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Evo ready for return to Mandalay Bay

For the first time since 2019, the Evolution Championship Series is headed back to Mandalay Bay for an in-person event Aug. 5-7.

“I think we’re really dialed into what people like the most about the show so that it can be the most fun version of the show that we’ve had,” general manager Rick Thiher said.

The prestigious fighting game tournament will feature competitors in Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, Tekken 7, King of Fighters 15, Dragon Ball FighterZ and more.

In addition to the tournaments, a fighting game convention will also take place. The convention will have game developers, game demos, including Street Fighter 6, artists, a museum of fighter sticks and more.

“We’re coming together for competition, yes, but it’s everything around the competition that has kept people together for literal generations of fandom at this point,” Thiher said. “That’s what Evo is really here to celebrate.”

Evo has seen some changes behind the scenes since its last in person event.

Last year, Sony and RTS purchased Evo. Thiher said that decision gives Evo long term stability and allows the organizers to chart a more ambitious course into the future.

“When you have two organizations come in and are trying to look at what does it mean for Evo to exist five years from now and how do we invest into what that could potentially be, that changes the landscape pretty dramatically,” Thiher said. “What can Evo do? Beyond that, what should Evo do? I’m not always sure there’s room for those questions if there aren’t some overarching companies that have the resources for those questions to be asked and the time for those questions to be answered.”

No matter if you’re one of the top athletes in the fighting game community or a fan looking to engage with fellow gamers, Evo is ready to once again host people for a memorable weekend.

“This brand since day one has been about bringing people together to compete and in ways that can’t be found anywhere else,” Thiher said.

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