EVO 2020’s cancellation this year was never a matter of if, but simply when. Out of all the events and competition to be nailed with a V-Triger Coronavirus super attack though, EVO is also one of the few events that just so happens to be in a prime position to weather that storm and bounce back with a clutch victory at the eleventh hour.
The biggest fighting game tournament on the planet, EVO is built on a foundation of players who would crowd around arcade cabinets waiting for their turn and a younger audience who are no strangers to modern fighting games taking the action online. In recent years, that digital space has been the arena of choice for genre fans, and that’s exactly where EVO Online is going as it shifts away from a physical space this year.
And on paper, it sounds good! You’ve got the best in the world, quarantined safely at home and engaging in tournaments for the following games across five weekends of action:
- Dragon Ball FighterZ
- Tekken 7
- Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
- Soulcalibur VI
- Samurai Shodown
- Granblue Fantasy Versus
- Under Night In-Birth
One game missing from that list? Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nintendo’s flagship brawler which has been a staple of the EVO scene for years and years. A regular on the EVO main stage for years (and with a solid run in various forms since 2013), an EVO without a Nintendo presence feels somewhat…odd. There’s a good reason for it though, because while Super Smash Bros. may be a great game to play in a tournament settings with both challengers seated next to each other, online is a different story entirely.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is absolutely rubbish to tackle online, thanks to the dodgiest of netcode that pales in comparison to what studios such as NetherRealm, Capcom and Bandai Namco have to offer. In a genre where every single frame matters in a life or death showdown, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate simply doesn’t stand up to the standard set by fans and professionals for online competition.
The next couple of weekends will still be solid, when EVO rolls into town with the best combat sport on display for anyone who’s starved of hit him hard hey action.
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Last Updated: May 14, 2020