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Mortal Kombat 11 is not on the main EVO 2020 line up and the fighting game community doesn't seem too happy about that

TheHadou and UltraDavid are currently working towards setting up a side Mortal Kombat 11 event at EVO

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • February 5, 2020 at 3:18 p.m. PST • Comments: 135

The EVO 2020 lineup has finally been revealed. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Tekken 7, Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Samurai Shodown, GranBlue Fantasy Versus, Soul Calibur 6, Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r], and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 will be the main stage titles this year.

As with the previous two EVO events, there has been a rather controversial omission. In 2018, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite was excluded amidst the controversy surrounding the game's launch. Needless to say, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite has never been a main stage game at EVO.

Later in 2019, Super Smash Bros. Melee was dropped from the EVO lineup following the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Notably, Melee had been part of EVO's games since 2013 and saw impressive entrant numbers since then. The decision was met with a lot of confusion and disappointment from the Melee community.

While many were expecting Mortal Kombat 11 to return for its second year at EVO 2020, this ended up not happening. This actually marks the first time that an NRS game didn't return for a second run at EVO since Mortal Kombat 9's presence at EVO 2011.

As one can imagine, many were both surprised and disappointed by this omission. FOX|SonicFox, for example, noted their disappointment in not being able to defend their title after winning EVO 2019's Mortal Kombat 11 tournament.

Unlike with Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite and Super Smash Bros. Melee for EVO 2018 and EVO 2019 respectively, Mr. Wizard has not made any comments regarding the exclusion during either the reveal stream or through Twitter.

Mortal Kombat 11 is a title that's still benefiting from developer support from NRS at this very moment as the final character for the Kombat Pack, Spawn, has yet to be released. Unconfirmed rumors seem to suggest the existence of a second Kombat Pack in the future.

The Combo Breaker tournament organizer, TheHadou, and UltraDavid have applied to host a community side tournament for Mortal Kombat 11 at EVO 2020.

Mortal Kombat 11 EVO 2020 absence reactions image #1 Mortal Kombat 11 EVO 2020 absence reactions image #2 Mortal Kombat 11 EVO 2020 absence reactions image #3 Mortal Kombat 11 EVO 2020 absence reactions image #4
Click images for larger versions

One possible (though maybe not that likely) reason for Mortal Kombat 11's exclusion is the fact that entrant numbers for NRS games tend to dwindle during their second years at major events like EVO.

Of course, it's worth mentioning that Mortal Kombat 11's EVO debut in 2019 saw it as having the highest number of entrant numbers for an NRS game at EVO. In total, 1,567 competitors registered for EVO 2019.

Obviously it's difficult to predict how much of a dwindle Mortal Kombat 11 would see if it returned for EVO 2020 assuming the pattern were to continue, but the decision does still come across as being somewhat strange due to the record set last year.

EVO numbers for NRS games over the years

Mortal Kombat 9

• EVO 2011 - 500+ (approximation)
• EVO 2012 - 304

Injustice: Gods Among Us

• EVO 2013 - 582
• EVO 2014 - 311

Mortal Kombat X / XL

• EVO 2015 - 1,162
• EVO 2016 - 713

Injustice 2

• EVO 2017 - 883
• EVO 2018 - 363

Mortal Kombat 11

• EVO 2019 - 1,567

Sources: EVO historical entrant numbers post, FOX|SonicFox, LU|Alex Valle, and PND|Ketchup.

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