EVO is entering into some uncharted territory for this year's tournament. The biggest fighting game event of the year is bringing many of the best fighters to Las Vegas, along with their very best players from around the world. The registration numbers are in and with Super Smash Bros. Melee shuffled to the sidelines, it left Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to lead all games with over 3,000 registered entrants.
EVO president Joey Cuellar posted the final numbers on Twitter on late Sunday. Here are all of the games set to be featured over the course of the weekend and how many entrants they've garnered:
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - 3,492
- Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition - 1,929
- Tekken 7 - 1,885
- Samurai Shodown - 1,719
- Mortal Kombat 11 - 1,567
- Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] - 1,156
- DragonBall FighterZ - 1,191
- SoulCalibur VI - 742
- BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle - 640
The EVO 2019 lineup made headlines around the gaming world for including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but leaving Super Smash Bros. Melee on the cutting room floor. While the Melee community was stunned by the snub, the net result appears to be an amplified entrant count for Ultimate.
In previous years, the Smash entrants were split between Melee and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, with the two games often neck-and-neck. In fact, last year's entrant count for the two Smash games was only separated by just three players, with Smash 4 getting 1,354 entries and Melee getting 1,351. Those two communities now appear to have come together for nearly 3,492 entrants. While this number is well short of the 5,000 participants that Cuellar estimated on the EVO 2019 reveal show, it's over 1,500 more than the number two game, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition.
The other big story of these numbers is the staggering fall of Dragon Ball FighterZ. Last year, Dragon Ball FighterZ led all featured games with 2,575 entries, just narrowly beating out Street Fighter V. Its first year did not disappoint, with a memorable tournament and the highest concurrent viewer count ever. However, with EVO opting not to feature the game for its Sunday lineup, much of the prestige looks to have gone down for 2019. It doesn't help that Dragon Ball's tournament future was uncertain for a good stretch of time, with rumors abounding that parent company Toei Animation had stepped in to have the game removed from this year's EVO Japan lineup. While those fears have since been put to rest and a second season of the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour was announced in June, it does not appear that DBFZ's EVO registration numbers were helped.
EVO 2019 will take place on August 2-3 from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. The final day of competition will be held on August 4 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center with Top 8s from Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Tekken 7, and BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle. The order these last four games will be played has not been determined, but with CEO 2019 opting to close their tournament with Smash Ultimate, it does have some people wondering if the Smash community has one last trick up its sleeve for EVO weekend.