Big news from the world of esports today as the Evolution Championship Series (EVO) has been acquired by a major company. Sony Interactive Entertainment has jointly acquired the summer event with a new esports venture called RTS (formulated out of Endeavor's esports business-side), as they have taken over the assets and properties. According to the info they released about the deal, EVO co-founders Tony Cannon and Tom Cannon will continue to be closely involved as key advisors to essentially keep the spirit of its roots and make sure it "remains a one-of-a-kind"
"Fighting games have been a vital part of PlayStation's legacy and our community since the very beginning, and we've been thrilled to partner with EVO over the years," said Steven Roberts, VP, Global Competitive Gaming, SIE. "This joint acquisition with RTS marks a new chapter of collaboration with EVO's co-founders, Tom and Tony Cannon, and their passionate community of fighting game fans."
"EVO is a unique and iconic community unlike any other in the fighting game space, and we're proud to be partnering with the SIE team and the legends that are Tom and Tony—as well as Mark Julio as Head of Business Development—to help grow EVO," said Stuart Saw, CEO, RTS. "We've got so many exciting plans in store for this year and beyond."
"Tom and I are incredibly excited by the partnership with SIE and RTS," said Tony Cannon, co-founder of EVO. "Both companies bring a wealth of experience and share our passion for what makes the fighting game community so great. We are looking forward to working with them to launch EVO to the next level while remaining true to our roots."
As for the event itself, the 2021 tournaments are returning with EVO Online this August, which will run as a fully online competition from August 6th-8th and 13th-15th. Entry will be free for all players as they will be able to compete in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. As far as the games that will be featured, you can take part in Tekken 7, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, and Guilty Gear -Strive- in an open format, with more games to be announced soon. The online qualifiers will be livestreamed for everyone.
You may have noticed that one of the biggest games that have always been a part of the series, Smash Bros., is completely gone. This doesn't entirely surprise us considering Sony's involvement, every game that is or could be a part of EVO is playable on a PS4 or PS5. Unless Nintendo and Sony come to a mutual agreement that benefits everyone, there's no way in hell Sony is highlighting a game exclusive to one of their competitors. But hey, who knows? Maybe that will change one day. For now, we're all waiting on details for signups.