Evo 2020 might have been replaced with a completely online event this year, but that isn’t stopping the fighting game community from getting together to watch matches in a digital space.
One group of FGC fans have re-created the iconic Evo arena in VRChat, enabling players to sit in a virtual version of the stands and play highlights or streams live to anyone on the server.
Designed after the Evo 2019 layout from the Mandalay Bay Hotel Resort and Casino, players can freely move around the arena and claim a seat while watching matches on the jumbotron or the mainstage screen. The server itself might not be able to fit as many people as the actual arena can, but it is a nice alternative to just watching the stream alone.
Additionally, there is even a smaller monitor toward the back of the arena that mimics the commentator setup normally used to let the commentators broadcast their voice to viewers watching the event from home instead of the arena speakers. If someone was to sit in those chairs, it appears that people across the digital stadium can hear them talk if they have a mic enabled, which opens up even more possibilities for the future.
Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar has already informed the arena developers that he and the Evo team will be promoting their project on some of the Evo event weekends. This should get the awareness out there for any FGC fan who has VRChat that there is a world where they can all view the streams together even during quarantine.
This might lead to a new way for digital events to host watch parties and live commentary of matches through the VRChat server could also be made possible if there is a way to cut out delay between what the commentators are streaming and what is being shown on the virtual screens.