Street Fighter IV’s success has brought immense growth to the fighting game scene and the EVO tournament, but for the founders who have presided over the tournament and its past participants, it’s the atmosphere and spirit of community that’s seemed to carry it over the years.
“The circle has gotten bigger, but there are some hardcore people that have done it for so many years,” Cuellar said. “We were friends and helped run the tournament, and the relationships have turned into careers.”
Cuellar, along with Seth Killian and brothers Tony Cannon and Tom Cannon have presided over the tournament from the very beginning, and even though sponsors have certainly aided in its growth over the years, it’s this quartet’s hard work and dedication that have really made the difference.Cuellar joked that Killian, now the community manager at Capcom, is probably the best Street Fighter player of the four of them simply because he’s around the game so much.
In fact, it was Killian that presided over EVO’s most famous moment, the legendary 2004 match between Japanese player Daigo Umehara, the current Street Fighter IV champion, and his American rival Justin Wong. The match features an incredible come from behind win by Umehara that generates a huge reaction from the crowd. The YouTube video in its various forms has generated over a million views, but it almost evaded capture.
“The battery on the camcorder was low during the match,” Cuellar said. “Thankfully it held out and we got that great moment on video.”
That certainly won’t be a problem this year since EVO’s popularity has attracted big sponsors like G4, who’re providing live streaming coverage of the event over three days. The network also announced they will feature EVO on a special episode of X-Play set to air later this month.
Even though this year’s EVO tournament will be held in the main ballroom of Caesars Palace instead of the outdoor coliseum that’s been home to those marquee prize fights, EVO 2010 is expected to shatter its previous attendance records and attract thousands of viewers via the web.
Cuellar said, “We’re not in the spot where they held all those boxing matches, but that might be for next year.”
July 9, 2010
EVO 2010 Tournament Schedule
3 PM - 9 PM
All Pools and Semi-Finals, Saturday, 9 AM - 1 PM
Pool Play, 9 AM - 1 PM
1 PM - 3 PM
9 AM - 1 PM
1 PM - 3 PM
Marvel vs Capcom 2
Pool play/Semi Finals
1 PM - 9 PM
Bang the Machine Movie:
Saturday, 10 PM - Midnight
10am-12pm Melty Blood, Actress Again Tournament finals
12pm-2pm Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Tournament Finals
2pm-4pm Tatsunoko vs. Capcom Tournament Finals
4pm-4:30pm SSFIV Women’s Invitational Finals
4:30-6pm Super SFII HD Remix Tournament Finals
6pm-8pm Tekken 6 Tournament Finals
8pm-9pm Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Exhibition
9pm-11pm SSFIV Tournament Finals