Over the past weekend, Las Vegas, Nevada played host to the biggest fighting game event in the world, EVO 2019. As always, this championship series saw a lot of ups and downs, with just a handful of participants getting to call themselves champions. Someone was crowned for every game that appeared at the EVO 2019 tournament, which included Soul Calibur 6, Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late[st], Dragon Ball FighterZ, Samurai Shodown, Mortal Kombat 11, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, Street Fighter 5, Tekken 7, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
If we could name every match and event as one of the best moments of the show, we certainly would, but the world doesn't work that way, unfortunately. Therefore, here is every best moment from the EVO 2019 tournament, from when it began on Friday with Soul Calibur 6 until it ended on Sunday with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
EVO 2019 Champions
There isn't a feeling out there quite like winning a tournament, especially when considering how massive the pools for each game were. Each of these gamers put their all in, managing to come out on top. So, for those wondering which EVO 2019 participants managed to experience a one-of-a-kind moment and call themselves champion, here is every tournament winner:
Soul Calibur 6: Yuta "Yuttoto" Sudo
Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st]: Clearlamp
Dragon Ball FighterZ: Goichi "GO1" Kishida
Samurai Shodown: Seon-Woo "Infiltration" Lee
Mortal Kombat 11: Dominique "SonicFox" McLean
BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle: Oscar "Shinku" James
Street Fighter 5: Masato "Bonchan" Takahashi
Tekken 7: Arslan "Arslan Ash" Siddique
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Leonardo "MKLeo" Lopez Perez
Soul Calibur 5: Skyll VS. Yuttoto
One winner's final of the Soul Calibur 6 tournament finished on a high note, as the match between Skyll and Yuttoto was incredible. Yuttoto was using Voldo against Skyll's Mitsurugi, clearly on the winning side for a moment until Skyll landed a Critical Edge attack that absolutely decimated Yuttoto's health. Yuttoto used his Soul Charge to even the playing field, putting both contestants on the verge of death. Then, when Skyll went in for the kill, Yuttoto pulled off an amazing block and then turned to finish him off (around the 17:00-minute mark above). It was such a clutch play that even Skyll seemed impressed.
9-Year-Old's Undefeated Streak in Dragon Ball FighterZ
Not every amazing moment had to be the final match, however. One 9-year-old known as 2YoC managed to go the entire first round of the Dragon Ball FighterZ tournament without a single loss, putting him in the top 256 players at the event. He was later knocked out during round 2, but he accepted it with grace, promising to return to EVO next year. Nonetheless, 2YoC's EVO 2019 performance was one for the books.
GO1's Comeback in Dragon Ball FighterZ
What's a little competition between rivals? At EVO 2018, SonicFox managed to defeat GO1 to become the 2018 Dragon Ball FighterZ champion, with the pair returning to the final match to see who would become champion this year. It seemed history was going to repeat itself as first, as SonicFox managed to get some early wins, but GO1 managed to win 3 in a row to become the 2019 champion. This wholesome rivalry ended the Dragon Ball FighterZ tourney with an intensely emotional moment for GO1 and Sonicfox (seen around the 27:00 mark in the above video).
A New Character Every Month for Samurai Shodown
Samurai Shodown may have been one of the newest and least known-about fighting games at EVO 2019, but it's not due to a lack of support on SNK's part. The developer used this event to make an amazing announcement for fans of the game, revealing that a brand new DLC fighter will drop every month for the rest of 2019. There won't be any accusing this game of a content drought, as Rimururu releases Aug 7, Shizumaru Hisame comes out in September, Barasa releases in October, Kazuki in November, and Wan-Fu in December.
SonicFox is Mortal Kombat Champion AGAIN
Sonicfox is considered King of EVO for good reason. He holds multiple EVO titles under his belt, specifically for Injustice: Gods Among Us in 2014, Mortal Kombat X in 2015 and 2016, Dragon Ball FighterZ in 2018, and now, Mortal Kombat 11 in 2019. To have won not one, not two, but three championships for the Mortal Kombat franchise alone has helped solidify Sonicfox's reputation at EVO and as a fighting game pro.
New Guilty Gear Announcement
Any gaming event isn't complete without a few announcements, though it feels like we should mention we are talking about real announcements. EVO's joke that Solid Snake was joining Tekken 7 wasn't really appreciated, but the reveal of a new Guilty Gear certainly got fans talking. Guilty Gear is a cult classic and will feature two returning characters, one brand new one, and an updated fighting system more akin to Dragon Ball FighterZ.
The name of Leroy Jenkins has gone down in gamer and meme history and is synonymous with a reckless act, so to see a massive resurgence in its use thanks to Tekken 7 was a nice after effect of EVO 2019. For those who didn't notice, Tekken 7 may not be adding Solid Snake, but it is getting a new DLC character named Leroy. Little is known about the character, but the instant he was revealed, internet users around the globe started spamming "Leroy Jenkins!" It's moments like this that bring gamers together.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Breaks Records
Giving Super Smash Bros. Ultimate the final card of EVO 2019 was a serious break from tradition for the tournament, but one that certainly paid off. Not only was it the biggest tournament in the history of the franchise, but Super Smash Bros. Ultimate broke the all-time viewership record for EVO. There's little reason to doubt that the franchise won't return in 2020, with a plethora of new DLC characters too.