EVO is the biggest fighting game tournament in the world. With the pandemic still winding down and several states in the US lifting their restrictions of the stay at home orders. We still won’t have mass gatherings like conventions, music concerts, or sporting events just yet once certain states have reached low enough numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
A message from the Evo team… pic.twitter.com/ANXUXDiNGK
— EVO (@EVO) May 1, 2020
EVO 2020 is going to be an online tournament this year. That in itself brings a ton of new questions to the table and highlights one major problem with fighting games in general.
How and Why?
One thing that people need to understand is that EVO is one of the best and most influential tournament when it comes to fighting games. There are tons of local tournaments that people love like CEO, APEX, and North/South Cal Regionals. EVO is THE tournament because you’re able to see players compete at the highest level from all around the world. EVO is almost like the tournament in the story modes of every fighting game. You gather a bunch of players from different regions around the world who will compete and be crowned the champ of their respective games.
I understand the tournament organizers for not wanting to cancel one and instead opt-out for an online format. Several other games like League of Legends, CS:GO, Call of Duty, and Overwatch to name a few have gone online for the time being. However, the announcement for an online tournament has been so bad that the community cannot stop making tons of memes about it.
— Event Hubs (@eventhubs) May 4, 2020
Me playing in the 2020 Online evo SFV cup pic.twitter.com/wsiWKY9XrO
— Blaze (@EdotenseiBlaze) May 2, 2020
EVO 2020 Smash online be like pic.twitter.com/O8TetDyjtc
— Pixelbuster (@Nitomatta) May 1, 2020
Because both fans and professional players alike know the harshest truth. Fighting games are notorious for having bad online matchmaking and online connections even within private matches. An issue that still haunts the fighting game community and fans since the first time you could play a match online.
One of the biggest games, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, is also one of the worst games to play online with any type of consistency. According to Game Rant:
“When Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launched, it became the best selling fighting game ever and the fastest-selling Nintendo game of all time. The game’s success is undeniable, and it continues to be a popular game to this day. The love of the game is part of the reason why fans are so passionate about how bad the online experience can be. The game has become a highly contested tournament and esports title, but thanks to the coronavirus, those tournaments are being held online. However, the experiences can be so inconsistent that players are not enjoying their time.”
Smash Bros. Ultimate isn’t the only game that plays terribly online. Nintendo’s other online games like Splatoon and ARMS have their share of problems. People are stuck at home and Nintendo’s weak online servers become more apparent. However, this isn’t the only issue with EVO. Most of the games that are competing at EVO have similar issues!
Street Fighter V Netcode Fiasco
Street Fighter V is Capcom’s only major fighting game after Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite fizzled out of the spotlight. Capcom’s flagship fighting for years had a terrible net code that went unfixed until fans started taking matters into their own hands. EGM reports that:
“Street Fighter V uses a system for online play that regularly desynchronizes and resynchronizes players in order to keep the game feeling the way it should. Due to latency and other network considerations, not every frame of action can match your opponent’s exactly in an online match…However, in Street Fighter V’s case, Altimor noticed that there was a problem where the game would desync without resyncing correctly. This often meant online matches could feel perfectly fine for one player while being completely busted for their opponent.”
The article goes on the say that because of a modder’s effort, Capcom had to release a patch of its own to avoid further fallout with the community. Almost every game on this year’s EVO lineup is suffering from a lack of a good netcode. Something that still persists with almost every fighting game and holding a tournament online isn’t the same experience as playing next or across your opponents. EVO should just skip this year or hold top-level exhibition matches among of the best already known in the scene. Otherwise, they will need to drastically rethink their plans on what an online EVO 2020 will look like for both pros and fans.
Do you want to compete or watch an online-only EVO? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to check out some of my reviews of MegaMan Zero/ZX Legacy Collection and One Step From Eden. For more great interviews, reviews, editorials, and news stay tuned to CultureOfGaming.com or check us out on OpenCritic.com.