If your dream has been to see Street Fighter, one of the world’s most competitive esports, broadcast on national television, then you may want to go down to the ocean and palm strike a car in celebration. ESPN2 has announced that it will be televising the Street Fighter V World Championship from the Evolution Championship Series (Evo) in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 17. Live coverage will begin at 10PM ET and will be broadcast on both ESPN2 and the WatchESPN app. The hype, however, can begin right now.
For those of you not in the know, Evo is basically the Super Bowl for fighting games. The annual, three-day event sees thousands of highly skilled competitors from across the world come together to compete in games like Street Fighter V, Super Smash Bros, Mortal Kombat X, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and many more. This year’s competition will feature more than 14,000 competitors, shattering previous Evo records for total entrants. According to Evo co-founder Joey Cuellar, 5,065 people will be competing in the Street Fighter V competition. ESPN will only be broadcasting the final rounds, which makes sense from a business perspective since those will be the highest-profile and likely the most skilled of all the matches.
Here’s a promotional video for the Street Fighter V tournament which will soon be airing on television:
“The Street Fighter V World Championship will be one of the must-see competitions from the Evo finals,” ESPN Digital Media VP John Lasker said. “We are always exploring ways to serve the growing and passionate audience of competitive gaming, and we look forward to delivering this event to fans.”
“Evo is excited to bring the energy and excitement of our world finals to a wider audience,” said Evo CEO Joey Cuellar, Chief Executive Officer. “ESPN brings us an amazing opportunity to showcase the fighting game community competing at its highest level.”
In case you’re curious about how amped up these events can get, take a peek at this legendary clip of Daigo Umehara masterfully parrying Justin Wong’s attacks in the 2004 Evo seminfinals.
If we get anything close to that on national television, then this might be the breakthrough moment that esports needs with mainstream audiences. Or it’ll just confuse a lot of people and be really awesome to watch over and over again in hindsight. Either way, this year’s Street Fighter V championships are going to be straight (yoga) fire.
Will you be tuning in to the Evo finals? What do you want to see from ESPN’s broadcast? Let us know in the comments below!