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May 02, 2019 2 min read
Last year Dragon Ball FighterZ was the most-watched EVO stream in the event's history and the number one source of entries for the tournament: now, it's fallen to seventh place as of this May's EVO 2019 official count from EVO president Joey Cuellar. You can get a full look at the updated numbers below, which could change between now and the August 2 start date (but only slightly in all likelihood).
Last year things were exceedingly different. Dragon Ball Fighter Zand Street Fighter V were the clear winners, with roughly 1,000 more entrants than any other fighter. The list then went down to Tekken 7 in third, followed by Smash 4, Melee, Cross Tag Battle, Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, and Injustice 2 bottoming out at a paltry 363 entries. Mortal Kombat 11 couldn't have come at a better time.
So what changed in 2019? Well, Smash Ultimate is a massive hit with pretty much everyone, as it was built to cater to the eSports crowd as the quintessential Smash: if anything was going to topple Melee, it was Ultimate. Tekken 7 and Street Fighter V remain as popular as they were last year, but the big alterations are Dragon Ball FighterZ's stark decline from first to seventh place (so far) and Under Night/Samurai Shodown's victory.
I can also see why the anime fighter split would hurt FighterZ, despite the fact that it's been pumping out DLC characters for over a year now. Under Night is the new hotness: there's no EVO champion and everyone wants a taste at that crown: the same goes for shiny new Samurai Shodown. If you've been following EVO each year most of this list makes sense, but what really surprises me is seeing how little interest there is in Mortal Kombat 11. Maybe Injustice 2 cooled off NetherRealm a bit?
Either way, I'm going to miss Guilty Gear very much. It's been my favorite EVO series for years on end (alongside of Persona 4 Arena/Ultimax), but something had to give with two Arc games already in the mix (even if I still think Cross Tag should be swapped for Rev 2).
Joey Cuellar [Twitter]
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