The Evolution Championship Series, or EVO, might have its biggest year ever this year. The seventh of nine titles on the main roster just passed 1,000 entrants for the biggest fighting game tournament in the world.
DragonBall FighterZ is the latest title to break the 1,000-entrant mark for EVO 2019 with a little less than a week left for players to register.
EVO founder Joey “MrWizard” Cuellar listed the games in order of number of entrants on Twitter today, which showed Super Smash Bros. Ultimateat the top and Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle at the bottom.
1) Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
2) Tekken 7
3) Street Fighter V
4) Samurai Shodown
5) Mortal Kombat 11
6) Under Night In Birth
7) Dragonball FighterZ
8) Soul Calibur 6
9) Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle
This list is extremely interesting, because it showes that Smash Ultimate is ready to headline the show if the EVO event organizers do decide to move away from Street Fighter as the final game on Finals Sunday for the first time in over a decade. It also shows that the Tekken 7 community continues to grow, considering it jumped above SFV to take the second spot.
SFV is still going strong and will likely pull the most viewership of any game now that DBFZ moved to Saturday and Smash Melee is not represented. Smash Ultimate could end up with bigger numbers because of the newness and hype surrounding it, but SFV will still be one of the main events.
Samurai Showdown has had a recent boost in hype after it finally released and a few tournaments have actually taken place. The fanbase around that game seems to love how it plays and it should be a nice new addition to the roster.
MK 11 being under SamSho is a little surprising, but both are new titles in their franchises that will bring the excitement for fans tuning in. The only note here is that since both are taking place on Saturday, MK 11 will probably receive the more favorable timeslot despite having fewer players.
Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st], yes that is the full title, has had an amazing side tournament at EVO in years past and has one of the most passionate communities of any fighting game. This could be the standout new representative behind Smash Ultimate if the top players bring their A-game.
DBFZ has seen a significant dropoff in player numbers since last season, mostly due to balancing issues and most players using the same core of characters, which caused the scene to stagnate. Down from around 2,700 entrants last year, we will see if it can still recapture the hype it had last year during its debut.
Soul Calibur 6 comes in at eighth, but that isn’t really a shock. The tournament will still be amazing because of the insane movement options and weapon play, but it has never really set the FGC world on fire.
Lastly, there is Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle, the most surprising game that will be shown on Finals Sunday. BCTB was an odd addition to the final day, taking spots that many people thought should go to either DBFZ or MK 11.
It makes sense, though, because one game needs to take the morning slot for Sunday, which will draw less viewership than Saturday night games. This in effect evens out for other fans who want to see their game in the stadium.
EVO 2019 will run from Aug. 2 to 4 in Las Vegas, with the full schedule for games and streams still to be announced.