Evo 2023 will buck tradition by only bringing the top six players of each game to the main stage, but why is that change being made? The answer is pretty simple.
Evo is the biggest fighting game tournament of the year and it has come a long way since the days when the finals were shown on a projector. In recent years, the top eight to the biggest games at each event have played out in a stadium in front of a raucous crowd. That’s set to change this year though, as Evo 2023 will only see the top six from the biggest games make the stage.
While it’s certainly disappointing as it means fewer players will step under the spotlight, there’s a reason for the change. Here’s why Evo made this decision.
Why is Evo 2023 only showing the top six during the main stage finals?
Evo 2023 will show the top six of each game instead of the top eight in order to shorten the broadcast length. This is likely welcome news for many of the fighting game fans that tuned in last year.
In 2022, the final day of Evo ran deep into the night with Claire “UMISHO” Harrison taking first place in the Guilty Gear Strive finals at 3:38 a.m. ET on a Monday morning. While there was a load of excitement surrounding the finals, it’s not ideal to have a competitive gaming broadcast run so late that it faces competition from people having to get ready for work.
Evo 2023 going from top eight to top six will remove eight best-of-five matches from the broadcast. While it’s unfortunate that some elite talent will be denied the opportunity to make the walk, it also means more people will actually get to watch the finals. Estimates are that the event will wrap up by 1:30 a.m. ET which is still quite late, but much more manageable.
Which games will be on the final day of Evo 2023?
The final day of Evo 2023 will feature Street Fighter 6, Guilty Gear Strive, Tekken 7, and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
Once again, four games will be shown on the big screen at the Mandalay Bay arena with the order being determined by the number of registered competitors for each tournament. Street Fighter 6 enjoyed one of the biggest launches in series history, which propelled the game into a record-setting number of participants for Evo 2023. It will return to the “main event” slot on the final day after Guilty Gear Strive closed the show in 2022.
Guilty Gear Strive and Tekken 7 both enjoyed year-over-year increases in their participant count but fell well short of matching the 7,061 entrants for Street Fighter 6. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 made a surprise return to the event and received a strong turnout.
Alongside the actual competition, fans can expect a number of reveals for upcoming fighting games. A new season of DLC for Guilty Gear Strive and a release date or name for Project L are among the most likely possibilities.