After three years of absence due to the pandemic, fans are impatiently awaiting the EVO (Evolution Championship Series) meeting in physics this Friday. But contrary to appearances, things are not yet completely back to normal. According to Ken Bogard, animator and fighting game specialist, the French delegation is much smaller this year; the tournament is likely to be very American. Home fans will be very disappointed if USA don’t bring home a trophy “, he added, referring to the constraints that remain. But this will not affect the trophy dreams for the French, according to him. ” We have very high hopes for victories this year, especially on Street Fighter V and Dragon Ball FighterZ. » Overview of these promising profiles.
A French favorite for the title on Street Fighter V
Every year, all eyes turn to the historic license of street fighter at EVO: the game has been the showcase of the tournament since its creation in 1996. But since then, only a Frenchman has won the title. This is Olivier “Luffy” Hay in 2014 on Street Fighter IV.
The seasoned competitor will be there, but times have changed since his first title: for Ken Bogard, he has not yet found the same success on the fifth opus of street fighter. ” He never stopped being at the top level on Street, and he is easily in the top 16 in the world today. But it may not be the winner because he has trouble appropriating his style on the last title of the license; mechanics are different “says Ken.
“Mister Crimson is one of the best players in the world today”
Instead, all hopes rest on Nathan “Mister Crimson” Massol to bring the trophy back to France. He has been considered the best player in Europe for a few years and is stacking up trophies. The last one is only a week ago. This is the Global Esports Tour, a competition that can serve as a barometer for the results of the EVO to some extent, since some of the participants will also be in Las Vegas on Friday.
On the other hand, competition will remain tough for the European hopeful, since two formidable opponents could stand in his way: the Englishman Benjamin “Problem X” Simon, winner of the previous edition, and the American Derek “IDom” Ruffin, reigning world champion. To be continued.
Wawa on top of the world, Yasha for revenge
France is particularly present on Dragon Ball FighterZ, and this year, she is once again expected on the podium. It’s simple: the reigning world champion is French. Marwan “Wawa” Berthe not only captured the trophy last month, but he also flew above the competition. He won without conceding a single set to his opponents.
The latter is not the only one to be approached for the trophy: “Yasha”, in the top 4 of the world and crowned European champion at the end of 2021, is also expected at the best level. ” The experience they have accumulated is gigantic… so much that they have disgusted some American players, and even Japanese, explains Ken Bogard. In the top 8, the host also expects to see Mohamed “Kayne” Sobti, described as “the eternal second”: if the absence of trophies leaves him in the shadow of his two compatriots, he can boast to have climbed on many podiums (Heat Wave, Combo Breaker and UFA, to name but a few).
Skyll and Super Akouma, alone against all
On Guilty Gear, the chances of a title for the French seem more narrow. But Jérémy “Skyll” Bernard could nevertheless create a surprise. ” It is neither more nor less the player who wins while Europesays Ken. But it’s not the strongest region in the game. The competition will be fierce since it’s the game with the most entries in the tournament, with more than 2,100 participants. »
Same story on Tekken 7 : Vincent “Super Akouma” Homan is the only French registered. But it’s not just anyone: not only reigning European champion, he also won the last edition of the EVO – which was divided by regions. This time he will have a chance to lift the trophy in front of an audience. He arrives as a favorite after winning the last Major last week in Brussels.
Even if the French naturally attract attention, several international talents deserve the attention of spectators. This is the case of the champion with an atypical career Arslan “Arslan Ash” Siddique: ” He’s one of the best players in the world, which is crazy because he’s from Pakistan, which is an emerging country.. They struggle to get visas and turn pro. But he upset Tekken, he came out of nowhere and gave lessons to all the best players in the world who were well established. He is multiple EVO and world champion, he is a competition favourite. »
Japanese competitors, generally very famous in fighting games, will also be closely followed by Ken Bogard this year: since the start of the Covid pandemic, they have only rarely been seen in tournaments. In fighting games, it is impossible to compete at great distances due to the inevitable connection latency, which has forced the Japanese to train only on their territory. The EVO will therefore mark their big comeback on the international scene.
In addition to traditional niche games like King of Fighters XV and Granblue Fantasy: Versusanother tournament could launch the essential esports title of the next few years: “ There won’t be Smash this year, but there will be its equivalent for Warner Bros: MultiVersus, alongside EVO. There will still be 100,000 dollars in cash prizes even though the game has not yet been released. He just broke the record for most simultaneously played fight titles, so he seems to be enjoying a lot. The Top 8 will be broadcast, it could be interesting to follow! »
The tournament can be watched in French on the MGG Twitch channel from the night of August 5.