Is Evo Worth It If I’m Not A Huge Fighting Game Fan?


Someone who knows very little about Football likely still knows about the Superbowl. Even if someone has never touched a soccer ball, there is a good chance they talked about the World Cup. If someone has touched a fighting game, then they know what Evo is. Okay, that last one might be a bit of a stretch, but you get my point!

The largest fighting game tournament in the world is the Evolution Championship Series. The tournament is often just called Evo and brings in fighting game fans from across the planet. These fans are also the players and can compete against thousands of others in six to nine games. The games change each year and get picked based on popularity, support from developers and other factors.

Official Evo Lineup for 2019

The tournament runs over a weekend, with games beginning on Friday. Pool play for all the games begin on Friday, but finals for each game get spread out throughout the weekend. Some of the smaller games will finish on Friday, while some games will still have pool play on Saturday! You need to make sure to pay attention to when you’re favorite games end! The best part of the whole event is Championship Sunday. Where the biggest game’s brackets happen and everyone is only watching one match at a time. Most of the most hype moments in Evo happen here and something you do not want to miss!

So why did I bring up the World Cup and Superbowl to start this article? That’s because people still go to these events only for the experience. They don’t care too much about the sport but feel as if it’s something they have to do at least once. The thing is, I haven’t seen anyone answer the question if Evo should be on that list of events.

So today I want to answer the question of “Is Evo worth it if I’m not a huge fighting game fan?” by making you answer a couple of questions!

Do I have any experience or interest in FIghting Games?

Most people have some kind of experience with at least one fighting game! Maybe you went over to a friends house who picked up the newest “Mortal Kombat.” Otherwise, you might have played “Street Fighter” on an arcade cabinet at a local movie theater or mall.

The game that most people have even a little experience with is “Super Smash Bros.” The Nintendo series that is super common when hanging out with friends or at some parties even. Smash has been a staple of Evo for years now with Super Smash Bros Ultimate headlining the even in 2019.+
If your answer to this question is no, I would 100% recommend not going to the event. The tournament is set up in a much different format than something like the World Cup or Superbowl. If you aren’t going there with some idea of at least one or two games you want to watch, it’ll be a letdown.

But if you do have some experience with a fighting game, keep going on with the questions! I was never any good at the fighting games I played, but I always admired those who were good and wished I was better. This was the first thing that got me interested in Evo because I could watch the best players in the world compete.

Would I ever be interested in competing at Evo?

I haven’t mentioned it yet, but Evo is an open tournament and anyone can compete in it. So even if you know you’re not great at the game but think it would be a fun experience, I’d recommend it! I mean, it’s cheaper to compete than to buy spectator passes for Friday and Saturday.

So if you have a little bit of a competitive soul and think it would be fun to say you’ve competed in the biggest fighting game tournament in a year, go for it! There are countless games you can try and it’s completely common for people not do to great in pool play. I mean there is even a common saying for going 0-2 in your pool play which is “drowning in pools.”

Could I get anyone to come with me to Evo?

I stand by the idea that almost all events are so much more fun when you’re experiencing it with someone else. Evo can feel slow and uneventful on Friday and even Saturday morning. When pool play is going on, most people are waiting around to play their games. I felt very underwhelmed by Evo by the end of Friday because even though I had someone to watch, it still felt slow. Having someone to talk to and hang out with during this slower period can make or break your first day.

How easy or cheap is it for me to get to Las Vegas?

The event has been hosted in Las Vegas for the last decade, and it doesn’t sound like it’s going to move anytime soon. There is now an Evo Japan, but the main competition will stay in Las Vegas for the foreseeable future. So seeing how far you have to travel and how much you’re willing to spend is a real thing to think about!

If you’re asking if Evo is worth attending, I’m going to make the assumption you will have to pay to get into Championship Sunday. I would love for someone to prove me wrong, but that doesn’t sound like a question a champion would ask. With that being the case, you’ll be looking at spending around $150 to get into the event for the whole weekend. On top of that, you’ll, of course, have to travel to Las Vegas, find rooms for a couple of nights plus other random costs.

$6 for this? Are you kidding me?

I’m saying, it’s $6 for a 4oz. bottle of water. Make sure to bring your own water bottle and be ready to spend some money on food.

I don’t want to read the rest, just answer the question.

Bullet to my head, I have to pick yes or no? I would say yes, Evo is worth it even if you are not a huge fighting game fan. After I got through pool play and started watching some of the finals, I realized why everyone loves Evo so much. There is so much passion and emotions that are shown by these players, and the crowds get into EVERY finals match.

The gif above was from Evo 2019, the first one I ever attended. After an incredible final match, GO1 broke into tears after winning. Instead of walking off stage after a loss, you instead see his competitor embrace him and celebrate with him. That is the spirit of Evo at its core and that was the moment I decided that this event is worth it.

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