The Evolution Championship Series it the largest fighting game tournament in the world, held every year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thousands of gamers from around the world come to challenge the best of the best in hopes of leaving the Vegas strip with the title of World Champion, as well as a significantly heavier pocket. Last year, over $20,000 USD was up for grabs in the Super Street Fighter 4 tournament alone, and this year it can only get bigger. The question is, can anyone stop Diago “The Beast” Umehara from taking that money home with him to Japan for the 3rd time in a row?
These people intend to try.
Last year, Sony made the Playstation 3 the official console of Evo by sponsoring the entire event, and donating an abundance of consoles for both tournament use and the free play area. This year however, they’re going one step beyond by streaming the entire weekend long tournament inside the Playstation Home Theater. According to the Playstation Blog, “The purpose of this event is twofold: First, bring the world’s top fighting game competition directly to your PlayStation 3. Secondly, we have some new video streaming technology to test in the PlayStation Home Theater and what better opportunity than this?” Fantastic news for those of us who aren’t able to travel all the way to Las Vegas this weekend.
Not only that, it could finally give a legitimate use for the often forgotten Playstation Home. While Evo will be streaming on the PC as well, Playstation owners will be able to watch the tournament on their televisions and in high quality for the first time. The fighting game community has been surprisingly supportive of this move, with many fans (of sites like SRK) claiming they will install Home for the first time so they can tune in.
Of course, Sony is also offering Home users an incentive to watch the tournament each day in the form of free avatar gifts.
“Visitors on Friday will receive a limited edition EVO t-shirt for their PlayStation Home avatar; on Saturday players will be rewarded with a special fighting stick companion item; and on Sun all viewers will receive a replica of the EVO trophy for their PlayStation Home personal spaces.” – Playstation Blog
It may simply be a test for the moment, but should Sony find this event worthwhile, it may open the door to future gaming tournaments and organizations such as MLG. In the mean time, check out the Evo 2010 grand finals match above, and be sure to check the Playstation Blog for stream times.