Evo - the largest annual fighting game tournament in the world - has announced the Evo Lounge. This will be a dedicated live show running alongside the show August 5 - 6 that will present new game and DLC reveals, as well as curated highlights from the tournament itself. If you’re more interested in the big reveals than the hours upon hours of excellent competition, this is for you.
According to an official PlayStation blog post, the live show “will feature top-shelf curated show coverage, bracket updates, interviews with players, and exciting content and reveals from developers and publishers". We know that Warner Bros, Arc System Works, Capcom, SNK, and Bandai Namco will be present.
So, what is actually going to be shown off? While we don’t know for sure, recent events as well as the current fighting game landscape can help us make some educated guesses. The most obvious of which is Street Fighter 6, which was revealed earlier this year during a PlayStation showcase. With only five of the cast revealed (not via leaks), it’s likely that at least one new character will be shown at the show.
SNK is also a presence we can likely predict, with King of Fighters 15 standing out as their sole big fighting game right now. Recently released and still popular, it’s likely we’ll see some more DLC character teams revealed at the show. Side note, King of Fighters is always a great game to watch at Evo with plenty of worldwide representation, so you should totally watch at least the top 8 finals.
One developer that’s tricker to gauge is Arc System Works! While DNF Duel is out and popping off post-release, the developer has been known to juggle multiple games at once in the past. As such, alongside DNF Duel DLC characters which have a high probability of showing up, it’s possible we see some more love paid towards some of their other titles. Guilty Gear Strive is the most popular tournament competitor-wise of this event, making it well worth additional content.
Onto the trickier stuff. Warner Bros has been incognito for a while. With Mortal Kombat 11 receiving its final update back in 2021, we know for a fact that a new project is getting the team’s full attention right now. Whether it’s Mortal Kombat 12, Injustice 3, or an altogether different title, we’d love to see something. That being said, it’s Warner Bros showing up, not Netherrealm. This means it could be more MultiVersus news, but with Lebron James already out and Rick & Morty announced, I’d put my money on the former.
Finally, we have Bandai Namco. Creators of the excellent 3D fighter Tekken 7, they’ve yet to announce future plans for the franchise. Tekken 7 is more than seven years old if you include the original arcade release, and has sold millions of copies since then. With their last DLC character being released a year ago, now would be the perfect time for a brand new entry into the series.
Regardless of reveals, it's great to see Evo back in the swing of things. After being acquired in a joint venture between Sony and Endaevor (itself owned by Twitch Streamer Pokimane), the general manager torch was also passed from now Riot Games / Project L Tom Cannon to Rick Thiher. That's a lot of shifting and moving, during COVID no less. These reveals and in-person tournament play stand out as a return to norm for many.
It’s safe to say, this year’s Evo is 100% worth watching (as if it wasn’t already). Until the weekend finally arrives, all we can do is pray up to Pokimane for some sick reveals and even radder tournament play. Be sure to tune in!