Cancelations and postponements have been coming at a rapid pace due to the current health crisis revolving around the coronavirus. But head of Evo Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar said yesterday that there are no plans to alter the current Evo 2020 schedule.
Similar to the statement from Bandai Namco in regard to postponing the Tokyo Tekken Masters Tournament noted yesterday, however, this is going to be an issue everyone in the esports scene is watching closely.
Evo isn’t even set to begin until July 31, meaning there are still four full months before the event is here. Most of the cancelations from Capcom, Bandai Namco, and other companies have been focused on tournaments and events in March and April.
If the current rate of event cancelations continues, there are likely going to be major shifts in the structure of professional tournament circuits, such as the Tekken World Tour and Capcom Cup, in the summer months. If this happens, Mr. Wizard and his team might have to take a second look and reevaluate their stance.
Evo is typically considered the biggest event in the Fighting Game Community and hosts the largest turnouts for basically every game that’s featured on its roster each year. With all of the health concerns involved with travel and how common it is to get sick from conventions of its size, though, there could be a sizable drop in attendance even if nothing changes between now and July 31.
Most of the FGC, and to some extent esports as a whole, is playing a waiting game to see how out of hand the coronavirus situation gets in the U.S. before moving forward with further cancelations and postponements. The Evo team will need to make the right decisions when it comes to the health of players, staff, and attendees if this situation doesn’t clear up.