys from the U.S like Justin Wong and Filipino Champ, guys from Europe like Ryan Heart, guys from Japan like Daigo and Tokido, from Singapore like Xian and GamerBee from Taiwan just to name a few.
So will Infiltration hold on to the title or will an unexpected victor come out of nowhere, we’ll just have to see but it’s sure to an exciting weekend till we get there.
The main games will be the bulk of the action but there’s still plenty to look out forward to at EVO this weekend including side tournaments of every fighting game imaginable, Killer Instinct presentations, Injustice DLC reveals, indie game showcases and much much more.
So now that you’ve been filled in there’s only one thing left for the weekend. FIGHT!!!
– Sullivan O. Bradley