Since the rise of shooters like “Halo” and “Call of Duty,” some people now see fighting video games as a dead genre.  “Street Fighter II” had an amazing run when it was released in 1991, and was even considered a game changer in the industry.  But, when’s the last time you’ve heard of someone willingly playing games like “Street Fighter,” “Marvel vs. Capcom,” or “Mortal Kombat?”  Well, if you do want to find thousands of people playing these games, look no further than the Evo Championship Series.

Founded in 1998 as a small arcade gathering, Evo has grown into an international tournament for fighting video games held annually in Las Vegas.  This year Evo took place from July 29-31 and was the most attended fighting game tournament in history.  Now I love fighting games, but there’s no way I can stand up to some of these master players at Evo.  From the replays alone, I can tell these guys are skilled far beyond my imagination.

Some of you might think the idea of video games as a competitive “sport” is outrageous.  But, on a micro level, the speed, accuracy and precise timing that these players possess is impressive.  Whether you think the Evo Championship Series is outrageous or not, one thing’s for certain: these players love fighting games, and they will do their very best to keep the genre alive on a global scale.

-Mike Thal

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