Friday, July 17, 2009

Evolution 2009 Starts Today

At 9:00 PST the biggest fighting game tournament in the country (some say even the world) begins. The 2009 Evolution Championship Series is a fighting game tournament full of tradition, featuring the worlds greatest fighters in various fighting games. Held at the Rio in Las Vegas, this three day tournament will put the best against the best, with fighting game superstars like SoCal's Alex Valle, East Coast's Justin Wong, and the ever-so-feared Daigo flying in from Japan.

This past year, the fighting game scene has witnessed quite a few changes to their community. Unlike other games such as Starcraft, Halo, and CounterStrike, the fighting game community never acquired that widespread attention to qualify as an official eSport. The community has been known to hold their own in a sort of wild west fashion, organizing their own tournaments and keeping the community afloat with Youtube videos and the pure love of the game, all without the need for sponsorships and professional companies like MLG or WCG.

But with the release of Street Fighter 4, the scene was exposed to a sort of rebirth. Just as the number of competitors and popularity of the games was falling, SF4 brought with it a resurgence, filling the community with a strong sense of pride, along with a brand new feeling of hunger with everyone wanting to prove that they're the best once again. The pure popularity of SF4 gave the fighting game community a ton of exposure, bringing in both old school SF2 players as well as a younger generation of fighting game enthusiasts.

After a years worth of tournaments, the one tournament that everyone has been preparing for starts today. Some competitors are students at school who play fighting games as a hobby, some are 30 year old Street Fighter veterans who have been playing their whole lives. Some have dropped everything else in their lives and have become professional players, and some don't even compete; they just have a love for the community.

At Evo this year, the headlining game is Street Fighter 4 which boasts over 1040 entrants. Other featured games are HDRemix, 3rd Strike, Guilty Gear XX: Accent Core, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, and Soul Calibur IV. There is also a community sponsored Brawl tournament on the side, and kiosks featuring new games like BlazBlue, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, and Tekken 6. This is also the first year that Evo will be hosting a proper live stream, featuring coverage across all three days, with the finals for all of the games on Sunday. The live stream can be viewed at and starts Friday at 10:00 PST.

For those interested in the history of the fighting game community, check out these pieces:

- I Got Next started out as a students final project at art school, but quickly grew into a much bigger fighting game documentary. Ian Cofino traveled across the country and made a movie highlighting the Street Fighter 4 hype, with a focus on the growing rivalry between the East Coast and West Coast. You can view the short cut of the film at

- Over at All Is Fighter (, writer DJcream wrote up an incredibly strong piece entitled the Dawn of Evolution, highlighting the history of the Evolution fighting game tournament. Armed with a ton of history and video clips, the piece is a great overview on the fighting game scene, and is a must read for any fan. Check it out here.

- And last but not least, the closest thing the Condo has to competitive gaming, our very own Jeff and Keng in a teams match at a San Diego tournament.

1 comment:

  1. got my damn hopes up thought lance or adonis posted