Evo is the pinnacle of fighting games and the tournament that players spend all year training for. We’ve seen amazing moments happen throughout the year and the Evo 2019 games line-up is stacked in a way that we’ll likely add to that list once this weekend’s event is over. The event spans three days (August 2 to August 4) at that Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. While there are plenty of unofficial fan events going on since so many fighting game enthusiasts are gathered in one place, there will be nine Evo 2019 games officially contested over the weekend. These include SoulCalibur 6, Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st], Dragon Ball FighterZ, Samurai Shodown, Mortal Kombat 11, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition, Tekken 7, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Even though the most hardcore fans will be able to see all the finals, here are the ones you should tune in for.
Evo 2019 games that you absolutely can’t miss
Despite this year’s event being sponsored by Sony, the headlining event won’t be played on a PlayStation system. Instead, the Nintendo Switch exclusive Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will end the event as its finals take place at 10 PM ET on Sunday night. This is especially notable as this will be the first time that Street Fighter hasn’t closed out the show and shows that Evo is breaking from tradition. Considering how little support Nintendo has shown the competitive community around the game, it’s also a curious decision as Capcom, Bandai Namco, and others all make announcements during the show and offer more support to their players.
Aside from the headline act, there are three main Evo 2019 games that you should not miss the finals of. The first of which is Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition as it is always the marquee fighting game and regularly delivers some of the most dramatic moments and comebacks. Last year offered quite the surprise as British player Problem X managed to shock the field and overcome a number of Japanese greats in the field. His finals match against Tokido saw his M. Bison defeat the reigning champion’s Akuma. This year he’ll look to repeat his success in Las Vegas, but Tokido is out for revenge and is the top-ranked player in the world. Other players to watch include the United States’ best hope, Punk, and Japan’s Fuudo and Fujimura. The finals will take place at 3 PM on Sunday prior to both Tekken 7 (which starts at 6:30 PM ET) and Smash.
Samurai Shodown will also be there and is the newest entry on this list. SNK just released the sword-based fighting game a month ago and it received a healthy turnout with over 1,700 people sign up to take part in the tournament (which is hundreds more than another debut title in Mortal Kombat 11). The reason why it’s so exciting is that this will be the first major tournament for the game since release and it’s impossible to know what to expect. Unlike other games where we have well-known rivalries and metas, we have no clue what will happen here. Will a master of past SamSho titles seize victory here or will another a relative unknown rise to the top spot? It’s that type of uncertainty that is exciting and exactly why you’ll want to tune in when the finals happen at at 7 PM on Saturday.
The eccentric fan favorite SonicFox will look to defend his title as the best player in Dragon Ball FighterZ at Evo 2019. He won the event last year after defeating Goichi Kishida in an exciting finals. In the 365 days since then, Kishida has reclaimed the top spot in the rankings and SonicFox has fallen to third behind Japan’s Kazunoko. This is easily one of the most thrilling events to watch even if you don’t know the technical nuance of the matches as the phenomenal graphics and fast-paced action create an explosive spectacle. It will take place on a stacked Saturday of fighting at 4 PM ET.
The Evo 2019 games will deliver three days of constant action
Of course, since Evo 2019 will be split across three days so you might just want to check out what finals you can if you don’t have the time. It is the weekend after all, and you might be out clubbing or hanging out with friends rather than watching Mortal Kombat 11 at 11 PM ET on Saturday night. As such, SoulCalibur 6 is in a pretty great spot as it is the only game that has its finals on Friday night (starting at 11 PM ET) and if you are staying in that night then it will offer up a lot of fun. Last year, the event was relegated as a side event and not an official one, so this is a big opportunity for the competitive scene to shine.
As mentioned above, Saturday is the most stacked day of events as there are four separate finals taking place alongside the semi-finals for all of the rest of the events. It all kicks off early as UNIST will have its finals at 1 PM ET. Fans of anime-styled fighting games will also want to check out BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle‘s finals at noon ET on Sunday.
No matter what your schedule will allow for, you’re going to see some great action thanks to the great selection of Evo 2019 games. The organizers did a great job choosing a wide array of fighting games and allowing for some new titles to shine while also keeping mainstays in notable positions. It’ll be a great weekend of competition and announcements to keep an eye out for.