The biggest fighting game tournament in the the world, EVO, is the latest big esports event to shutter due to COVID-19. The decision came down late last week in a tweet from the official EVO account. In the message they revealed that the live event at the Mandalay Bay Casino & Resort in Las Vegas was cancelled and all matches would be migrating to an online format. EVO didn’t share any dates or schedules, so currently attendees have no further information. Unlike other esports, this is more than just a cancellation of one competition. The move sidelines nine main event games and a multitude of smaller side events.
This cancellation hurts more than most. If you are unfamiliar with Fighting games playing online is hardly ever the first choice. Unlike other genres, a single dropped frame (1/60th of a second) can mean the difference between a win and loss. Especially in games like Dragonball Fighterz or Marvel vs. Capcom 2 where one mistake and see 90% of your life bar evaporate. This is due to the extreme precision required to master command inputs in fighting games. Because of this almost every major fighting game tournament on Earth is still played offline on the same console to minimize lag and packet loss.
By moving to an online environment many pros and fans are questioned the efficacy of EVO 2020. Street Fighter V, in particular, went out of its way to address its netcode issues in February. Another top tier game, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, is currently fending off criticisms about its online system. Combined with the fact that virtually every major FGC tournament also shuttered, the FGC is STARVING for meaningful content.
We will follow EVO’s plans for their online format closely and will share it when it becomes available.
Featured Image: Players compete in the Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition grand championship during day three of the 2019 Evolution Championship Series at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on August 04, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)