Sony’s acquisition of Evo has left many questions regarding non-PlayStation games at the world’s largest fighting game tournament, like KI and Smash.
Following Sony’s purchase of the Evolution Championship Series, better known as Evo, fighting game fans are left wondering about the role of non-PlayStation games at the tournament. Founded in 1996 under the name “Battle by the Bay,” the tournament has always been home to fighting games across every platform. PlayStation buying Evo represents a new chapter for the event, but it does introduce some uncertainty into its future.
The PlayStation Evo acquisition (made in a joint venture with esports group RTS) turns the page following a tumultuous 2020. Last year saw Evo cancelled due to sexual misconduct accusations leveled at former Evo CEO Joey “Mr. Wiz” Cuellar. Fellow co-founders Tom and Tony Cannon took over operations of the event, though the Sony purchase sees the brothers moved to an advisory role.
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Evo 2020 originally had a lineup of nine games. With Evo shifting to an online-only event during the COVID-19 pandemic, that lineup changed to four titles that would perform best over the internet. As Sony moves forward with an online-only Evo 2021, fans have wondered whether the company’s gaming hardware pursuits could come between the tournament and certain fighting games. Evo Director of Global Business Development Mark “MarkMan23” Julio, however, has shed some light on Evo’s gaming platform usage under Sony.
Will Non-PlayStation Games Be At The Sony-Owned Evo 2021?
On Twitter, Julio said Evo “is open to all platforms still,” confirming Evo is “running TEKKEN 7 on PC and allowing PC (crossplay) for other titles.” This revelation effectively puts aside any worries about the world’s largest fighting game event eschewing other platforms in favor of Sony’s own PlayStation consoles. With the door open on Sony’s end, it’s now up to other companies to take the invite.
Following the Sony purchase, Nintendo officially addressed the future of Smash Bros. at Evo, saying, “We will continue to assess Evo, and other opportunities, as we plan for future online and offline Super Smash Bros. tournament activity.” Although it doesn’t seem the company is opposed to allowing Smash at Evo, Nintendo’s statement indicates a more cautious approach, perhaps in-line with its controversial limiting of Smash Bros. activities elsewhere.
PlayStation’s Evo news came months after Microsoft’s purchase of esports company Smash.gg. In that time, there’s been no change in the functionality of the tournament organizing service, and it’s very likely Evo will see a similar lack of change in accessibility to non-PlayStation platforms.
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