The FBI is investigating a potential mass shooting threat aimed at the Evo Championship 2018 after an anonymous Twitch user made the claim. Around 100,000 people are expected to descend on the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for Evo 2018 in August. The hotel was the scene of a mass shooting in October 2017 that left 58 dead and 800 injured, and some gamers are worried for their safety after the threat. This is not the first time a threat has been made against an eSports tournament and it represents a worrying trend, but the organizers say they are on high alert and tightening security accordingly.
Evo 2018 director Joey Cuellar said: “We are aware of the threat that was made against Evo 2018, and have contacted the FBI and Twitch regarding this matter. We take this very seriously, and they will be punished to the full extent of the law.” It is an unwelcome distraction from arguably the most eagerly anticipated esports tournament of the year, but fans should rest assured that all threats are taken seriously.
This year’s event looks set to be bigger than ever, both in terms of on-site attention at the Mandalay and on Twitch. This being Las Vegas, expect a flurry of betting activity alongside it, while online sportsbooks will also be getting in on the action. You can check Bovada for the latest odds and you’ll find all the current markets available. This year’s tournament promises to the biggest yet, with Dragon Ball Fighter joining the fun alongside classics such as Street Fighter 5 and Tekken 7.
Some fans were surprised to learn that Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite did not make the cut, but it has not enjoyed positive reviews, and Evo’s snub seems to represent the final nail in the coffin. Further controversy comes in the fact that there will be two Super Smash Bros games, plus three Arc System Works titles, including BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, which does not come out until May/June. The King of Fighters XIV missed the cut, despite KoF providing some interesting entertainment last year, while the revitalized Killer Instinct and Soul Calibur VI also missed out.
Evo started life as a Street Fighter tournament and that remains the most popular game. SFV is not performing as well as SFIV did, but it should still pull in the highest Twitch numbers during Evo weekend and close the tournament. Last year we witnessed an epic Grand Finals showdown between veteran Japanese gamer Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi and 18-year-old American newcomer Victor “Punk” Woodley/ Tokido pursued a relentless okizeme, fireball and all-round pressure game that led to a 3-0 victory and he was declated the 2017 SFV champion, landing $35,000 in the process. It was his third Evo trophy after seizing Capcom v SNK 2 all the way back in 2002 and Super Street Fighter II Turbo five years later.
The closest challenger to Street Fighter at Evo is Tekken, another game that stands at the pinnacle of its genre. They have a similar number of players on Steam and attract similar figures on Twitch. Capcom’s recent fall from grace, illustrated in the struggles of Marvel, has left Tekken as a prized game and many expect it to eclipse SFV at this year’s tournament. It is the only 3D fighter at Evo 2018 and could end up as the main attraction. Last year, South Korea dominated the Tekken tournament, with four of the top eight hailing from the Asian nation. Hyun-jin “JDCR” Kim won it, with Jin-woo “Saint” Choi in second, Jae-min “Knee” Bae third and Sang-hyeon “JEOnnding” Jeon finishing fifth. This elite group is expected to lead the way once more in August, and it should prove to be another thrilling battle.