After a shaky couple of years, EVO 2022, the major fighting game tournament, is finally happening again. Following Sony’s acquisition of the event, it looks like they’re pushing forward with another big show. However, they recently revealed that this year will not feature any Super Smash Bros. games.
The EVO team recently put out a statement revealing that on 8 March, they will unveil the full list of fighting games being featured at this year’s tournament. However, they added that this list will not include either Super Smash Bros. Melee nor Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Both Super Smash Bros. games have always been strong competitive titles at EVO each year, and it’s strange to see the franchise not appearing on the tournament line-up.
The most likely reason for these games not showing up at EVO anymore may have to do with Nintendo’s decision to partner with esports organization Panda Global. Back in November 2021, Nintendo announced that they will be partnering with Panda Global to host their own dedicated tournaments for Super Smash Bros. Melee and Ultimate.
However, others speculated that Nintendo is simply trying to distance themselves from EVO given the scandal that the company went through in 2020.
As for the other major fighting games that will likely make a return to EVO, fans can probably expect Tekken 7 and Street Fighter V: Champion Edition again, along with Guilty Gear Strive and potentially the newly released The King of Fighters XV.
Capcom recently announced Street Fighter 6, though it might be too early for a build of the game to make its way to EVO this year.
That said, Super Smash Bros. being absent from an EVO list is quite a shake-up since the series has held its place at the tournament for over a decade now. This will surely be upsetting news to professional Super Smash Bros. competitors too.