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Evo Championship Series acquired by Sony and RTS, to hold online event in August

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • March 18, 2021 at 1:10 p.m. PDT • Comments: 117

Evo has been jointly acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment and RTS. Plans for Evo in 2021 are slated to take place online this August with founding organizers Tom and Tony Cannon still very much involved.

The free event will be play out over two weekends, August 6-8 and 13-15, and will feature Guilty Gear Strive, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition, and Tekken 7.

This all comes after a year of immense turbulence for the fighting game genre's most recognizable yearly event as COVID-19 restrictions made holding Evo at the traditional Las Vegas setting impossible. After a decision to redirect Evo 2020 to be an online venture in May, allegations of sexual misconduct against former tournament organizer Joey "Mr. Wizard" Cuellar eventually led to a full cancellation.

The four fighting game titles to be featured will be played on either Sony hardware (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5) or PC. While this seems to exclude potential from both Nintendo and Microsoft (we've seen Super Smash Bros. and Killer Instinct at Evo multiple times in the past) Evo representative Mark "MarkMan" Julio does note in a Tweet from today that the event is still "open to all platforms."

Below is the press release from Sony:

Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC (“SIE”) and RTS, a new venture born out of Endeavor’s esports business, announced today that they have acquired the assets and properties of the Evolution Championship Series (“Evo”), the world’s largest fighting game event, from Triple Perfect, Inc., through a joint venture esports partnership.

Through this new partnership, Tony and Tom Cannon, co-founders of Evo, will continue to be closely involved as key advisors to ensure that Evo remains a one-of-a-kind, grassroots competitive platform for fighting game players and fans around the globe. This collaboration will propel Evo even further as the premier fighting game tournament and foster the continued growth of the competitive gaming community on all platforms.

With the support of world-class publishers, Evo is returning this year as Evo Online, a fully online competition taking place August 6 - 8 and 13 -15. Entry will be free, and players in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America* will be able to compete in BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment’s Tekken 7, Capcom’s Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Warner Bros. Games’ Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate**, and Arc System Works’ Guilty Gear™ -Strive- in an open format. The online qualifiers will be livestreamed for fans, and more details will be shared in the coming weeks on

“Fighting games have been a vital part of PlayStation’s legacy and our community since the very beginning, and we’ve been thrilled to partner with Evo over the years,” said Steven Roberts, VP, Global Competitive Gaming, SIE. “This joint acquisition with RTS marks a new chapter of collaboration with Evo’s co-founders, Tom and Tony Cannon, and their passionate community of fighting game fans."

“Evo is a unique and iconic community unlike any other in the fighting game space, and we’re proud to be partnering with the SIE team and the legends that are Tom and Tony—as well as Mark Julio as Head of Business Development—to help grow Evo,” said Stuart Saw, CEO, RTS. “We’ve got so many exciting plans in store for this year and beyond.”

“Tom and I are incredibly excited by the partnership with SIE and RTS,” said Tony Cannon, co-founder of Evo. “Both companies bring a wealth of experience and share our passion for what makes the fighting game community so great. We are looking forward to working with them to launch Evo to the next level while remaining true to our roots.”

As a result of the acquisition, Evo will be operated by the recently formed joint venture between SIE and RTS. Terms of this transaction including the acquisition cost and ownership split of the joint venture are not disclosed due to contractual commitments.

The Cannons also released a statement on the matter:

Evo would not be possible without the collective passion and collaboration of the fighting game community, and we’re deeply grateful for your dedication over the past 25 years. We know last year was challenging due to the pandemic, and the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of Evo Online involving a former team member who has been completely separated from our company.

We want to reaffirm that harassment or abuse of any kind has no place within Evo or any of our future events, and we’re taking every precaution to make sure members of our community will always be treated with the respect, dignity and decency you deserve.

In order to deliver on the trust you have all put in Evo, we realize that we need an experienced strategic partner who truly respects the spirit of the FGC. This is why we’re excited to announce that Evo has become part of the joint partnership of Sony Interactive Entertainment and RTS. The new partnership is committed to bringing amazing tournaments and competitive gaming experiences back to you this year and beyond.

We’re thrilled to work with the teams at PlayStation and RTS to bring you Evo 2021 Online this August. More information on the event will follow.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your continued support. -Tony and Tom Cannon

You can find more details over at Evo's main page.

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