Seven games with over 1,000 entrants, five titles new to the EVO lineup and non-stop action on eight streams all weekend long — EVO 2019 preview

EVO 2019 will, as always, be receiving full coverage on EventHubs as it's happening — here's a primer for when your favorite games are being played

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • August 1, 2019 at 12:16 p.m. PDT

EVO 2019 is about to be upon us, and like every year, it's going to be a gigantic event for every game involved, and I'm sure most of you have booked your full weekend up so that you can catch all the festivities via livestream, if you're not going in person.

With how huge the event is, and an unprecedented seven whole games reaching over 1,000 entrants each, even just watching the event is something of a daunting task. As such, this preview has been put together to help you get a good grasp of what to expect, when to expect it, players to look out for and more for each game featured at the event.

Continue below for the full rundown.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Entrants: 3,530
Days played: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Top 8 timeslot: Sunday, August 4th, 7 p.m. Pacific
10 notable entrants attending: FOX|MKLeo, TSM|Tweek, PG|Marss, Liquid|Dabuz, SST|Shuton, eU|Samsora, NRG|Nairo, Solary|Glutonny, PG|Cosmos, GW|Zackray

The most consistent story as far as tournaments go ever since the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the dominance of FOX|MKLeo, who has won the majority of tournaments he's entered, most recently while using exclusively Joker from the Persona series. Right before EVO, though, at Smash Factor 8, he actually ended up losing to constant rival PG|Marss' masterful Zero Suit Samus play.

While these are definitely the top two candidates people are looking at going into EVO 2019, you can bet there are a ton of other killers when the pools consist of around 3,500 players. Solary|Glutonny from France has shown himself to be the strongest player in the European region and has gotten fantastic placements overseas as well with his Wario, while youngster GW|Zackray from Japan wowed audiences early on with his exciting Wolf matches.

Several players have been in the top at practically every tournament they've been at, including frequent top 8 placers or even winners back in Smash 4 in TSM|Tweek, NRG|Nairo, Liquid|Dabuz and PG|Cosmos, and they're all looking to take home that EVO title this year.

eU|Samsora was a great player back in Smash 4, but has really emerged as a much larger threat in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the premier Peach main to look out for, while SST|Shuton's Olimar loyalty stays strong in this new game and has paid off in spades.

Singling out only 10 players in brackets as gargantuan as this obviously doesn't paint nearly the whole picture, and don't be surprised if several of these players fall short of Top 8 — Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's very first EVO showing will be like entering the lion's den, even moreso than previous years were for earlier games in the franchise.

Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition

Entrants: 1,952
Days played: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Top 8 timeslot: Sunday, August 4th, 12 p.m. (Noon) Pacific
10 notable entrants attending: REC|Punk, Rohto|Tokido, RB|Bonchan, FD|Fujimura, Mouz|Problem X, CYG|Fuudo, YOG|Machabo, NVD|Phenom, UYU|OilKing, CYG|Daigo

2019 has seen the return of REC|Punk in a big way, and as the leader of the Capcom Pro Tour leaderboards right now, he's the safest bet to take home the event, something he's doubtlessly been dreaming about ever since he ended up as close as you could possibly get back in 2017, where he finished second behind Rohto|Tokido.

Of course, REC|Punk isn't dominating every event he's entering. Just a few weeks back at VSFighting 2019 he lost to RB|Bonchan in the Karin mirror, so the top level of players are definitely all capable of bringing each other down.

Other top contenders include FD|Fujimura who has shown true mastery with Ibuki, making her look like the very best character in the game practically every time he plays, and defending EVO 2018 champipn Mouz|Problem X who has stuck almost entirely with M. Bison so far this year, the same character that he used throughout all of last year's top 8.

CYG|Fuudo, YOG|Machabo and NVD|Phenom have all shown amazing results this year as well, with Fuudo having moved over to using Birdie in conjuction with his classic R. Mika, while Phenom has gone over almost entirely to Karin, only saving his Necalli and the odd M. Bison pick for very specific matchups. Machabo currently remains the only top placing player who predominately uses Necalli, opting to stick with him as a solo main.

UYU|OilKing and CYG|Daigo have stuck to their mains — Rashid and Guile, respectively — and have both had great showings so far this year as well. Obviously, at an event like EVO the competition is stacked like nowhere else, so there's really no telling what we'll end up seeing on finals day, but based on the results so far this year, these are some of the most notable players to look out for.

Tekken 7

Entrants: 1,899
Days played: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Top 8 timeslot: Sunday, August 4th, 3:30 p.m. Pacific
10 notable entrants attending: ROX|Knee, UYU|LowHigh, ArslanAsh, OGN|JDCR, CRaZY|SuperAkouma, THY|Chikurin, Rangchu, RB|Anakin, Talon|Kkokkoma, AkenP2|Qudans

Tekken 7 has ended up in the kind of situation where there are practically too many storylines to even keep track of. Lately, ROX|Knee has been on an absolute tear, and while he's definitely not unbeatable, he sure makes it look that way when he's on his A game, and seems like the prime threat at EVO 2019.

But you also have two EVO champs from the last two events showing up — EVO 2018's champion UYU|LowHigh and the unexpected beast of ArslanAsh who took home EVO Japan 2019 to the surprise of many, and has shown himself to be a true Tekken god by also winning the massively stacked Thaiger Uppercut 2019.

Of course, there's way more where that came from. CRaZY|SuperAkouma, THY|Chikurin and Talon|Kkokkoma have all won Master Events this year, at The Mixup 2019, ROXnROLL Korea and Fighting Games Challenge 2019, respectively.

On top of that, we've got two Tekken World Tour champions in Rangchu and AkenP2|Qudans showing up, with Qudans not having been seen much at all lately, leaving us all wondering what kind of tricks he has up his sleeve this time around.

Other juggernauts like OGN|JDCR and RB|Anakin are obviously not to be ignored, either, and with this epic level of talent, it's impossible to say what might happen. The only thing left to say is, if you're not watching Tekken, what are you even doing?

Samurai Shodown

Entrants: 1,729
Days played: Friday, Saturday
Top 8 timeslot: Saturday, August 3rd, 4 p.m. Pacific
10 notable entrants attending: Justin Wong, EG|NYChrisG, BC|Kazunoko, MVP|Pekos, Infiltration, UYU|OilKing, HB|Reynald, CO|Dogura, Brook|ZJZ, DouyuTV|Xiao Hai

Samurai Shodown has seen a fantastic revival this year, with the first brand new title in the series in over 10 years, and players from all different fighting game scenes have been flocking to it.

In American tournaments, the most notable competitors so far, to the surprise of no one, have been Justin Wong and EG|NYChrisG, both of whom are renowned multi-game specialists, and have faced off against each other in Grand Finals countless times before, most notably for many years in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

Word around the street is that BC|Kazunoko, former Capcom Cup champion and current Dragon Ball FighterZ world champion as well as a master of countless other fighting games has poured all of his time in to Samurai Shodown lately, and any event he's been at so far has shown him posting great results. His grand finals against Japanese Tekken veteran MVP|Pekos at VSFighting 2019 showed just how exciting this game can be at the very top level.

Another gigantic story for Samurai Shodown is of course the return of five-time EVO champion (across various different titles) Infiltration after over a year's absence from the fighting game community at large, and it'll be exciting to see how well he performs in this different type of game. Other former EVO champions competing in Samurai Shodown include HB|Reynald, DouyuTV|Xiao Hai and Brook|ZJZ who have each won titles in the King of Fighters series, another SNK-developed title.

Two other players of note who have extremely high placings in other titles, including Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition, are UYU|OilKing and CO|Dogura, who will both be showing off what they have to offer in this new addition to the EVO main stage.

In short, you have beasts gathering from practically all different fighting game communities, and it's going to be riveting to see who comes out on top. This is the ultimate side game with how well it rewards players who have strong fighting game fundamentals, and we're going to see it play out bigtime this weekend.

Mortal Kombat 11

Entrants: 1,575
Days played: Friday, Saturday
Top 8 timeslot: Saturday, August 3rd, 8 p.m. Pacific
10 notable entrants attending: FOX|SonicFox, PxP|A Foxy Grampa, GRV|Dragon, PG|Hayatei, END|Scar, Tweedy, Noble|Kombat, NASR|TekkenMaster, DizzyTT, Noble|Semiij

Early on in Mortal Kombat 11's lifespan, we saw END|Scar take home the victory at perhaps the first huge event for Mortal Kombat 11, Combo Breaker 2019.

Since then, FOX|SonicFox has seemingly reclaimed his throne as the king of NetherRealm games, with a strong streak moving in to EVO, including wins at Summit of Time, CEO 2019 and Defend the North 2019, meaning he's got massive momentum set for EVO this year.

Obviously, he won't go unchallenged, with the likes of GRV|Dragon and PxP|A Foxy Grampa present, the former managing to overcome SonicFox multiple times in the company's last title, Injustice 2, and the latter being perhaps the strongest non-American competitor, hailing from the United Kingdom and having several amazing tournament runs the last few years.

While SonicFox currently looks like top dog, it's going to be anything but a cakewalk for him. Almost 1,600 players are signed up to fight it out, and you can bet they've all done their research on him specifically, so it'll be a battle to see who can get to him first.

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Entrants: 1,196
Days played: Friday, Saturday
Top 8 timeslot: Saturday, August 3rd, 1 p.m. Pacific
10 notable entrants attending: CO|Go1, FOX|SonicFox, CO|Fenrich, BC|Kazunoko, BC|Tachikawa, FOX|Dekillsage, VGIA|Shanks, NRG|HookGangGod, CO|Dogura, EG|NYChrisG

Although BC|Kazunoko was the victor at the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour finals back in January, he seems to have fallen off quite a bit in the game ever since.

The main story as far as Dragon Ball FighterZ goes lately is CO|Go1 reclaiming the crown he held early on as the absolute master of the game, and he seems to have leveled to a point where other players are having a very hard time catching up to him again.

We can't forget, though, that the reigning and defending EVO champion from last year is FOX|SonicFox, who defeated that very Go1 in the final set last year, and it's likely that both players have prepared quite extensively for each other in the case that we'll be seeing that grand finals happen again.

There are many other playres who have stayed consistently high with their placings in the game — CO|Fenrich, VGIA|Shanks, NRG|HookGangGod and CO|Dogura just to name a few — so it'll be interesting to see just how high the ceiling goes this year.

The quality of players is through the roof in this game, and we'll be seeing players of many different nationalities and games of origin clashing, hopefully leading to a top 8 that does the game the grand justice it deserves.

Under Night In-Birth EXE: Late[st]

Entrants: 1,156
Days played: Friday, Saturday
Top 8 timeslot: Saturday, August 3rd, 10 a.m. Pacific
10 notable entrants attending: Oushuu-Hitto, Hishigata, Senaru, Watanabe Shacho, TimeUpper, Dramatik|RedBlade, CO|Go1, KPB|JDR, BxA|Argenrost, TGS|Clim

Under Night In-Birth EXE: Late[st] is a unique and exciting case as it's a game that has been out for quite some time, yet never seen any presence on the main lineup of EVO until now.

As such, this will likely be the very first glance a lot of viewers get of the game, and what better time to see it than when America's best and Japan's best are all showing up for an all-out brawl?

With many of Japan's best that rarely leave the region showing up, it'll be great fun to see how America's titans stack up against the warriors from the game's country of origin, and it'll all be aired on EVO primetime for everyone to see.

The most interesting part to me is how this exposure will affect the game moving forward. It's been a big title at many events for a few years now, but taking that EVO spot is bound to bring even greater success to any game, and with the new revision Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late [cl-r] on the horizon, the future is looking very bright for any fans of this French Bread-developed gem.

Soul Calibur 6

Entrants: 746
Days played: Friday
Top 8 timeslot: Friday, August 3rd, 8 p.m. Pacific
10 notable entrants attending: GO|Keev, Linkorz, BlueGod, LoloMx, PG|Shen Chan, AXL|RichSticks, KOA|Sandman, DF|Saiyne, Oplon|Skyll, BxA|PartyWolf

Soul Calibur 6 hasn't seen much competition with international competition all attending the same event so far, so EVO 2019 is going to be prime time to see regions clashing against each other.

Perhaps the most notable player would be the winner of EVO Japan earlier this year, France's GO|Keev who reminded the world just how good the French players are when it comes to their favorite game.

However, you also have someone like Linkorz has been an enduring presence in the Soul Calibur scene in North America, often being seen as the guy to beat whenever a tournament happens on U.S. soil.

PG|Shen Chan, hailing from Singapore, is another name you should be looking out for, who frequently takes home titles in the Asian region, and was actually the runner up to Keev at EVO Japan earlier this year.

In short, we haven't seen a regional get-together like this for Soul Calibur 6 just yet, and it'll be interesting to see just how prepared the players are for the varied playstyles that come from different areas of the world. Soul Calibur hasn't been on the EVO stage for quite some time, but we're looking at a grand return this year.

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle

Entrants: 646
Days played: Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Top 8 timeslot: Sunday, August 4th, 9 a.m. Pacific
10 notable entrants attending: CO|Fenrich, Bace, SSNO|KojiKOG, FCRYUKYU|Kyamei, GRPT|DoraBang, TGS|LTL, YG|Kubo, PG|SKD, Jona, GRV|Shinku

While it may have the lowest amount of entrants this year, 650 being the lowest number is absolutely extraordinary.

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle is part of the ArcRevo World Tour at EVO, so of course anyone attending is doing so with only one goal in mind — make it to the finals later this year.

We've seen BlazBlue veterans from Japan like CO|Fenrich, SSNO|KojiKOG and GRPT|DoraBang perform great in this game, with all three of them making top 8 in the game last year, but there are also several American players who may not have gotten that top 8 last year but are prime threats to do it this time like Bace, PG|SKD and TGS|LTL (Hey, Canada is still America ... Continentially, anyway).

Like most games at EVO, this is set to be a clash of regions, and we'll see just how far each player's training takes them. The stakes are high, so whoever's been putting the most blood, sweat and tears into the game will reach the glory at the very end.

Thanks for the read, and hopefully you feel enlightened after this rundown of what to expect from EVO 2019.

As you've come to expect, we'll be doing full coverage of the event here at EventHubs, so stay tuned to the site for continuous updates on anything and everything EVO this weekend.

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