The curtain drops on yet another Evolution tournament, as the world’s finest fighters descended on Las Vegas this weekend to showcase their finely honed abilities on a selection of games, new and old. It was an intense, exciting and record-breaking weekend in Sin City, with the EVO debut of Street Fighter V pulling in a staggering 5000+ players, as well as strong community showings for a bevy of brawlers.
Here are the Top 8 bracket results for each game:
The EVO debut of Capcom’s Street Fighter V pulled in an astounding amount of contenders, warranting the finals being broadcast from the nearby Mandalay Bay venue. When the dust settled on the main stage Korean superstar Infiltration was the 1 out of the 5000, his Nash having battled back from losers bracket to defeat Fuudo’s impressive R. Mika in the grand finals.
1. RZR|Infiltration (Nash)
2. RZR|Fuudo (R. Mika)
3. Yukadon (Nash)
4. HM|Go1 (Chun-Li)
5. LI Joe (Nash)
5. MOV (Chun-Li)
7. HM|Eita (Ken)
7. AW|Nemo (Vega)
The infamously rabid Smash Bros. community was in full effect for the Melee tournament, and were suitably frantic all weekend. In the end it was a very emotional Hungrybox who emerged the victor, carrying psychotic ball-o-fun Jigglypuff to glory against Armada’s Fox McCloud in a grand final rematch from last year which, ironically, had seen Armada take the title.
1. Liquid|Hungrybox (Jigglypuff)
2. Alliance|Armada (Peach, Fox)
3. PG|Plup (Sheik, Fox)
4. C9|Mango (Fox, Falco)
5. Tempo|S2J (Captain Falcon)
5. FOX|Mew2King (Marth, Sheik)
7. G2|Westballz (Falco, Fox)
7. CLG|PewPewU (Marth)
With Netherealm’s Injustice 2 on the horizon, EVO 2016 may prove the swan-song for the fast-paced bloodbath that is MKX. Once again, USA’s SonicFox was the last man standing after a lengthy and brutal battle with TekkenMaster’s brilliant Kotal Kahn. This win caps off an almost unstoppable run of victories for the tail-sporting kid, who has dominated internationally since the game’s release.
1. cR|SonicFox (Alien, Erron Black, Jason)
2. PLG|TekkenMaster (Kotal Kahn, D’Vorah)
3. PG|Scar (Sonya Blade)
4. EVB|BigD (Ermac)
5. cR|WoundCowboy (Shinnok)
5. MTL|Hayatei (Takeda)
7. EVB|Dragon (Alien)
7. YOMI|Michaelangelo (Quan Chi)
The gorgeous, batshit-insane anime brawler pulled in a very respectable army of players and, as is always the case for the Arksys scrapper, provided some of the weekend’s most exciting and nail-biting battles. Machaboo found glory in the end, with some mind-blowing Sin play. GGXrd is building a strong reputation and playerbase in the FGC, and looks set to run long into the future.
1. Machaboo (Sin)
2. Omito (Johnny)
3. Rion (Ky)
4. Nakamura (Millia)
5. Ogawa (Zato-1)
5. GGP|Kazunoko (Raven)
7. PG|MarlinPie (Zato-1)
7. TopGaren (Zato-1)
Pokken Tournament saw its EVO debut this weekend, at a time when Pokemon interest has rocketed due to people losing their minds over barebones mobile app Pokemon Go. Despite the obsessive love shown by the audience all weekend for Pika Libre, the final battle was contested between Tonosama’s Braixen and Buntan’s Suicine, with Braixen winning the day.
And not a single Gardevoir in sight. Disgraceful.
1. Tonosama (Braixen, Sceptile)
2. Buntan (Suicune)
3. Swillo (Mewtwo)
4. Potetin (Mewtwo, Pikachu Libre, Weavile, Chandelure)
5. Circa|Suicune Master (Suicune)
5. RvL|Bosshog (Garchomp)
7. KojiKOG (Charizard)
7. Thulius (Mewtwo)
Namco’s Tekken 7 was the first tournament to come to its conclusion, early in day two. Saint, using JACK-7, defeated Knee’s relentless Bryan Fury in the finals. Early next year, Tekken 7 Fated Retribution will be available worldwide on home formats, which will surely make for a very interesting and altogether more popular tournament by the time EVO 2017 rolls around.
1. Saint (JACK-7)
2. Knee (Bryan, Heihachi, Akuma)
3. Secret|Poongko (Akuma)
4. GeeseMaster (Feng)
5. Yamasa|Nobi (Dragunov)
5. Narakhof (Claudio)
7. Take (Bryan)
7. Circa|Speedkicks (Hwoarang, Lars)
Killer Instinct returned for its third year at EVO, backed by its wonderfully passionate and supportive community of players. This year’s showing was full of surprises, including a shocking early exit of 2016 champion Rico Suave. In the end, it was Season 3 character Gargos, masterfully played by Sleep, who captured the title, defeating Bass‘ excellent Spinal in the grand finals.
1. F3|Sleep (Arbiter, Gargos)
2. UA|Bass (Spinal, Jago, Cinder)
3. BH|SeaDragon (Aria, Hisako)
4. Circa|Nicky (Fulgore)
5. RL|Runex (Omen, Rash)
5. PaulB (Sabrewulf, Hisako)
7. BH|Grief (Sadira, Aria)
7. GnarlyFeats (Rash, Orchid)
Having two Smash games on the roster guarantees a large, vocal crowd for both, and Smash WiiU brought bellowing lungs out in force. Nintendo’s head boy Mario was proven the best in the world on this occasion, with Ally defeating Kamemushi to become EVO champion 2016.
1. Ally (Mario)
2. Kamemushi (Mega Man, Yoshi, Cloud)
3. TSM|ZeRo (Diddy Kong, Sheik)
4. CLG|VoiD (Sheik)
5. Abadango (Mewtwo, Rosalina & Luma)
5. Ranai (Villager)
7. FAD|Larry Lurr (Fox, Donkey Kong)
7. dT|DaBuz (Rosalina & Luma)
Few games have the ability to hang long-term, yet UMvC3 is still alive and kicking on the main stage, bringing hella hype and some chaotic battles that had the masses cheering. Amongst the carnage, stalwart NYChrisG led his team to victory, defeating 2016 EVO champion KaneBlueRiver’s battle-tested trio. The fact the UMvC3 still commands such a presence is testament to its player community.
1. NYChrisG (Morrigan, Dr. Doom, Vergil)
2. KaneBlueRiver (Hulk, Sentinel, Haggar)
3. BT|Angelic (Wolverine, Dormammu, Shuma-Gorath)
4. NB|DualKevin (Deadpool, Dante, Hawkeye)
5. ApologyMan (Firebrand, Dr. Doom, Super-Skrull)
5. Priest (Magneto, M.O.D.O.K., Dr. Doom | M.O.D.O.K., Dormammu, Dr. Doom)
7. Paradigm (Haggar, Dormammu, Dr. Doom | Haggar, Dr. Doom, Rocket Raccoon)
7. EG|Justin Wong (Wolverine, Storm, Akuma | Vergil, Storm, Akuma)
Congratulations to the winners and commiseration to the runners-up. It was another fantastic weekend for fighting game fans. There is nothing quite like EVO and the emotion it brings out of its global audience. With SFV set to build upon its base, Tekken 7 hitting homes early next year, and a new King of Fighters mere weeks away, the hype is already building for next year’s battle on the Vegas strip.
EVO consistently proves that though a game has its veterans, there is always room for new blood to catch their moment of glory. With so many new games on offer, now is as good a time as any.
I said it last year, and I’ll say it again: You’ve got a year. So get practicing.