Daria Belous | 9. August 2022

EVO makes comeback to Japan in 2023

The most anticipated tournament of fighting lovers Evolution Championship Series, or simply EVO, will return to Japan, the motherland of martial arts, in 2023. The tournament will be held in Tokyo with approximate dates set for late March – early April 2023. Chosen disciplines to compete in are Guilty Gear, King of Fighters, Street Fighter and Tekken, however, more games will be announced soon. 

Evolution Championship Series has a long history which started in 2002 with the foundation of the company. Since then, EVO organized a numerous fighting competitions across the United States and Japan and became the most popular host across the community. Due to COVID-19, the event couldn’t be held in Asia, but in 2023, the event will be finally back. 

Return to martial arts motherland

Allegedly, the upcoming fighting tournament will take place in Tokyo Big Sight, a Japanese convention center that hosts big events such as Comiket, a market for self-published works based on anime, video games and other media. 

Moreover, the fighting community there is strong, as Asia and Japan itself is considered a homeland for fighters. For example, such games as Street Fighter and Tekken were developed by Capcom and Bandai Namco, which are Japanese video game companies. Furthermore, Asian fans can finally visit the desired event live, as for many, a trip to Las Vegas, where the last EVO 2022 was hosted, was not so affordable. 

Rick Thiher, General Manager of Evo, commented in an official blog post: “It is joyous having Evo Japan return to Tokyo for the global fighting game community. Japan is the birthplace of competitive fighting games and we can’t wait to open the doors at Tokyo Big Sight next spring to continue celebrating their legacy with players and fans worldwide.”

The consequences of COVID-19

Another important point is that the last EVO in Japan was held in 2020 with a focus on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with almost 3,000 participants. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and a consequent lockdown shut down almost all fighting events almost for a year, as the organizers weren’t able to ensure safe conditions.

We can assume that the fighting scene was among those that suffered the most due to the pandemic. Even though there are still some limitations because of Covid, we hope that in 2023, they will ease and the organizers will be able host the popular event. 

Header credit: Evolution Championship Series