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EVO 2018: Will Home-Field Advantage Put More North Americans On The Leaderboards

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The dates and setting for the EVO 2018 World Finals have been released. Viva Las Vegas, Baby! We get to get our smash on at the Mandalay Bay hotel, August 3rd-5th. This truly is the “biggest, hypest, and most prestigious fighting game tournament in the world.” If there is one gaming event that I truly enjoy, it’s the Evolution Championship Series.

This is probably because I am a relic. I love fighting games above all others. And fondly remember long living room Tekken and Street Fighter tournaments in the 90s … Wang Jinrei … where are you, pal?

EVO Japan

Over 5,000 players descended upon Tokyo for the 2018 EVO Japan event last January. The event was broadcasted on twitch.tv in Japanese, English, and Mandarin. You can bet that Vegas will draw quite the crowd as well.

When you look at the results for the last big EVO gathering this year, one thing is certain. North American and European gamers need to step up their game. EVO Japan was dominated by Japan and South Korea. Kings of Fighters XIV had a strong Taiwanese and Hong Kongese presence, but Japanese and Korean gamers shook the house.

Guilty Gear and BlazBlue: Central Fiction was more than dominated by Japan … it was an all-out routing. The top eight players for each event were all Japanese.

Thank the gaming gods for Leonardo Lopez-Perez from Mexico, showing up to represent North America. He came in first in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U playing Cloud and Marth. Every other top-8 player was … you guessed it … Japanese.

The Koreans showed up strong in Tekken 7 tournament with the Rox Dragons taken 1st and 2nd. And the one Tournament where an American and Canadian placed (2nd and 4th respectively) was Arms. But we won’t be seeing that game in Las Vegas this August.

EVO Vegas Tournament Games

  • Street Fighter V Arcade Edition
  • Tekken 7
  • Guilty Gear XRD Rev 2
  • Injustice 2
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ
  • BlazBlue: Cross Tag battle

Buy Your Tickets to Vegas to Watch … or Compete!

The coolest part about EVO tournaments is they are open. You could find yourself playing against some of the best in the world! The tourney is set up in three phases. The first is the qualification pools. Each pool of players is run as a double-elimination bracket until only two players remain in each.

The top two players from each pool move on to the semifinals bracket. Again, it is double-elimination and to make it even tougher, any loss received during your qualifying round is carried over into the semis. The semifinals playout to whittle down the crowd to the top eight players who will head into the tournament finals.

Again, losses are carried over and the tournament only ends after there is one man or woman left standing.

Betting odds haven’t been released yet but you can be sure that top online sports betting sites will have odds soon. Most betting sites like Pinnacle, BetOnline, Bookmaker, etc. have daily odds on CS: GO, League of Legends, Overwatch, Starcraft, and more.

You can bet that some of EVO Japan’s top players will be entering this tournament and smash their way through the qualification pools into the semis and perhaps … the finals. So, keep an eye out for betting odds once August hits.

My initial question stands … will enough talent from the United States turn up to meet the challenge and take some of the prize money?

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