Evo ‘beat ’em up’ tournament coming to Japan in early 2018

Jon Martindale
Evo ‘beat ’em up’ tournament coming to Japan in early 2018
January 2018 is the date, mark it in your calendars. That's when the Evo Championship Series will finally set down on Japanese shores for the first time, despite the strong Japanese presence in the regular tournaments.

The organizers of the Evolution Championship Series (Evo) esports competition have announced that the highly anticipated first event in Japan will now be held in January 2018. Although initially thought to be debuting in 2017, the organizers now want to provide enough distance between it and the main show, which typically takes place in July.

For fans of beat ’em up games — the main draw of the Evo events — it’s somewhat surprising that it has taken this long for the show to go to Japan, as that country typically where a lot of its major competitors come from. So when it was announced that there would be an Evo tournament taking place in the island nation, it was thought that it would come about quite quickly, but that turns out not to be the case.

When the announcement for the Japanese tournament was made at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, though (thanks Polygon), the organizers explained that along with giving some breathing room to the main championship, it also wanted to give international fans a chance to save up, as travel to Japan is not inexpensive.

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In terms of the tournament itself, organizers have said they plan to work closely with the fighting game community in Japan, making sure they are happy with the choice of fighting games on offer, as well as hashing out what kind of tournament structure people want to see. Usually Evo events utilize the double elimination format.

Beyond the fans though, existing fighting game groups will also be brought on board to help organize the tournament. Big standouts like Topanga and Gosgarden have been named as partners for the event, but smaller communities like Tokyo Offline Party, Button Mashers and Virtua Fighter Relationship are also going to be quizzed on what they want to see at the event.

Would you travel to Japan to watch the first Evo tournament to ever be held there?