The first annual EVO Japan event will take place between January 26th and January 28th in 2018, as reported by Shoryuken.
Head honcho over EVO, Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar, sent out word recently saying that they would be finalizing details for the announcement and it appears they have.
Leading up to the event will be a special, free-to-enter tournament in Japan known as “Sai”. This event will take place between May 20th and May 21st this year during the spring. The event will feature three games so far, including: Tekken 7: Fated Retribution, Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 and a third game that has yet to be determined.
As for EVO Japan, we don’t know exactly what games will be made available during the tournament, but a lot of fans are hoping for some lesser known games to pop up, as well as arcade titles that we don’t oftentimes see during EVO. I’m hoping for King of Fighters XIV, but it will likely be something like Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite to draw in those numbers and make some mad cash.
EVO Japan secretariat Noriyuki Kaneko offered a statement during the press announcement, saying…
“Although it is known that Evo is the world’s biggest open gaming tournament, it’s more than just that. In my experience, Evo is also the best event for the separate fighting game communities. Evo Japan will work to unite these many communities and fighting gamers from all over the world as well. We welcome everyone that has their own specific goals, ideas and purposes and hope to enjoy fighting games together.”
The tournament is bound to bring in a lot of players from the Asian region, but I wonder how many Westerners will attend? I imagine a lot of the top tier North Americans, Canadians and Europeans will attempt to make the trip over, but anyone who isn’t like PR Balrog, SnakeEyes or HungryBox will likely end up sitting it out.
Even still, it’s cool to see a bridge between the East and West when it comes to the FGC. Paying to get over there is a whole other story, but it will be cool to see how that all unfolds.