Another year, another grand fighting game tournament where the top players around the world duke it out for bragging rights & glory. EVO 2018 (short for Evolution Championship Series) is happening soon, and if you love your 2D and 3D fighting games (tagging or no tagging) you’re going to love the everliving s*** out of this year’s EVO. Lord knows I’ll be up all night & morning watching the top 32 for the majority of the fights.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Dates

EVO 2018 is scheduled from 3 August to 5 August (PST). So that’s 4 August to 6 August MY/SG time.

The Schedule

EVO-SCHED-072818

Tournament Day 1: 11pm-2am (MY/SGT)

Tournament Day 2: 11pm-2am (MY/SGT)

Tournament Finals:
Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 – 11pm (5 August)
Super Smash Bros. Melee – 1.30am (6 August)
Tekken 7 – 4.30am (6 August)
Dragon Ball FighterZ – 7am (6 August)
Street Fighter V – 10.30am (6 August)

The Stream Channels

EVO-STREAM-072818

Sunday/Monday Finals (in MY/SGT Time)

Injustice 2 Finals – 3am (5 August)
BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle – 7am (5 August)
Super Smash Bros Wii U – 11am (5 August)
Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 – 11pm (5 August)
Super Smash Bros. Melee – 1.30am (6 August)
Tekken 7 – 4.30am (6 August)
Dragon Ball FighterZ – 7am (6 August)
Street Fighter V – 10.30am (6 August)

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The Numbers

For starters, these are the games that will be showcased on the main stage along with their entrant numbers. Games-wise, major players like Street Fighter V and new fighting games like Dragon Ball FighterZ and BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle are featured. This is the first EVO where Marvel vs. Capcom is not on the main stage.

As you can tell, the top three games are Dragon Ball FighterZ, Street Fighter V, and Tekken 7. We’re pretty ecstatic about DBFZ getting great participation numbers. Top players Kazunoko and SonicFox are holding 2 of the 7 Dragon Balls at the moment. So expect these two DBFZ players to fight for glory in this year’s EVO alongside GO1 and HookGangGod.

The Brackets

Unlike EVO 2017, the top 3 competitors will emerge from each pool bracket instead of 4. 1 player will head to the winner’s bracket while the remaining 2 will head to the losers bracket. The organizers are doing this to avoid double jeopardy situations.

Check out the full brackets here: https://smash.gg/tournament/evo-2018/events/street-fighter-v-arcade-edition/brackets/204959

Players To Watch Out For

Razer Xian (Street Fighter V)

Southeast Asian fighting game fans will recognize this name. Since his struggle back in 2010 up to his pinnacle victory in EVO 2013 in Street Fighter IV, he’s been a household name to many and meal ticket to some. With a past history with Marvel vs Capcom 3 and with the King of Fighters history (since he trained with the best back in the day), it’s no surprise that his skills translate smoothly to the granddaddy of the genre.

His Ibuki play is not to be trifled with, as it’s filled with mixups and V2 Giant Shuriken setup shenanigans all the way.

IAmChuan (SFV)

This Malaysian’s hard work has paid off big time. With a slew of wins in recent Capcom Pro Tour online events, his Guile play is exceptional and his defence seems peerless, at least within the region.

Gamerbee (SFV)

This Taiwanese player is a veteran; he was the Taiwan homecoming hero who placed pretty high in his debut in EVO 2010. While his Necalli play is not as extravagant as his Adon back in SFIV, he nonetheless has a few tricks and setups up in his sleeves.

Storm KUBO (SFV)

An up-and-comer in the world of competitive gaming, this young player has shown incredible resilience with a huge grappler archetype who has no wakeup game: Abigail. His unorthodox play has led him to get within the top 10 ranks in tournaments like FV x SEA Major 2018 in Malaysia and Fighter’s Spirit in South Korea.

OilKing (SFV)

This other Taiwanese player has been making waves with his lightning-fast Rashid play thanks to the encouragement of his pals in the scene like Gamerbee. Of his many placements, he has three top 16 finishes at Premier Events including a 2nd place finish at Dreamhack Summer.

He also has eight top 16 finishes at Ranking Events, including a win at FV Cup 2017. In a game where the best defence is still a ton of offence, his rushdown style makes damn sure that his opponent has no time to blink or pause.

GO1 (Dragon Ball FighterZ)

GO1 is the “Yin” to SonicFox’s “Yang”. If both of these players are in a major DBFZ tournament, they’re going to win first and second place, no questions asked. What makes GO1 remarkable is his unbreakable defense when playing a very fireball-slash-teleport-slash-offense-heavy tag-team game like DBFZ.

It’s really hard to find an opening with his blocking skills unless you take a gamble. And in a game where one mistake means 1 dead character, that’s not something you want to guess wrong.

Kazunoko (DBFZ, SFV)

One of the fighting game veterans of Japan, Kazunoko can multitask between a straight-up 2D fightfest like a Street Fighter entry and an anime fighter filled with air dashes and combos racking up the double digits. I mean, in a game filled with better character picks with better air and ground options, he picks ground specialist Yamcha in his 3-person team. And won.

That’s it for our EVO 2018 recap for now. We’ll be updating this as time goes by so watch this space!

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