Evolution Championship Series: Evo 2013 And You!


The Evolution Championship Series (Evo) is here this Friday to Sunday, kicking off just 24 hours from now. It’s the world’s largest and longest-running fighting game tournament, and with 3,538 competitors as this year’s event it will sport the most participants at one event in eSports history. So lets get you geared up for this year’s event with some key information about this prestigious gaming event.

What Is Evo, Really?

Evo is an annual fighting tournament based in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year, they will host over 6,000 entries from 51 different countries fighting in 9 separate games, which are the following:

  • Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (considered main event)
  • Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • Street Fighter x Tekken
  • Mortal Kombat 9
  • Persona 4: Arena
  • The King of Fighters XIII
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee (Was banned by Nintendo America, but now reversed)
  • Plus side tournaments for Skullgirls, Divekick and more!

With additional rules for each game made to tailor a more professional and fair gameplay, what makes the tournament so special is that it is open-entry. That means someone like you watching this year can watch the tournament play, pick up a copy of any of the games above, practice for a year straight and be an entrant yourself next year. It only costs $10 this year per game to enter into one of the qualifying brackets, with the possibility of winning a percentage of the registrant pot. The official split goes 60/18/8/4/3/3/2/2, with 1st place getting 60% of the winnings total. Sponsors can add more to the pot in whatever game tournament they see fit.

How Can I Watch Evo?

Fortunately, you don’t have to fly all the way down to Nevada to watch Evo for yourself. Because they will be running so many gaming tournaments at the same time, they will be running  three simultaneous streams available on Twitch.tv. Stream 1, Stream 2 and Stream 3 are right here for free, with a $12 premium ticket to allow HD and chat access going directly to an scholarship fund that allows those in financial need to attend events. The schedule (all times in PDT):

How Do Evo Tournaments Work?

Because it is an open tournament with hundreds and thousands of competitors per game, they break up the competition into qualification pools of 8 or more, running on a double elimination style. Two losses in the entire tournament means you’re out. Each qualifying pool will run until there are two players left, which move on to the Semifinal Bracket. Because of how the tournament works, half the remaining players with one loss out of two will play against the no loss half of the bracket, with odds favoring those with perfect records. The Semifinal Bracket will run until there are 8 remaining, which move on to the Finals and a share of the winnings pot. Losses carry over, and the tournament runs until only one player remains. An official list of rules is included here.

Evo Glossary

A full list can be found here, but the main ones you need to know for entry-level viewing:

Hype: Unadulterated excitement. The go-to word for anything good going on at the tournament.

Salt: Absolute bitterness. Someone that lost a close match and deals with it with complete anger and vitriol is full of salt, or “salty.”

OTG: Short for “Off The Ground.” Usually players are impervious to attacks on their backs, but also can perform recovery moves from the ground as well.

Dropped Combo: When a player fails to execute a full combination of attacks due to mistake, similar to an unforced error in tennis.

I’ll leave you with this hilarious video detailing the grueling preparation of underdog Woolie as he faces a top Street Fighter player Diago Umehara at last year’s Evo. Enjoy!