An official representative from the Evolution Championship Series has confirmed that EVO Japan will take place early next year in the heart of Tokyo.
This is the first time that the premium fighting game tournament is spreading its wings to head overseas. Despite several top-ranking players hailing from the region, the annual preeminent event has only been around for the western audience.
2018 will usher new beginnings for the organization, with EVO Japan scheduled to be held between January 26-28 at Akihabara UDX in Tokyo. The town is famous for being a prime shopping district for video games, anime, and manga. It also features a large number of arcades, boasting a storied fighting game legacy.
In addition, a new tournament called “[sài]” has also been announced that will lead up to EVO Japan. It will take place between May 20-21 this year in the same Tokyo venue and aims to “unite gaming communities and celebrate the fighting spirit in Japan.”
The event will be an open tournament and without any seeding process based on skill level, allowing anyone to register and compete.
As far as the games are concerned, [sài] will feature three in total. Two of them have been confirmed to be Tekken 7: Fated Retribution and Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2. The third game is yet to be determined.
It should be noted that Street Fighter has always been the highlight of every EVO iteration. Since we’re yet to hear about the inclusion of Street Fighter V, it is very possible that the third game for [sài] will not be the latest installment in the series. That being said, there are rumors that the organization is deciding to go with Street Fighter IV instead. The same possibility remains for EVO Japan as well, with suspicions that Street Fighter V may be calling it a day, at least in the country.
EVO Japan was announced last year at EVO 2016. Many were under the impression that it would happen sooner. According to the organization, the 2018 date is by design. The team behind the event needs time to finalize certain elements, as well as participants who might need to plan in advance to make the trip.