The coronavirus pandemic, which, while good for game sales, has been less than good for IRL events. Many conventions, tournaments, and gatherings set for 2020 have seen cancelations, including Dreamhack, E3, and even Comic-Con. Not content with letting the pandemic win, the Evolution 2020 Championship Series (EVO) fighting game tournament is changing its plans and moving the worldwide gathering of fighting game faithful online, with some surprising changes in store. While the original lineup of EVO games that were set to showcase on the main stage will receive special exhibitions, the tournament now has more main games that are online only and represent some of the most stable net code that fighting games have to offer. This includes Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath, Skullgirls: 2nd Encore, Killer Instinct, and… Them’s Fightin’ Herds? That last one is cause for some explanation.
Introducing Evo Online! pic.twitter.com/ecf8gxNGUW
— EVO (@EVO) May 14, 2020
You might notice missing from this lineup are the biggest and most usual suspects. Mainly, Street Fighter V, Super Smash Bros., Dragon Ball FighterZ, and more. The video above from the official EVO social media account says “special exhibitions and content for EVO 2020’s original lineup.” Most of the original lineup of games is planned, including Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Tekken 7, Samurai Shodown, Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st], Granblue Fantasy Versus, Soulcalibur VI and Dragon Ball FighterZ.” However, it’s just undeniable that these games, while the biggest names, also possess the least stable online experience and just aren’t suitable for a worldwide online tournament.
Hence, the four online tournaments that will now allow players to fight for EVO glory as in years past. While the first three games are self-explanatory you may be wondering what, exactly Them’s Fightin’ Herds is and if it’s a fighting game. Fun fact, Herds began its life as a fan-made fighting game featuring the cast and setting of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic but was later hit with a cease and desist so hard that it turned ponies into cows. Regardless, the game gained a following and even had help from some of the animation staff at My Little Pony to put the final touches on the product. What results is a tight fighting game with snappy mechanics and a fantastic net code, meaning a game with cartoon cows based on My Little Pony is more suitable for EVO than Street Fighter. You love to see it.
The tournaments will take place across five consecutive weekends, starting July 4-5 and running until July 31-Aug 2. No sign-up information or details are available as of this moment but don’t be surprised if it hits soon. So, if you ever wanted to compete at EVO this may be your one chance, meaning that you can go 0-2 like the rest of us and then go about your life. Best of luck!