The EVO 2017 line up features Injustice 2, Street Fighter 5 and more, with a fan vote including Nintendo Switch launch title ARMS letting people choose another game to feature at the tournament.
Fighting game tournament EVO 2016 smashed records last year when the annual event saw 14,000 competitors register to play across nine games, including Pokken Tournament and Killer Instinct. So many people signed up to take part, in fact, that the number of registered fighters was far more than the 12,000 seats at the Mandalay Bay Events Center (where EVO 2016’s finals took place). The figure was also more than the 10,000 people who signed up to compete in EVO 2015, showing impressive growth.
The question now, though, is whether EVO 2017 can do even better. Announced today, the line up of games available at the tournament will certainly draw significant crowds. Eight games have been confirmed so far, including Street Fighter 5, Super Smash Bros. Wii U, Super Smash Bros. Melee, King of Fighters XIV, Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, BlazBlue: Central Fiction, Injustice 2 which releases in May, and Tekken 7 which releases on PC and consoles in June. EVO 2017 takes place from July 14-16 so players have a few months to practice before the tournament begins.
In addition to those eight announced titles, EVO 2017 will also feature a ninth game as chosen by fans. Several games are up for the fan vote, including Windjammers, Nidhogg, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Killer Instinct, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Pokken Tournament, Skullgirls, Mortal Kombat X, and Nintendo Switch launch title ARMS. Fans can vote for their favorite game by donating via Genorosity (money raised will go to charity) with the game that has raised the most being crowned the winner. The winning game will be played on the last day of EVO 2017 and offers a $10,000 prize for the winning competitor.
Last year, some argued that Pokken Tournament needed some changes to be competitive and so it’s not surprising to see it miss the first list. However any diehard fans of the Pokemon themed fighting game can get it back in the lineup, if they donate enough money. Meanwhile, Street Fighter 5‘s poor sales likely means that there is less interest, but Capcom is hopeful that the game’s inclusion in EVO 2017 will help to revive interest and introduce some fresh blood. Perhaps fans might also see the announcement of a new DLC character at the event as well.
And although Nintendo Switch game ARMS currently lags behind in fourth place of the fan vote, fighting game fans will also have their fingers crossed that the game will be featured in the tournament, thus kickstarting a competitive scene for the title. That would also help sales of the game – and of Nintendo’s upcoming console – so many people, not just fighting game players, will be rooting for it to win.