Evo is a tournament so large and so grand that mentioning its name is the same as mentioning all the glorious gaming moments combined. Unfortunately, the tournament was canceled a year ago due to multiple sexual misconduct allegations against Evo co-founder and organizer Joey “MrWizard” Cuellar in 2020. Entering into 2021, however, a new hope has arrived because Evo has just recently been acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment.
For those who are unaware of what Evo is, allow me to summarize the event that led to this moment. Evo, originally known as Battle of the Bay and later renamed in 2002 as Evo, was founded by Cuellar, Tom “Inkblot” Cannon, Tony “Ponder” Cannon, and Seth “S-Kill” Killian in 1996. What was once a small tournament between the west coast and east coast soon evolved into an annual global competition where the best players from each region compete against one another to earn the title of the best. However, due to the pandemic, the annual competition of 2020 was canceled and was set to be moved to an online setting with its newest lineup of games. Unfortunately, due to multiple allegations against one of Evo’s co-founders, they were forced to cancel Evo altogether, leaving the entire community stunned as they were forced to ask what happens next. The series that had achieved so much glory and fame was gone. To make it worse, the one event that united the entire gaming community together was no longer there.
Thankfully, Sony Entertainment ended up acquiring the Evo series. This move gives hope to the community that the long-running series has not met its end yet. Gamers have hope that Evo will still be here to make legends and unite the fighting game community once more. It was a win-win situation; the community received its home and its long-time friend back while Evo makes a profit for Sony as an incentive to keep the show running. Sure, there may be some changes, but it is definitely better than nothing.
Professional fighting game player Nguyễn Châu commented, “I think this is a good thing, and Evo has stated the same thing. It won’t just be Sony games that will be exclusively played in Evo, so we don’t have to worry over which games will make it. The second reason is most of Evo tends to use more volunteers, and with Sony purchasing Evo, this problem will be eradicated and will be performed by professionals, allowing for more stability.”
This was certainly a welcome surprise for gamers all across the world. The home that built a legend and legacy has come back, and gamers should open their arms wide, not fearing what will change or how it will change. For now, this news has given hope for the future and for a brighter, better tournament for the fighting game community. As the final word for Evo, let me be the first one to say, “Welcome Back.”
Media by Minh La.