One of the biggest ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the gaming world is the halting of all in-person tournaments and competitions for the immediate future. Notably affected is EVO, the annual fighting game tournament that draws thousands to Las Vegas to compete in Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and the other hottest games in the genre that particular year.
EVO is an incredible gathering of a tight-knit community that grew around intense competition. You get the chance to play against the best in the world; for fighting game fans, it’s like having the opportunity to shoot hoops with Steph Curry.
Founded in 1996, the first event took place in Sunnyvale, California. Then known as Battle By The Bay, it assembled 40 of the best Street Fighter II players in double elimination brackets. The name was changed to EVO in 2002 and moved to Las Vegas in 2005. Each year, the competition has grown more fierce, drawing players from Japan, China, Brazil, and dozens of other countries.