Evolution Championship Series (EVO)

Evolution Championship Series (EVO)

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Updated Feb 28, 2019 at 02:58PM EST by 3kole5.

Added Feb 20, 2019 at 05:31PM EST by C_Mill24.

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The Evolution Championship Series (commonly known as EVO), is an annual tournament series centered around fighting games. With its wide assortment of representation of the Fighting Game Community (FGC) and attendees showing up from all over the world, EVO is considered the largest fighting game tournament based on attendance and prestige.


Founded by Tom and Tony Cannon, Seth Killian and Joey Cuellar, the EVO series got its start in 1996 under the name "Battle by the Bay," a tournament series mainly for the Street Fighter series of fighting games[5]. In 2002, the tournament series was rebranded into its present-day name and generated interest and prestige annually.


EVO has maintained its relevancy online over the course of the tournament series' run, but not without its assortment of controversies. One of the earliest controversies in the run of the tournament series happened at EVO 2004, where the tournament organizers switched from arcade hardware to exclusively using console hardware, with some players, according to an article written by GameSpot,[1] stating that it "broke a sacred ritual" in the tournament's legacy while also cheapening the experience of the tournament itself.

EVO 2013

In 2013, the tournament staff held a donation drive for the eighth game at EVO 2013, with funds going towards breast cancer research. Super Smash Bros. Melee and its community would go on to raise nearly $95,000 in total donations, earning its spot as the eighth game at the event. Before the EVO 2013 took place, Nintendo sought to block broadcasting of the game at the event, causing a major amount of backlash from the gaming community at large. Nintendo conceded the ban hours later due to the massive outcry. It would later be revealed that Nintendo tried to get Super Smash Bros. Melee pulled entirely from the tournament itself.[2]

EVO 2018

During grand finals of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, there was a moment where players Bharat "Lima" Chintapall and Zack "CaptainZack" Lauth didn't take the match seriously throughout the set, and even stalled in game 1 of set 2 for nearly 2 minutes, where tournament organizers issued both players a "yellow card." This was a result of audience members' consistent booing of Bayonetta players in the game, as some in the community thought she was an unfair opponent. "Lima" and "CaptainZack" engaged in the stalling to troll such fans.[6] The showcase was deemed disrespectful by the community, causing audience members to leave the event during the set. Both players apologizing via Twitter for their behavior during the match.[3][4]

EVO 2019

On February 26th, 2019, during the game lineup announcement for EVO 2019, it was revealed by the tournament organizers that Super Smash Bros. Melee would not be returning to the main stage. Reaction towards the game's removal was polarizing, with a majority of the Smash community, with the notable exception of Salem,[7] being disappointed in the game's removal, and a majority of the FGC rejoicing in its removal, with memes being made across Twitter. These were covered by Daily Dot.[8]

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EVO Moments

EVO Moments are moments a collection of moments that take place at the tournament over the course of the series' run. On July 21st, 2017, YouTuber theScore eSports published a video about the most iconic moments in the tournament's history, gaining over 2.8 million views (shown below).

The Daigo Parry

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EVO Moment 37, sometimes known as "The Daigo Parry" was an iconic moment from EVO 2004 where Daigo Umehara performs a perfect parry on Justin Wong's Chun-Li's super art and amounting a comeback with only a single pixel of health remaining during game 1 of loser's finals of Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. The Daigo Parry is often seen as the most iconic moment in competitive fighting game history and competitive gaming in general.

"What Are You Standing Up For!?"

*"What Are You Standing Up For!?" refers to a moment at EVO 2015 during the winner's semifinals of the Guilty Gear Xrd portion of the tournament where in game 3 of the set between players Woshige and Ogawa, after taking a round off of Ogawa, Woshige stood up and celebrated as if he had won the set, despite there being a final round taking place in the game, wherein Ogawa took the opportunity to take out Woshige's character and take the set. The moment would later be covered on ESPN's Sportscenter.

Core Values

Core Values is an expression uttered by EVO co-founder Joey Cuellar that is used in a mocking fashion towards Cuellar's statement where he claims that the promotion of the game Dead or Alive Six on a live stream was not a reflection of tournament series' "core values." It is often used to mock the series' censorship of sexual content, despite showcasing brutal violence in games such as Mortal Kombat 11.

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