Sony Interactive Entertainment has acquired the Evolution Championship Series, commonly known as Evo. Sony will be working with Evo’s team to bring its 2021 tournament online in August.
Evo is one the biggest and most prestigious e-sports tournaments in the world. The annual competitive event specializes in fighting games like Street Fighter and Super Smash Bros. The acquisition is a joint partnership between Sony and RTS, a new es-ports venture.
A blog post from Sony explains the deal in detail. The company has committed to keeping the show largely unchanged.
“Our collective team is laser-focused on one mission: Preserving the authenticity of Evo for the fighting game community,” says Sony. “At its core, Evo will remain what it has always been: An open-format competition that gives fighting game fans from different countries a chance to connect, test their skills, and forge new friendships.”
— EVO (@EVO) March 18, 2021
Evosays that “all platforms will remain welcome at Evo,” signaling that the tournament won’t ditch Xbox and Nintendo Switch players.
The news comes off of a hectic year for the tournament. Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, which made e-sports events challenging to host, the event was embroiled in controversy. Charges of sexual misconduct surfaced around Evo CEO Joey Cuellar last summer. He was promptly fired, but gaming companies pulled their support from the event as a result. The 2020 show was eventually canceled altogether, making its future unclear. In a statement on Twitter,Evo cites the tumultuous past year as a driving reason behind the acquisition.
Evo will return for a digital version of its tournament on August 6. It will take place over two weeks and feature games like Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate and Tekken 7. Notably, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is currently absent from the list, and every game mentioned will be played on PlayStation consoles or PC.