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Evo Championship Series: The Greatest Fighting Game Tournament in the World

Updated on April 16, 2018
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Haley is a professional nerd who is paid to break stuff. Her spare time is filled with video games—mostly RPG and FPS.

Two players focus on making it to the next round of the tournament at Evo 2016.
Two players focus on making it to the next round of the tournament at Evo 2016. | Source

The Evo Championship Series is an annual US based tournament, that is advertised as being "the largest and longest-running fighting game tournaments in the world." The tournament is based around a list of modern and classic fighting games that changes slightly every year.

The tournament was founded in 1996 by Tom "inkblot" Cannon, Tony "Ponder" Cannon, Joey "MrWizard" Cuellar, and Seth "S-Kill" Killian. It originally went by the name "Battle by the Bay" however the name was changed in 2002 to Evo.

Evo came out of the need to finish endless arguments online about who was the best at specific games. Winning one competition did not appease some competitors that the champion was actually the best, and so it became an annual tradition.

Participants travel from all over the world to participate with the highest number of champions coming from either the United States or Japan.

Evo 2017

The 2017 Evolution Championship Series occurred in Las Vegas, NV on July 14 - 16, 2017. This was the twenty-first year of the tournament, with over 10,000 people registering to compete or observe.

The competitive games for Evo 2017 included:

  • Street Fighter V
  • Tekken 7
  • Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2
  • Injustice 2
  • Super Smash Bros Melee
  • Super Smash Bros for Wii
  • The King of Fighters XIV
  • Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3

The prize pools for Evo 2017 ranged from $10,000 (Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 and BlazBle: Central Fiction) to $50,000 (Street Fighter V and Injustice 2).

Evo 2017 Champions

Street Fighter V
Hajime Taniguchi
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Saleem Young
Tekken 7
Hyun-jin Kim
BlazBlue: Central Fiction
Ryusei Ito
Ultimate Marvel cs. Capcom 3
Rene Romero
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Adam Lindgren
Injustice 2
Ryan Walker
Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2
Omito Hashimoto
The King of Fighters XIV
The first place champions of Evo 2017.

When is Evo 2018?

The Evo Championship Series 2018 will be held on August 3 - 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Championship will be hosted at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, NV:
3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA

get directions

How are the Evo tournaments structured?

With the large number of contestants and even larger number of spectators, Evo organizes the competition into three separate stages.

  1. Qualification Pools
  2. Semifinal Bracket
  3. Tournament Finals

Qualification Pool

The qualification pool is organized as groups of approximately 8 contestants (this can vary some depending on the overall size of the specific competition). These are ran in double elimination brackets. The last two contestants standing advance to the semifinals.

Semifinal Bracket

The semifinal brackets are double elimination brackets where one half of the contestants start in a "losers" side for those who lost a match during the qualifications, and a "winners" side for those who did not. The top eight players from the semifinal move on to the Tournament Finals.

Tournament Finals

Losses continue to carry over into the Tournament Finals. They are over once there is only one player left.

The original fighting games gained their popularity in neighborhood arcades.
The original fighting games gained their popularity in neighborhood arcades. | Source

Does Evo use Arcade Machines or Consoles?

Originally Evo only utilized arcade cabinets for competitions. Creating a large amount of controversy, they switched to solely using consoles.

There is a BYOC (Bring Your Own Console) area where side tournaments are held.

How to Become an Evo Judge

The judges for the Evo tournaments are volunteer positions with some perks (mainly food and t-shirts).They look for individuals who are incredibly passionate about the specific game, gaming tournaments in general, and are familiar with double elimination brackets.

If you are accepted as a judge, there is a training session before the competition. The tournament as in-depth rules, and judges are expected to be expert in all of the rules.

To become a judge, apply on their website:

Is Evo Just a Tournament?

Evo is more than just a fighting eSports tournament. The weekend includes plenty of panels and vendors. The vendors change daily.

Unlike the tournaments the panels are not streamed.

Panels for Evo 2018 have not been released yet.

Learn More Straight from Evo

Learn more straight from the official Evo channels.


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