Is an Online Evo 2020 a Good or Bad Thing?

As some of you may have seen over the weekend, the most renowned Fighting Game Tournament, EVO 2020 announced that they would be altering the course of the event due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. Instead of cancelling the event, it will be taking place online. Is this a good or a bad thing? Let’s talk about it.

Fighting Games Aren’t The Greatest When It Comes To Netcode

For Fighting game players, this is fairly common knowledge. Fighting games really are quite behind when it comes to making a great online experience. Whether its rollback netcode or delay-based, the results are usually less than decent. Let’s have a quick run through the line-up shall we?

  • UNICLR – No real upgrade from the previous versions netcode.
  • Smash Ultimate – First game could be fine, the next game you’re playing Powerpoint.
  • DragonBall FighterZ – Jump back into Superdash will be the grand final winning combo.
  • Tekken 7 – Anything below 5 bars is fairly painful.
  • MVC2 – It’s the Dreamcast version.
  • SFV: CE – Might actually be the best of the bunch. Still not great though.
  • Soul Calibur VI – Same as Tekken 7.
  • GranBlue Versus – The ArcSys classic.
  • Samurai Shodown – Not as bad as KOF14, but still not great. 

What’s even crazier about all of this, is that EVO is an international event. People travel from all over the globe to compete in the biggest fighting game event on the planet! So, just imagine the Grand Finals of any of these games having one player from the West Coast US, and the other player from Europe. We’re not even factoring in the internet quality of each individual player. It’s going to be a nightmare.

There are online services and programs, such as Parsec, which could be used to help mitigate some of the unreliability surrounding these games and their performance when it comes to online play. However, that would mean all players would be required to play on PC and that opens up a ton of problems. What if players don’t have gaming PC’s? Usually EVO takes place solely on consoles – is that because of an agreement with Sony? 

Something like Parsec could definitely help, as it’s more reliable and consistent as a form of delay-based netcode than most of the games listed above, but with all the possible problems surrounding it, I don’t think it will happen.

Is This Goodbye For Marvel vs Capcom 2 at Evo 2020?

Marvel Vs Capcom 2 was the event that took everyone by surprise during the line-up announcement. The case for MVC2 was slightly different than every other game being played at the event, as MVC2 was an invitational, pitting the previous champions of the game against each other. MVC2 is an incredibly intense and crazy game with tons of hype moments, especially for spectators!

The version of MVC2 that was to be played at EVO 2020 was going to be on the Dreamcast. Now, the Dreamcast did actually have online features, as I’m sure Phantasy Star Online players already know. However, playing a fighting game online on what is now a very old console, in the biggest fighting game tournament of the year… something tells me that’s not going to happen. 

Could Things Change?

We don’t actually know if any of these are completely locked in. EVO could turn around and say that X game is going to replace MVC2, for example. A game like Garou: Mark of the Wolves received a netcode patch not long ago, upgrading it to rollback. A genuinely well implemented rollback at that! Killer Instinct and Skull girls are two more games held in high regard for their online experiences. Could we see some of these titles replacing the current line-up? We’ll have to wait and see. 

Personally, I was excited to see MVC2 being played this year and I really hope they manage to figure something out that keeps it on the line-up. However, I would totally understand them removing it for something easier to work with.

Let me know your thoughts? If any game could replace something on the list, what would you like to see played? As always, thanks for reading!

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Conor Evans
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