Today, Sony announced it acquired the Evolution Championship Series, better known as EVO. The purchase was made in alliance with RTS, a new esports venture from Endeavor. Nintendo has also issued a statement addressing the acquisition of EVO but not revealing much about whether or not Smash Bros. will be a part of future EVO championships. Furthermore, Nintendo seems to be planning its own championship for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but is apparently good-spirited about the acquisition.
As of today, Sony and RTS own the world's largest fighting competition. In addition to announcing the acquisition of EVO, it was confirmed that the event will be held again this year after last year's hiatus. Tom and Tony Cannon, EVO co-founders, will continue to work together with Sony and RTS as advisors. EVO was last held in 2019, with competitions for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition, Tekken 7, Mortal Kombat 11, Soulcalibur 6, Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st], Dragon Ball FighterZ, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, and Samurai Shodown.
According to IGN, Nintendo issued a statement wishing Sony and RTS good luck with their new venture. Furthermore, Nintendo seems to be planning its own championship for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, both online and offline. This suggests that Nintendo's most iconic fighting game will be getting its own independent Smash Bros. tournaments in the future.
So far, it has been confirmed that EVO will feature Tekken 7, Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, and Guilty Gear Strive. Although EVO's business developer Mark Julio claims that the event is open for other platforms, there is a chance Super Smash Bros. Ultimate could not be returning soon to EVO tournaments. Last year, before EVO was canceled due to COVID-19 and the accusations arose against former EVO's CEO, Super Smash Bros. was withdrawn from the event's line-up to the fans' surprise, which was speculated to be a consequence of the game's online issues.
Although there are no signs of Smash Bros. in this year's EVO, this does not mean that the iconic Nintendo game will not be included in the event ever again. According to a spokesperson, Nintendo is still considering Smash Bros.'s participation in the legendary fighting championship. Either way, Smash Bros. will continue to have tournaments outside of EVO.
Last year, the Smash World Tour was organized without the official support of Nintendo but still managed to get a $250k prize. Nintendo has also organized Smash Bros. events such as the "Collision" online tournament held last month which focused on characters with close-to-body attacks, the Pokemon-themed tournament, and the transformation-themed tournament. Because of the huge fanbase of Smash Bros., it would not be a surprise if Nintendo decided to organize a similar event to EVO dedicated to its iconic fighting game.
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