As promised, the Evolution Championship Series has announced the official title lineup for EVO 2019. It contains several obvious ones, such as Street Fighter V and Tekken 7, but there is one title that some of you might notice is notably absent: Super Smash Brothers Melee.
Though some still contest whether it can even be considered a legitimate fighting game, there’s no denying that the 17-year-old Super Smash Brothers Melee has been a mainstay of the world’s largest fighting game event. It first appeared at EVO 2007 and has played a role ever since, helping turn players such as Joseph “Mango” Marquez, Juan “Hungrybox” Diebmada, and William “Leffen” Hjelte into household names.
However, it’s clear that with the arrival of Smash Ultimate — as well as Nintendo deciding to actually commit to the competitive scene — that it’s time for the once-fractured community to unite under one banner. Granted, there’ll still be tournaments for Melee (like CEO and Apex), but with all the hype that has surrounded Ultimate over the past two months, it will likely no longer be the entry that attracts the majority of a tournament’s viewers or participants.
As for the titles that did make the cut, we have:
- BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle (PS4)
- Dragon Ball FighterZ (PS4)
- Mortal Kombat 11 (PS4)
- Samurai Shodown (PS4)
- Soulcalibur VI (PS4)
- Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition (PS4)
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)
- Tekken 7 (PS4)
- Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] (PS4)
Overall, it’s a rather strong lineup, and it’s great to see that the community is so excited about Mortal Kombat 11 and Samurai Shodown that they secured spots despite not even being released yet. Among them, the inclusion of Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] is rather surprising — it’s a solid game, but I’m sure most didn’t expect it to garner enough attention to be counted among heavy hitters such as Street Fighter V and Tekken 7.
Lastly (and perhaps unsurprisingly), Dead or Alive 6 won’t be appearing on the main stage. It doesn’t align with the FGC’s core values, after all.
EVO 2019 will take place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from Aug. 2 to 4. You can register here.