I don’t know how this happened but I’m going to the first ever EVO in Japan which starts on the 26th of this month. Japan itself has been on my bucket list for a while and it turns out some recent friends I’ve made are going to be competing in the tournament, so I basically threw caution to the wind and loaded up my credit card with flights and an AirBnB booking which added up to about $1000. I’ll pretty much only be in Tokyo for the tournament itself so I guess I’ll have to book in another trip to actually do some sightseeing some time. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The actual meat and potatoes is of course the 7 core games which are, in order or appearance on the EVO website, Tekken 7, Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, King of Fighters 14, Blazblue Central Fiction, Super Smash Bros for Wii U (or Sm4sh), Arms and last but not least Street Fighter 5 which recently had a massive update by way of the Arcade Edition. The grand prize for the core titles is 1,000,000 Yen for first, if I’ve understood the listing correctly. The English page does suffer from some poor translation to English but you get the idea. That works out to about $10,000AUD per game which is nothing to sneeze at. On top of this venerable list is the side events which are typically cult hits or older titles that still have a sizable following. See here for the full list. I’m secretly hoping that Dragonball FigtherZ will have some sort of booth or special event as it releases right on time. Obviously the meta hasn’t even begun to take shape yet as the only play time most people have is through the recent beta, but a man can dream.

Last years EVO was something I streamed over the entire weekend, switching between games and following players making sure I new whether they’d made it through. Being able to do that in person is going to be something else. I’m hoping to be able to make it to the final day but things aren’t certain as the foreign tickets seemed to dry up almost instantly. It was a bit of a process where you had to fill out a form to be eligible for selection to actually buy a ticket, something I’ve not seen before. I suppose it sorts the wheat from the chaff though. The tickets are actually only for the final day which is at a different location to the first and second days, which spectators are allowed free entry. Day 1 and 2 are in the Sunshine City Bunka Kaikan Building, North West of central Tokyo and day 3 is in Akiba Square just to the North.

The full schedule has been released, so make sure you take down the times below and check Twitch for the relevant streams. I’m going to try and post live footage directly to the USM Facebook page but if PAX is anything to go by then this will depend entirely on the availability of an in venue network or some really cheap data SIM cards at the airport… Stay tuned to the website for a post-event run down and hopefully live footage as I try to stay coherent while taking in all the action on site.