‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’ ousts ‘Marvel vs Capcom’ at EVO 2018

'Dragon Ball FighterZ' has established itself as an essential component of the fighting game scene. — Handout via AFP
'Dragon Ball FighterZ' has established itself as an essential component of the fighting game scene. — Handout via AFP

LAS VEGAS, Feb 8 — For the first time in the prestigious fighting game tournament’s 16-year history, a Marvel vs Capcom competition will not be among EVO’s premier events.

The Evolution Championship Series has announced its tournament line-up for 2018, with new release Dragon Ball FighterZ making the final cut, while Marvel vs Capcom Infinite has been dropped.

Until now, the crossover fighting game franchise has been present in one form or another, starting with Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes at EVO 2002 up until Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, whose six-year run lasted from 2012 to 2017.

But in 2018, there’s no room for the series’ latest entry, Marvel vs Capcom Infinite, which was released in September 2017 to an uncharacteristically lukewarm reception.

By contrast, a pre-release edition of Dragon Ball FighterZ was introduced to the fighting game community at last year’s EVO, and was enthusiastically received both then and upon its January 2018 retail debut.

Its inclusion means that Japanese studio Arc System Works has achieved the rare status of creating three of the main stage tournament’s eight titles, having also developed BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle and Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2.

Before now, the studio most commonly associated with a triple- or quadruple-bill was Capcom itself; Marvel vs Capcom 2, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Street Fighter II Turbo and Capcom vs SNK 2 were all selected for EVO 2009 (Bandai Namco obtained triple-billing at EVO 2016 thanks to Pokkén Tournament, a variation on Tekken 7, and its collaboration with Sora Ltd in Super Smash Bros for Wii U).

At EVO 2018, Capcom’s Street Fighter franchise continues on as an ever-present courtesy of January’s Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition update.

Nintendo community favourites Super Smash Bros for Wii U and Super Smash Bros Melee, the latter of which has been around even longer than EVO, also make a return, as does NetherRealm’s superhero punch-up Injustice 2.

Of the eight main stage games, five will be featured in EVO’s last-day Arena finals, those being Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 and Super Smash Bros Melee.

Marvel vs Capcom could still make it into EVO in one form or another, as side events are yet to be announced.

The EVO 2018 World Finals take place August 3-5 in Las Vegas. — AFP-Relaxnews

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