It may still be too early to see if Evo Japan will be a success in its inaugural year, but one thing is certain: it will be big.
More than 5,000 players have registered to compete at the inaugural edition of Evo Japan. Joey Cuellar, the head organizer of Evo, tweeted out the final registration numbers shortly after registration ended on Jan. 1 in Japan. Three of the seven games in the lineup crossed the 1,000 entrant threshold, with one of those surpassing the 2,000 player mark.
Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition will be the event’s largest tournament. Over 2,250 players signed up for the event, which places this game’s tournament behind the Street Fighter V events at Evo 2016 and Evo 2017 as the largest in fighting game history. The event will also serve as the game’s first major event after the release of the Arcade Edition update.
Over 1,200 players are registered to compete in Guilty Gear Xrd -REV2-. That number marks a 50 percent increase over the turnout for the game at Evo 2017. BlazBlue: Central Fiction, the other Arc System Works fighter in the lineup, has over 630 registrants, a 25 percent jump from its Evo 2017 headcount.
Tekken 7 finished the registration period with exactly 1,200 players, nearly equaling its Evo 2017 turnout. It’ll be the game’s third tournament to feature more than 1,000 players, following Evo 2017 in July and the five-on-five Mastercup 9 tournament in November.
The tournaments for both Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and King of Fighters XIV are slated to host more than 500 entrants. Nintendo Switch fighter ARMS will be the event’s smallest official tournament with just under 350 registrants.
As paid-entry esports tournaments currently count as a form of gambling under current Japanese law, registration for Evo Japan was free. This may mean that actual turnout numbers may differ significantly from registrant figures.
Still, plenty of talented players from the Americas and Europe are slated to make the trip to take on the best of Japan and the rest of Asia.
Saul “MenaRD” Mena of the Dominican Republic is slated to compete in his first major event since winning the Capcom Cup. U.S. Guilty Gear star Keenan “Kizzie Kay” Kizzle, French Tekken star Vincent “Super Akouma” Homan, and Mexican King of Fighters players Luis “Luis Cha” Martinez and Ruben “Pako” Partida are all scheduled to compete.
Evo Japan will take place on Jan. 26 to 28 in Tokyo.