EVO. The biggest fighting game tournament in the world. The real-life World Martial Arts Tournament. This is where the highest level of play in one-on-one E-Sports can be found. It has a long and prestigious history, so expectations rise higher and higher with every passing year.
Luckily, the tournament hasn’t let down yet. And that continues on with this year.
EVO 2019 has come and gone. We got lots of exciting matches across all nine games, plenty of awesome announcements, and of course: more hype than the human body should be able to handle! All in all, it was a good tourney with a lot of highlights.
Today, I’ll be going over my favorite. I’ll discuss my most anticipated announcements and favorite matches. Now note: there are a lot of things to talk about, so it is absolutely certain that I’ll miss lots of awesome stuff. If you have a favorite highlight that I missed, feel free to let me know.
With that said, let’s get started!
Announcements: Oh God, I’ll have too many fighting games next year…
Holy shit, there was a lot here!
First off, let’s talk about the next two DLC characters for Dragon Ball Fighterz. Guess what? For once, I was right in my predictions! WE GOT MOTHER FUCKING JANEMBA BOYS!! And he looks just as awesome as I had hoped! Plus, by the time this post goes up, he’ll be in the game!
We also got a brief gameplay look at Gogeta! He does look pretty sick, especially during his super attacks. I am excited to finally get to play as him, as I absolutely adored him in the Broly movie.
Now if only we could get Broly himself…
Next, I want to talk about what we got for my current favorite fighting game: Undernight. Not only did we get some really exciting plays during the tournament itself for this game, but we also got the announcement of a brand new, updated version! That’s right! We’re still getting Turbo versions of fighting games in the era where you can just update what you already have for far cheaper!
Jokes aside, Undernight: Clr or whatever the fuck the new one is going to be called does look great. Every character gets some new moves to expand their roster of powers (which were already huge), which will change the meta in some huge ways. Plus, the new character looks pretty sick.
Even if his reveal is just him beating up my main. Hopefully, that isn’t a sign of what is to come.
Third, I want to talk about the new Guilty Gear game. Because… OH MY FUCKING GOD, THIS GAME LOOKS GORGEOUS!! JUST LOOK AT THIS SHIT!!
Out of all the fighting games we’re getting next year, this is the one I’m the most excited about. Seriously, I genuinely want to get good at this one! It looks insanely exciting!
And again: holy shit is it pretty!
There were plenty of other announcements this year, but most of them were just DLC. More Tekken characters, Samurai Shodown getting another season plus crossing over with Soul Calibur 6 (which isn’t dead, as it’s getting a second season of content, which is nice), they’re putting a literal tank in BlazBlue Cross Tag (which gives me reason to get back into that game) and we got some new Street Fighter 5 characters (even if they were leaked). The only other new game we’re getting is King of Fighters 15.
Which might be cool. I’ve no idea. I never played any of the KOF games.
I’ve almost certainly missed something, but those are the ones I found the most interesting. Now, onto what everyone should be going to EVO for: the top-tier plays!
Matches: God DAMN Man!!
Holy fuck! Like, dude! Holy FUCK!!
If I tried to go over every match, I’d be here for a thousand years! Hell, even if I broke down the whole list of amazing ones, I’d still be here for ages! So I’m just going to quickly bullet point some of the amazing ones! Ready?
- Smash Ultimate Grand Finals: MkLeo resets the bracket and wins against Tweek
- UNIST Grand Finals: Clearlamp_O VS Oushuu-Hittou
- Street Fighter 5: Daigo ‘The Beast’ Umehara turns the tables on Ricki Ortiz with only one hit remaining
- Tekken 7 Director Katsuhiro Harada is soundly defeated in Pools
- Bonchan finally takes an EVO Street Fighter 5 title
- BlazBlue Cross Tag Grand Finals: Shinku VS Kyamei
- Samurai Shodown, Reynald VS Dragonglove: The Weapon Catch
And there are more. So many more! So I’m going to leave the link to a video by ‘theScore esports’, which has a pretty good montage of some great ones. That will be at the bottom of the page.
Now, I want to talk about my two favorite matches in all of EVO this year. Starting with the two intense matches between GO1 and SonicFox for Dragon Ball Fighterz.
These two have been good friends and rivals for a while now. They clashed in the Grand Finals for Fighterz during last year’s EVO, in which SonicFox took the win. Naturally, everyone was excited to see what would happen if these two clashed again.
We were not ready for this shit!
First, they met in the Winners Final, where they had one of the most intense sets I’ve ever seen. Ultimately, GO1 managed to squeeze out a victory and send SonicFox to the Loser’s Bracket. Now, the question was clear: would SonicFox bounce back and face him again in Grand Finals?
Yes. And good god, their second set was just as intense as the first! It was one of the closest fights I’ve ever seen in a fighting game. Then, in the end, GO1 managed to win and finally take the Fighterz title.
Which lead to some of the most wholesome moments between him and SonicFox. Seriously, I don’t think two people simply interacting has ever made me feel so good! I will reflect on this for years to come.
Much like the next match: Arslan Ash VS Knee in the Tekken 7 Grand Finals.
These two are the human embodiments of an anime rivalry! Knee once stood as the uncontested champion of Tekken. Then, out of nowhere, Arslan Ash came out of nowhere and beat him down. Now, Knee will often go to tournaments with the exclusive goal of beating Arslan.
It is the real-life equivalent to Goku VS Vegeta, with Arslan being Goku and Knee being Vegeta. And just like the poor Saiyan Prince, Knee has still failed to take a win.
And that didn’t change this year.
The match was intense. Knee struggled with all his might, putting up one hell of a fight. Arslan clearly had the upper hand, but the fight was far from a landslide. Then, after an incredibly intense set, Arslan came out victorious.
It’s safe to say that my boy Arslan was overcome by emotion. Once again: it was incredibly wholesome.
Those two matches were easily the highlights for me. Every other match was great, don’t get me wrong. But these two had me screaming in excitement! They were the purest embodiment of why I love fighting games!
Fighting games are absolutely incredible. The pure skill put on display by the truly dedicated is astonishing! They pour their hearts and souls into perfecting these games. And you can see it as clearly as the sun when they play.
Again: I’m sure I missed a ton of incredible moments and plays! If you have a favorite that I didn’t mention, let me know what it is! A week later and I’m still having EVO withdrawals!
I just need more fighting games in my life, okay?!