[Disclaimer: Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 so that you can get caught up to speed.]
EVO 2013 was announced on December 3, 2012, and was held at Paris Las Vegas on July 12-14, 2013. The stream was provided by TeamSp00ky and iPlayWinner. Mr. Wizard announced eight games that would be part of the lineup: Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition ver. 2012 (mainstay), Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (mainstay), Mortal Kombat (2011) (returning), Street Fighter x Tekken ver. 2013 (replacing Street Fighter x Tekken), Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (new), The King of Fighters XIII (returning), Persona 4 Arena (new), and an eight mystery game, which turned out to be Super Smash Bros. Melee (returning since EVO 2007). On May 7, 2013, Injustice: Gods Among Us joined the lineup, expanding to nine games in total. The console standard for all fighting games were Playstation 3, with the exception of Super Smash Bros Melee which used the Gamecube.
In order to select the eighth mystery game, fans had to make a vote via online donations to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The most donations will gain the final spot at EVO. Super Smash Bros. Melee won the poll with $94,683 donated, raising a total of $225,744 from all donations.
Days before the event, Nintendo of America filed a cease and desist to cancel the livestream of Melee matches. Due to the backlash of the fans, Nintendo reversed the decision and allowed the game to be streamed at EVO.
American Idol winner Taylor Hicks competed at EVO 2013 for Super Smash Bros. Melee.
During Top 8 for AE 2012 in Losers Bracket, Infiltration shocked the crowd by using Hakan as a counterpick to beat PR Balrog’s Balrog (Boxer/M. Bison).
A preview of Killer Instinct (2013) was presented at EVO 2013, which was met with boos from the audience. This is because most gamers still couldn’t get over Microsoft’s terrible presentation with the Xbox One reveal and E3 conference at the time.
EVO Scholarship returns, this time partnered with NYU Game Center. Also, EVO 2013 pulled record number of 1.7 million viewers, only 50% more than the previous year.
Fighting Game OG/Level Up’s Alex Valle and Team Spooky’s Victor “Sp00ky” Fontanez received the Cannon Award at EVO 2013.
At The Fall Classic on September 15, 2013, EVO 2014 was announced, and the event was held at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino on July 11-13, 2014. Mr. Wizard announced the game’s lineup on February 6: Ultra Street Fighter IV (replacing AE 2012), Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (mainstay), Injustice: Gods Among Us (returning), The King of Fighters XIII (returning), Killer Instinct (2013) (new), and Blazblue Chrono Phantasma (new). Super Smash Bros. Melee made its return to the lineup via Nintendo’s approval. At the last minute, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 returned to the lineup, with Bandai Namco sponsoring the event. Mortal Kombat (2011), Persona 4 Arena, and Street Fighter x Tekken ver. 2013 were absent from the lineup. The console standard for tournaments were Xbox 360, Playstation 3 (for Blazblue Chrono Phantasma), Xbox One (for Killer Instinct), and Gamecube (for Super Smash Bros. Melee). Once again, TeamSp00ky and iPlayWinner provided the stream as SRKEvo1 and SRKEvo2, while CapcomFighters provided the stream for Ultra Street Fighter IV pools on Friday.
Super Street Fighter II Turbo returned once again as part of Tournament of Legends II and X-Mania USA to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the game. At Tournament of Legends II, Mao retained his title by winning 1st place in Super Turbo by using Vega (Claw/Balrog). For X-Mania USA, Team M3, which consists of Mattsun (Ken), Mao (Vega), and TMF, won 1st place in the 3v3 tournament.
Luffy became the first European player to win 1st place in Ultra Street Fighter IV. He not only did it with Rose, but he also used a PS1 controller as well. He’s also the first player overall to win coming from the loser’s bracket. His win qualified him for the Capcom Cup 2014.
There was an exhibition for Ultra Street Fighter IV, which features TeamSp00ky’s Next Level Battle Circuit (consisting of PIE|Smug, PIE|Zeus, TheSteamCo|Sanford Kelly, TS|Sabin, and EMP|Dieminion) vs. Level Up’s Wednesday Night Fights (consisting of NGL|MarQ Teddy, Pho Mai|Keno, Veloc1raptor, FRQ.ISTN|filipin0man, and RG|Snake Eyez). WNF defeated NLBC 5-1.
Nintendo of America’s president, Reggie Fils-Amie, made a personal message to the fans and players at EVO 2014 before Melee Top 8. Like he said at the end: There are No Johns.
Also, Tekken 7 was publicly announced by Katsuhiro Harada, who was at attendance at EVO 2014. It was accidentally leaked at the end of Day 2, and Harada jokingly blamed it on Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono (who was also present at the event).
This was the first time Justin Wong took 1st place in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 at EVO. He has won UMvC3 tournaments before, just not at EVO.
Galileo took an emotion win at Grand Finals for Blazblue Chrono Phantasma.
Melee Commentator Prog and Big E Gaming’s Eric “Big E” Smalls received the Cannon Award at EVO 2014. After Prog received his award, he announces his retirement from commentary.
And finally… we come to EVO 2015, which will take place at Bally’s/Paris Las Vegas once again on July 17-19, 2015. The games that were announced by Mr. Wizard on January 20 are Ultra Street Fighter IV (mainstay), Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (mainstay), Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (new), Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- (new), Killer Instinct Season 2 (replacing Killer Instinct 2013), Mortal Kombat X (new), Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax (new), and Tekken 7 (new). The King of Fighters XIII, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 are gone from the lineup. With the eighth generation consoles currently in effect, the console standard for tournaments are Xbox 360 (for USF4 and UMvC3), Playstation 3 (for P4AU and GGXrd), Xbox One (for Killer Instinct Season 2), Playstation 4 (for Mortal Kombat X), Gamecube (for Melee), Wii U (for Smash 4), and Arcade (for Tekken 7).
Dead or Alive 5 Last Round made it to EVO, but as a side tournament and part of Team Ninja’s Battle Royal 2015 tournament series. Eric “Big E” Smalls and Team Ninja’s creative director Tom Lee will be hosting the event. The console standard for this tournament is Playstation 4.
Ultra Street Fighter IV is a qualifier for the Capcom Cup, while Killer Instinct is a qualifier for the Killer Instinct World Cup. Capcom/Sony and Iron Galaxy/Microsoft donated $50,000 into the prize pool for Ultra Street Fighter IV and Killer Instinct Season 2. Warner Bros/Netherrealm Studios donated $50,000 into the prize pool for Mortal Kombat X thanks to the Blue Steel Sub Zero skin. Atlus donated $10,000 into the prize pool for Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax, while Arc System Works/Aksys Games donated the same amount for Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-. Most recently, Bandai Namco donated $30,000 into the prize pool for Tekken 7, complete with awesome shirts for competitors. While UMvC3 doesn't have a pot bonus from the developers, Justin Wong created a community-funded pot bonus.
The winners? Cannon Awards? Well… that’s for you to find out.
EVO 2015 begins… now!
I just want to take the time to give a couple shout outs. First things first, I like to thank Eventhubs and Free Step Dodge for featuring this on their website. You guys are awesome. I would also like to thank the readers for giving their feedback on my blog entries. There were some things I’ve left out, but I have my reasons why they weren’t included for the sake of time.
And last but not least, I gotta give a shout out to the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) Fighting Game Community, DOA Community, Team Ninja, and Big E Gaming for supporting the fighting game scene!
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a EVO Viewing Party to attend to...