On July 14th-16th, the biggest fighting game tournament known as Evolution Championship Series or EVO for short, ascended to the Mandalay Bay Convention for the first two days then the Events Center for the Sunday grand finals. Thousands of people attended to compete, spectate, and more at this event. I won’t go too much about results because several weeks have passed since it happened, but I will go more into personal experiences.
I personally came to compete at all nine official EVO games which included Street Fighter V, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Tekken 7: Fated Retribution, King of Fighters XIV, BlazBlue: Central Fiction, Guilty Gear XRD REV 2, Injustice 2, and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Each pool would occur every two hours which helped avoid the overlap. In some games I did better than others, but I was very happy with my performance as I was able to play all my pool matches and almost made it out in some.
Because I had official EVO games to compete in, I was unable to check out the AnimEVO area and the “bring your own console” area for side tournaments. I also was unable to play the playable demo for Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite and Dragonball Fighter Z. Those areas had very deep lines.
I also came to this event in cosplay as Sagat from the Street Fighter series. A lot of people wanted to take photos of me and with me which made me happy that people loved the cosplay. I even got interviewed by ESPN E-Sports and Vice which was cool. To date, this is definitely my favorite event to cosplay at since people legitimately loved the cosplay because of the character, not just the person behind it.
Although games that were not in the Event Center on Sunday, many of the Friday and Saturday top 8 competition were fierce. Guilty Gear XRD REV 2 because a sea or red thundersticks. King of Fighters XIV was an international warfare. Injustice 2 crowned a surprise new champion for NRS games. Melee fans made organizers realize why they should have gotten a Sunday slot inside the arena.
Personally, I loved the venue because the Mandalay Bay is one of my favorite hotels period. It’s attached to other hotels. The venue was super cold despite the constant triple digits in terms of heat outside. I had the time of my life as a competitor, spectator, cosplayer, and most importantly, a fan. I made new friends and hung out with many more. EVO is a must for anyone not just into the fighting game community, but just a gamer period.
Written by: Timtastic