Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced that it, along with upstart company RTS, has acquired the Evolution Championship Series (Evo). RTS is a new venture from esports league company Endeavor, and the joint purchase brings the biggest annual fighting game tournament under Sony’s umbrella.
So what’s changing? Exact plans haven’t been announced yet, but the statement Sony gave in its blog post states that it aims to use its resources to help elevate Evo’s global status like never before. According to the official press release, the event will be jointly overseen by SIE and RTS going forward. However, the exact terms of this partnership, such as how much money was paid to purchase Evo and what the ownership split actually is, are not disclosed due to contractual reasons.
Evo’s co-founders, Tony and Tom Cannon will remain involved as key advisors in order to, as the press release states, “ensure that Evo remains a one-of-a-kind, grassroots competitive platform for fighting game players and fans around the globe.”
“Tom and I are incredibly excited by the partnership with SIE and RTS,” said Tony Cannon. “Both companies bring a wealth of experience and share our passion for what makes the fighting game community so great. We are looking forward to working with them to launch Evo to the next level while remaining true to our roots.”
“Fighting games have been a vital part of PlayStation’s legacy and our community since the very beginning, and we’ve been thrilled to partner with Evo over the years,” said Steven Roberts, VP, Global Competitive Gaming, SIE in the press release. “This joint acquisition with RTS marks a new chapter of collaboration with Evo’s co-founders, Tom and Tony Cannon, and their passionate community of fighting game fans.”
Evo 2021 is scheduled to take place on August 6-8 and August 13-15 using an online format. The announced line-up of games so far are Street Fighter V: Championship Edition, Mortal Kombat 11: Ultimate, Tekken 7, and Guilty Gear Strive with more titles to come. Entry to Evo 2021 will be free of charge. Seems like a nice rebound after last year’s Evo was canceled not once but twice: first because of the pandemic, then the online version was nixed after then-Evo CEO Joey Cuellar faced allegations of sexual misconduct.
So fighting game fans and esports enthusiasts, what do you make of this acquisition? Let us know in the comments.