The Evolution Championship Series recently unveiled the nine (yes, nine) titles coming to its August 2019 tournament, but one decision from the tournament organizers stands out among the rest: Super Smash Bros. Melee is out and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is in.
Last year, Smash double-dipped with its Melee and Wii U iterations. But now that Ultimate‘s roster is bringing in every character from the series, it seems that Evo is fine with whittling it down to one Smash title per tourney.
Reception from fans was passionately mixed in the replies to Nintendo’s tweet about the announcement. While some were glad to see Melee‘s stranglehold on the competitive Smash scene start to relax, others were predictably reluctant to see the mainstay be left off the lineup for the first time in six years.
Evo head honcho Joey Cuellar said during the lineup reveal that Ultimate “has the potential to break all records at Evo.” Ultimate had the best launch month of any console exclusive in history and was 2018’s fifth best-selling game, despite the fact that it came out just one month before 2019. I’d say that Cuellar’s onto something there.
Ultimate isn’t the only first-time title coming to Evo 2019. Mortal Kombat 11, Soulcalibur VI, Samurai Shodown, and (perhaps most surprisingly) Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] will all be making their Evo debuts.
Cuellar specifically praised Under Night In-Birth‘s community for spearheading the way and supporting their game at a competitive level.
This is also the first time that any game in the Samurai Shodown series is coming to Evo, and developer SNK debuted a new teaser trailer for the upcoming title during the Evo announcement to celebrate.
In addition to these new titles, four more titles are returning to Evo 2019, and their inclusions shouldn’t surprise you. Dragon Ball FighterZ, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, and Tekken 7 are all returning to Evo’s main stage.
Overall, it should be one of the most interesting and exciting tournaments in years. After a handful of players just dominated Melee‘s finals for the last several years, it’ll be really interesting to see how Ultimate mixes things up.