|Location||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Dates||July 14–16, 2017|
The 2017 Evolution Championship Series, commonly referred to as Evo 2017, was a fighting game event held in Las Vegas on July 14–16 that was part of the long-running Evolution Championship Series. The event offered tournaments for various fighting games, such as Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, and Injustice 2. Over 10,000 people registered for the event with Tekken 7 receiving double the number of players from the previous year.
- 1 Venue
- 2 Games
- 3 Participants
- 4 Broadcasting
- 5 Reveals
- 6 Tournament summary
- 7 Prize pool
- 8 Controversies
- 9 Results
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Contrast to the previous year's event which took place in two venues, Evo 2017 took place in the Mandalay Bay resort for all three days of the event. The first two days of the event were held in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, while the final day was held in the Mandalay Bay Events Center like it had in 2016.
The nine games played at Evo 2017 were announced in January 2017 during a special announcement stream on Twitch.tv, with event co-founder Joey Cuellar discussing the inclusion of each game. The games set to be contested consisted of new releases, FGC contemporaries, and updated releases. New additions included BlazBlue: Central Fiction, The King of Fighters XIV, and Injustice 2 while Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 would replace Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-. A major change among the Smash community was that Super Smash Bros. Melee's finals would be moved to the prime time spot on Saturday, contrast to its Sunday spot in the previous years. A ninth game, a Player's Choice title, was later won by Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, after having donated the most money for Make-A-Wish International via Generosity.com. The other three games were Street Fighter V, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Tekken 7.
In an interview with PVP Live's Amanda Stevens, veteran Super Street Fighter II Turbo player and commentator, James Chen had mixed opinions regarding the lineup praising Guilty Gear and BlazBlue's simultaneous inclusion while criticizing the Player's Choice game. Although Pokkén Tournament lost the Make-A-Wish Foundation poll, in recognition of the Pokkén scenes passion for their game as shown by being the second most funded fighting game; Joey Cuellar offered $10,000 for pot bonuses towards various tournaments surrounding the game.
As with the previous two years, the AnimEVO series of side tournaments, which is dedicated to airdasher fighting games was at the event with more than sixteen fighting games that were competed in including Catherine, Gundam Versus, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R and Under Night In-Birth EXE: Late as well as former EVO titles Persona 4 Arena Ultimax and Pokkén Tournament. The side tournament is notable for the large amount of support it received from Bandai Namco, Sega, and other developers. Voice actress Kana Ueda was also in attendance and placed 5th in the Gundam Versus tournament. Other side events for games like Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Project M, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT and the upcoming Dragon Ball FighterZ also occurred during the event.
The Evolution Championship Series has historically been the largest fighting game tournament in the world, allowing free registration for anyone who wants to compete. Registration for the event closed on July 1, which Joey "Mr. Wizard" Cuellar had announced the final registration numbers. The three largest games from last year: Street Fighter V, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Melee have all seen decreases in numbers with the games going from 5107 to 2622, 2662 to 1515, and 2372 to 1435 respectively. In contrast, Tekken 7 doubled in entrant numbers receiving over 1,200 entrants which was commonly associated with the release of the title's console version.
Evo 2017 has received over 10,000 attendees in competition.
It was announced that ESPN2 would once again broadcast the finals of the Street Fighter V tournament on July 16 with Kevin Lopes stating "This final will provide no shortage of compelling competition, and we look forward to delivering this event to fans.". The Super Smash Bros. for Wii U finals in addition to the aforementioned Street Fighter V finals were also broadcast on Disney XD, as part of the launch of the network's new video game-focused D|XP block.
As every year, the entire tournament was streamed through the Twitch.tv streaming service. The tournament was broadcast across nine different streams: six Evo-run streams provided coverage of all games throughout the weekend, while Capcom ran its own stream that features additional coverage of Street Fighter V on Friday and Saturday, Namco provided a stream with additional coverage of Tekken 7 on Friday, while NetherRealm Studios provided a stream with additional coverage of Injustice 2.
During the Street Fighter V finals, ESPN2 pulled the match between Ryota "Kazunoko" Inoue and Du "NuckleDu" Dang and forced the former to change his costume for Cammy as the company felt that the character's default costume was "too sexy" for broadcasting.
On the first day of the event, Capcom revealed three nostalgic costumes (one for Alex, Ibuki, and Juri) and Ryu's classic Street Fighter II stage, Suzaku Castle, for Street Fighter V. They also announced a new stage called Ring of Pride as well as a new costume for Guile designed by Capcom Cup 2016 champion, Du "NuckleDu" Dang.
Shortly after the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 finals, Capcom's Peter "Combofiend" Rosas revealed Jedah for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite during a match against Street Fighter V finalist, Ryan "Filipino Champ" Ramirez. Following the BlazBlue: Central Fiction finals, Toshimichi Mori of Arc System Works went on the Mandalay Bay stage to reveal Jubei as a DLC character for BlazBlue: Central Fiction. Additionally, Mori announced BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, a crossover fighter featuring characters from BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, and RWBY. Another trailer prior to the Tekken 7 finals showcased Arika's upcoming fighting game, also revealing Street Fighter EX characters Skullomania and Darun Mister would be joining the roster. Between the Tekken 7 finals and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U finals, Bandai Namco Entertainment showed the first gameplay footage of Trunks in the upcoming Dragon Ball FighterZ, as well as announcing a nine character beta for later in the year; this was instantly followed by Katsuhiro Harada and Michael Murray revealing Geese Howard as a DLC guest character for Tekken 7. Before the Street Fighter V finals began, Yoshinori Ono went on-stage to announce Abigail from Final Fight as the next DLC character in Street Fighter V's second season.
Prior to the Street Fighter V finals, the EVO tournament organizers announced the EVO Japan 2018 dates as January 26–28.
Street Fighter V
Evo 2017 was the second year that Street Fighter V was featured on the big stage with the event once again being the closing game. Ryota "Kazunoko" Inoue would notably place 3rd in the tournament, making his appearance in the Street Fighter V finals his second Top 8 finish during the event. Hiromiki "Itabashi Zangief" Kumada would place 4th in the event; both Kazunoko and Itabashi Zangief were sent to the Loser's Bracket by the event's eventual runner-up Victor "Punk" Woodley. The finals had a diverse number of characters including Karin, Nash, Cammy, Zangief, and Akuma.
The Grand Finals was a showdown between Japan's Hajime "Tokido" Taniguchi and the United States's Victor "Punk" Woodley. Tokido took the first two games with the first match notably having Tokido using Akuma's taunt to defeat Punk's Karin. Tokido's relentless pressure, okizeme, and fireball game would lead to him resetting the bracket 3-1 and then follow it up with a clean 3-0 upset over Punk in order to become the Evo 2017 Street Fighter V champion. Tokido received $35,000 for winning the finals and at the time moved up to second place in the Capcom Pro Tour 2017 standings. This victory would also give Tokido his third EVO trophy, with his first two being for Capcom vs. SNK 2 (2002) and Super Street Fighter II Turbo (2007).
PC Gamer described the grand finals between Tokido and Punk as a match between a veteran and a newcomer as the players at the time of the event were 32 and 18 respectively. One of the Twitch commentators at the end of the finals, James Chen, notably bursted in tears and gave a message saying "Evo is love. L-O-V-E. When you hold that L and run it back: EVO.”; the message is a response to all of the passion and support that the fighting game community has done towards the events and fighting games.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Taking the spot of Melee on Sunday, Wii U nevertheless saw a drop in attendance from 2016, but still had the second highest attendance of any game at Evo 2017 with the exception of Street Fighter V. Wii U featured many notable upsets; the game's 2016 winner Elliot "Ally" Carroza-Oyarce and runner-up Takuto "Kameme" Ono were both eliminated before the semi-final round. Ultimately, despite seven of the final thirty-two players using the controversial top tier Bayonetta, only one secured a place in the finals, and each of the top eight players mained a different character. Evo 2015 champion Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios of Chile defeated veteran player Larry "Larry Lurr" Holland in winners' finals 3-2 after being down 2-0. Saleem "Salem" Young, after being sent to the losers' bracket by Larry Lurr, defeated Kengo "KEN" Suzuki in losers' quarters, Gavin "Tweek" Dempsey in losers' semifinals, and won a rematch with Larry Lurr 3-1 in losers' finals. Salem would then go on to win the tournament, resetting the bracket against ZeRo 3-2 and then winning 3-2 in the second set of grand finals.
The third year at the Evolution Championship Series and its first since its console release, Tekken 7 had over 1,200 entrants competing for a qualification to the Tekken World Tour finals. South Korea was the most dominant region represented in the finals with half of the Top 8 being Korean players. Sang-hyeon "JEOnnding" Jeon was the lowest finishing of the four in 5th place, with the top three being established EVO champions; Jae-min "Knee" Bae, Jin-woo "Saint" Choi, and Hyun-jin "JDCR" Kim placing 3rd, 2nd, and 1st respectively. JDCR's victory in an Echo Fox team kill Grand Finals lead to him receiving his second EVO championship, his previous title was in 2014 for Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
BlazBlue: Central Fiction
Although BlazBlue: Central Fiction didn't have more entrants than its sibling, Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2, the finals did not disappoint. The title is considered to be among the most popular fighting games in Japan, in which all of the Top 8 finalists hailed from. In the grand finals, it came down to Shoji “Fenrich” Sho and Ryusei Ito using Jin and Carl respectively. Both have played each other frequently in tournaments and are well acquainted friends. Fenrich was able to reset the bracket, sending Ryusei Ito to the loser's bracket; however in the final game of the event, Ryusei came out as the victor 3-2.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
The finals of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 at Evo 2017 was considered by many as the game's swan song. The defending champion, Christopher "NYChrisG" Gonzalez would fall second place to fellow Morrigan player, Rene "RyanLV" Romero. RyanLV benefited in the grand finals with his unique synergy of Chun-Li, Morrigan, and Phoenix; a style which emphasized very heavily on offensive play, in contrast to NYChrisG's defensive play. The third-place finisher, Canada's Jose "Quackbot" Aldape (who entered as PC Marvel God), was a surprise by many as he upset many fan favorites along the way including Ichihara Takumi, Kenneth "K-Brad" Bradley, Vineeth "ApologyMan" Meka, Justin Wong, Raynel "RayRay" Hidalgo among others.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Although the finals took place on Saturday, the Super Smash Bros. Melee event had as much excitement as the previous years. One notable upset was where fan favorite, William "Leffen" Hjelte was notably eliminated by Ryan "The Moon" Coker-Welch in a match to advance in Top 8 in Loser's Bracket. Adam "Armada" Lindgren would face off against Joseph "Mango" Marquez in the Winner's Finals with Armada sending Mango to Loser's Finals, 3-0. Mango then eliminated the defending champion, Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma over the course of five close games. In Grand Finals, Armada won the first set 3-1 and took the title of EVO champion for the second time.
In its debut year at the Evolution Championship Series, Injustice 2 had one of the most unexpected victories at the event. While Echo Fox's Dominique "SonicFox" McLean was the favorite to win the event, he fell victim to Tim "HoneyBee" Commandeur's Flash in Winner's and Andrew "Semiij" Fontanez' Catwoman and netted himself a fifth-place finish. The grand finals would see HoneyBee face off against Ryan "Dragon" Walker in a runback from Winner's Finals. Dragon would come out on top with his Aquaman secondary 3-2 against HoneyBee's Flash. The event saw plenty of character diversity with characters such as Atrocitus, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Batman, Black Adam, Brainiac and the aforementioned Flash and Aquaman receiving exposure. Many of the mistakes in the finals made were attributed to the title's status as a recently released title as Injustice 2 was released two months prior to the event itself.
The King of Fighters XIV
As with the previous years that the King of Fighters franchise was represented, which was with the thirteenth installment; the Evo 2017 King of Fighters XIV tournament had global talent represented in its Top 8 with six countries represented. The finals saw some upsets as the Evo 2013 champion and KOF XIV World Champion, Reynald Tacsuan and Murakami "M'" Masanobu respectively, were notably eliminated by Chia-Chen "ZJZ" Tseng and Ruber "Pako" Partida respectively. Ultimately, Taiwanese player and Evo 2014 3rd placer Chia-Hung Lin "E.T." Lin would become the champion after defeating the Evo 2014 champion, Zhuojun "Xiao Hai" Zeng of China with a 3-2 finish, having earned 60% of the $14,000 pot bonus. His victory was attributed to a surprise character pick in which Goro Daimon was used.
The Street Fighter V event has received a $50,000 pot bonus as part of the 2017 Capcom Pro Tour Season. The King of Fighters XIV received a $14,000 bonus pot courtesy of SNK and Atlus. Injustice 2 received a pot bonus of $50,000 as part of the Injustice 2 Pro Series by ESL Gaming. Arc System Works and Aksys Games provided a $10,000 pot bonus each for Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 and BlazBlue: Central Fiction. Bandai Namco Entertainment also provided a $15,000 pot bonus towards the Tekken 7 finals as part of the 2017 Tekken World Tour Season.
In a Super Smash Bros. Melee match between Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma and Zac "SFAT" Cordoni in Winner's Quarter-Finals, both players were issued a yellow card after Debiedma called his coach, Luis “Captain Crunch” Rosias over for advice; Gordon "G$" Connell mocked Debiedma by miming a coaching session with Cordoni. As both players violated the "No Coaching After Pools" rule, lead EVO tournament organizer Joey "Mr. Wizard" Cuellar let the match stand. Had Connell not teased Debiedma with the coaching session, he would have most likely been disqualified. This upset many fans, as they believed that Cordoni was not being coached and didn't deserve to get carded. Furthermore, the official EVO ruleset stated that, if the incident was not reported at the time it took place, then the incident will be ignored, meaning that both Debiedma and Cordoni shouldn't have been carded in the first place, since the incident was not reported. 
|2nd||Victor Woodley||PG|Punk||Karin, Nash|
|4th||Hiromiki Kumada||DNG|Itabashi Zangief||Zangief|
|5th||Du Dang||Liquid|NuckleDu||Guile, R. Mika|
|7th||Ryan Ramirez||SPY|Filipino Champ||Dhalsim|
|2nd||Gonzalo Barrios||TSM|ZeRo||Diddy Kong|
|3rd||Larry Holland||MSF|Larry Lurr||Fox|
|4th||Gavin Dempsey||P1|Tweek||Cloud, Donkey Kong|
|5th||Nairoby Quezada||NRG|Nairo||Zero Suit Samus, Bowser|
|7th||Samuel Buzby||RNG|Dabuz||Rosalina & Luma|
|1st||Hyun-jin Kim||FOX|JDCR||Heihachi, Dragunov|
|3rd||Jae-min Bae||Knee||Bryan, Feng, Dragunov, Steve, Devil Jin|
|5th||Sang-hyeon Jeon||JEOndding||Lucky Chloe, Eddy|
|7th||Aoki Takehiko||Yamasa|Take||Kazumi, Bryan|
|4th||Tatsuro Fujiyoshi||iGS|Kaibutsukun||Izanami, Nine|
|7th||Ryuji Utsumi||DoraBang||Bang, Mu-12|
|7th||Takao Nao||Mt. Takao||Rachel|
|2nd||Christopher Gonzalez||EG|NYChrisG||Morrigan/Doctor Doom/Vergil|
|3rd||Jose Aldape||PC Marvel God (Quackbot)||Magneto/Doctor Doom/Phoenix|
|4th||Luis Cervantes||Paradigm||Haggar/Dormammu/Doctor Doom, Arthur/Rocket Raccoon/Haggar, Haggar/Rocket Raccoon/Doctor Doom|
|5th||Joey D'alessandro||JoeyD||Zero/Doctor Doom/Vergil|
|5th||Hasson Stimphil||KPB|Prodigy||Magneto/Doctor Doom/Phoenix|
|7th||Eddie Mu||GB|NotEnoughDamage||Zero/Doctor Doom/Vergil|
|2nd||Joseph Marquez||C9|Mango||Fox, Falco|
|4th||Jason Zimmerman||FOX.MVG|Mew2King||Marth, Fox, Sheik, Peach|
|5th||Justin McGrath||PG|Plup||Sheik, Fox|
|7th||Ryan Coker-Welch||MSF|The Moon||Marth|
|1st||Ryan Walker||Noble|Dragon||Aquaman, Poison Ivy|
|2nd||Tim Commandeur||cR|HoneyBee||Flash, Aquaman|
|5th||Dominique McLean||FOX|SonicFox||Red Hood, Black Adam|
|5th||Alexandre Dubé-Bilodeau||PG|Hayatei||Robin, Batman|
|7th||Sayed Hashim Ahmed||NASR|Tekken Master||Atrocitus, Brainiac|
|7th||Daris Daniel||T7G|DR Gross||Green Lantern, Black Adam|
|1st||Chia-Hung Lin||HuomaoTV|E.T.||Leona/Daimon/Benimaru, Clark/Benimaru/Daimon, Billy/Leona/Benimaru, Meitenkun/Benimaru/Leona|
|2nd||Zhuojun Zeng||DouyuTV|Xiao Hai||Kula/Benimaru/Iori, Robert/Kula/Iori|
|3rd||Luis Martinez||KCO|Luis Cha||Andy/Mai/Muimui|
|4th||Chia-Chen Tseng||HuomaoTV|ZJZ||Benimaru/Mature/Athena, Meitenkun/Yuri/Mature, Yuri/Mature/Leona, Athena/Yuri/Mature|
|5th||Waqas Ali||GCCM|WhiteAshX||Nakoruru/Yuri/Athena, Mian/Yuri/Athena|
|5th||Ruber Partida||TC|Pako||Meitenkun/Luong/Muimui, Meitenkun/Luong/Mai|
|7th||Reynald Tacsuan||AS|Reynald||Gang-il/Geese/Meitenkun, Mian/Benimaru/Robert|
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