Sony Interactive Entertainment & RTS purchase Evo tournament

Sony Interactive Entertainment SIE Evo Evolution Championship Series

Sony Interactive Entertainment and its “new esports venture” RTS have jointly purchased the Evolution Championship Series, otherwise known as Evo, the largest and longest-running fighting game tournament. Evo co-founders Tom and Tony Cannon will continue on with the event in advisory roles with Sony and RTS.

The reasoning behind the purchase and the establishment of RTS seem to be to expand Sony’s presence in the ever-growing esports space, as Sony has explained, “With expertise spanning esports event management, brand and developer consulting, and gaming talent management, RTS is a new venture led by CEO Stuart Saw and backed by investors including global entertainment, sports and content company Endeavor.”

Evo will return this year in the form of Evo Online on Aug. 6-8 and 13-15, with free entry to players across countries in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Tekken 7, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, and Guilty Gear -Strive- are included in Evo Online. Hopefully it will go better than the Evo Online event that had been planned for 2020, which was canceled following sexual abuse allegations levied against its then-CEO.

The Sony acquisition and PlayStation association will not outright end collaboration with other platforms like Nintendo Switch though, as Evo’s Mark Julio has reiterated. “(Evo) is still open to all platforms,” he said. “The teams at PlayStation and RTS are enabling us to continue working with our community to support fighting games.” That means Sony, Evo, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are still a possibility. The game’s absence at Evo Online is completely expected though, as the game really does not have the netcode required for a hardcore online tournament experience.

Via IGN, Nintendo has also provided a statement:

Nintendo has enjoyed engaging with fans at past Evo tournaments and wish the show organizers the best with their new venture. We will continue to assess Evo, and other opportunities, as we plan for future online and offline Super Smash Bros. tournament activity.

[Source 1/Source 2]

John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!