Guilty Gear Strive leads Evo 2022 in entrants on early bird leaderboard

Several seemingly "smaller" communities are coming out in force to represent their games.

Screengrab via Arc System Works

The Evolution Championship Series (Evo) is making its return to Las Vegas in August after two years away from offline competition, and the first round of sign-ups for the event has just concluded. 

Just like with most fighting game competitions, Evo offered players looking to compete in any of the nine titles featured in the event’s main lineup. And, now that the early registration period has ended, a new number one title has emerged as the Evo team released the leaderboards, though no specific numbers were shared. 

Guilty Gear Strive is the title with the most registrations for Evo 2022. This isn’t entirely surprising given Strive has maintained a strong presence in the fighting game community (FGC) since launching last June. This will be the game’s first appearance at a physical Evo competition. 

Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is holding down second place, showing that the game’s definitive update has its community ready to send it off from what will likely be its final Evo in style. Once you get past SFV, though, that is where the real surprises start hitting. 

King of Fighters XV leaped over Tekken 7 for the third spot, showing newer games with a strong online presence are poised to have a lot of support at offline events, especially as another legacy franchise with a new game appearing for the first time at Evo. 

Granblue Fantasy Versus and Melty Blood: Type Lumina are the real surprises, though. Granblue took fifth place in the early rankings over Dragon Ball FighterZ despite having a rough time building an offline scene over the last two years. Melty Blood surpassed Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate on the leaderboards as well. 

In previous years, this data would only really be important to people looking to compete in their respective games. This year, however, the Evo team changed how the event’s schedule will function and made it more impactful to each game’s community as a whole. 

Instead of deciding the schedule for games internally this year, Evo 2022 will place the games based on their entry numbers. Meaning as it stands, GGST, SFV, KoFXV, and Tekken 7 would be featured in the arena on Championship Sunday, while the remaining games would be run entirely on the first two days of the event. 

Evo 2022 is scheduled to run from Aug. 5 to 7 in Las Vegas. Registration will remain open for several months yet, so there is still plenty of time for those rankings to change and mix the schedule up further.