Sony Interactive Entertainment and RTS have acquired the EVO Championship Series. In a statement released on Twitter, EVO indicated that the decision to partner with Sony was partly the result of the abuse allegations that led to the cancellation of last year's tournament. According to EVO, it needed "an experienced strategic partner who truly respects the spirit of the FGC" in order to regain public trust in the tournament. It also announced that EVO 2021 Online is now scheduled for this summer. According to a press release from Sony, co-founders Tom and Tony Cannon will remain on "in an advisory role."
EVO 2021 Online will take place August 6-8 and 13-15. The tournament will feature the following games: Tekken 7, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, and Guilty Gear -Strive-. Players from North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America countries will be able to participate, though Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate will not operate in Asia. As its name indicates, this year's event will be fully online, and entry will be free. In PlayStation's press release, the company discussed the importance of keeping the event safe and enjoyable for all players moving forward.
"For PlayStation, today’s announcement marks an exciting step in our journey to foster the growth of the fighting game community and esports, and support competitive gamers widely on our consoles. Fighting games are hugely popular on PlayStation consoles, with gamers logging more than 1.1 billion gameplay hours in 2020 alone. We’re committed to breaking down the barriers for gamers to compete at all levels and providing a best-in-class, global platform for them to showcase their skills and passion.
We also want to voice our support for Evo's message today about creating a safe and inclusive environment for players. At PlayStation, we’ve always made that our highest priority. As a collective team, we’ll work closely together to ensure future Evo events are safe and welcoming for the entire community."
EVO's Mark Julio took to Twitter following the announcement to indicate that the tournament will remain open to all platforms. This means that platform exclusive games such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate could continue to appear at EVO, though no further information has been revealed as of this writing.
Are you happy to see that EVO will continue this year? What do you think of the tournament's partnership with Sony? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!