EVO 2019 Games Line up & Preview (August 2nd-4th)

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Hello and welcome to my 2019 EVO write up. EVO 2019 will once again be taking place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center from August 2nd to 4th.

Who has joined and who has left

Nine games will be featuring in an official capacity this year (with no charity fan-vote spot), five of which will be making their debut this year on the EVO main stage -

  1. Mortal Kombat 11
  2. Samurai Shodown
  3. Soulcalibur VI
  4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  5. Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st]

New games added to an EVO line up tend to fall under one specific trend, a new significant release of a franchise with a known EVO record (MK11, Sc VI and Smash Ultimate), an unreleased game as of the announcement with an unproven record but looks real cool (SamSho) or a game that released outside of the past year with an undeniable community rising. This has lead to Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st], the lastest update to the 2012 game Under Night In-Birth, being added to the line up this year.

Official EVO 2019 (August 2nd-4th) line up

1. BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle

Entrants: 640, -541 (-46%) vs. 2018 - Developer: Arc System Works Co., Ltd. - Released in 2018 - 2nd appearance at EVO - Debut year: 2018

2. Dragon Ball FighterZ

Entrants: 1191, -1384 (-54%) vs. 2018 - Developer: Arc System Works Co., Ltd. - Released in 2018 - 2nd appearance at EVO - Debut year: 2018

3. Mortal Kombat 11

Entrants: 1567 - Debut year (MKX last had 712 in 2016) - Developer: NetherRealm Studios - Released in 2019 - 1st appearance at EVO - Debut year: 2019

4. Samurai Shodown

Entrants: 1719 - Franchise Debut - Developer: SNK Corporation - Released in 2019 - 1st appearance at EVO - Debut year: 2019

5. Soulcalibur VI

Entrants: 742, - Debut year (Soulcalibur V last had 417 in 2012) - Developer: Bandai Namco Entertainment - Released in 2018 - 1st appearance at EVO - Debut year: 2019

6. Street Fighter V

Entrants: 1929, -565 (-23%) vs. 2018 - Developer: Capcom and Dimps - Released in 2016 - 4th appearance at EVO - Debut year: 2016

7. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Entrants: 3492 - Debut year (Melee 1353 & WiiU 1355 in 2018) - Developer: Nintendo, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Sora Ltd. - Released in 2018 - 1st appearance at EVO - Debut year: 2019

8. Tekken 7: Fated Retribution

Entrants: 1885, +342 (+22%) vs. 2018 - Developer: Bandai Namco Entertainment - Released in 2015 on Arcade, 2017 on console - 5th appearance at EVO - Debut year: 2015

9. Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st]

Entrants: 1156 - Franchise debut - Developer: Ecole Software and French Bread - Released in 2018 (Vanilla Under Night In-Birth - 2012) - 1st appearance at EVO - Debut year: 2019


  • In every year Tekken 7 has been at EVO following its first, its entrants number has increased, from the 2 years its arcade version was being played in 2015 and 2016, to the console release in 2017 onwards: 465 > 550 > 1286 > 1543 > 1885
  • In every year Street Fighter V has been at EVO following its first, its entrants number has decreased, from its record breaking debut of 5102 players to 2625 > 2494 > 1929
  • MK11's debut number of 1567 is the highest for any MK game at EVO
  • BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle's 640 entrants is the highest amount of entrants for the game with the lowest amount of entrants in any given year

See also How everyone reacted to the EVO 2018 line up video for references sake.

This year we say goodbye to Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2, Injustice 2, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Super Smash Bros. For WiiU/Nintendo3DS. which at last year's event had 629, 363, 1353 and 1355 entrants respectively. Losing one of the two of the Smash titles has had a much larger reaction than the other, given that Smash Ultimate is a like for like swap with the Wii U Smash. Respect to the Melee community for what they've accomplished over the past 7 years and best of luck in all the tournaments they'll no doubt have outside of EVO going forward.

A new game is the main event of EVO

In the video game industry at large Capcom seems to have redeemed themselves with releases like Monster Hunter World, Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil 2 Remake and Devil May Cry 5, but in the fighting game genre, the poor launches of fighting games Street Fighter X Tekken, Street Fighter V and Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite still give a negative perception of Capcom.

Last year talk began of Street Fighter V losing its top billing at EVO, which has historically always been a Capcom focused event, when Dragon Ball FighterZ was king, Tekken 7 was rising as one of the most fun to watch games and Smash continuing to grow between two games. However SFV held onto its usual event closing spot. That has changed this year when tournament organiser Joey Cuellar AKA Mr Wizard, took to Twitter to announce the finals order of EVO 2019.

Most noteable is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate taking the top spot this year, preceeded by Tekken 7, meaning SFV has been leap-frogged by two games on Sunday. Dragon Ball FighterZ, with its EVO stream viewership record last year seems to have dropped off harshly this past year with its placement not only on Saturday but 2nd. The past year has not been kind to DBFZ with an unknown party causing legal disputes stopping tournament events holding DBFZ tournaments. More likely however, given that CEO had also dropped it to Saturday this year is that matches take too damn long.

PlayStation has offically partnered with EVO, announcement incoming

If you've seen my EVO posts before you'll know that I like to include which consoles are being used for each game, I've always been particularly fond of typing Nintendo Gamecube and CRT televisions each year Melee was present, but this year I've omitted that part from the line up list.

The reason being is that with the exception of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Nintendo Switch, all the other 8 of 9 games this year are on PlayStation 4. Coupled with Street Fighter V's console exclusivity to the PS4, EVO all of a sudden seems to have become a PlayStation themed event, which is ironic following the last console generation when fighting games and indeed tournaments were always associated with the 360 because of the PS3's poor track record with fighting games.

Belated Happy Birthday shout-out to Ryu
Belated Happy Birthday shout-out to Ryu

It seems this trend towards the PS4 has gone a stage further, as PlayStation is an official partner for EVO 2019 and an announcement regarding it is forthcoming, no doubt to be held after the Street Fighter V finals on Sunday along with all the other games' character unveils and trailers and such.

I like to think that since SFV didn't have a season pass this year that we're in for the unveiling of Street Fighter 6. Personally I would call it Street Fighter 6: 2020 Fighting and have Ryu and Ken be middle aged martial arts masters.

This is the best 30 minutes of fighting games I've seen all year

Thanks for reading!

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