Mar 19, 2021 - Economy

Sony's PlayStation buys fighting-game tournament

A store's PlayStation display case.

A store's PlayStation display case. Photo: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Sony's PlayStation division has bought the Evolution Championship Series (Evo), the long-running fighting game tournament that hosts contests between the world’s best players of video games such as "Street Fighter," "Mortal Kombat," and "Tekken."

The big picture: Video game giants such as Sony and Microsoft usually buy companies that make games. But Sony's acquisition of Evo, made jointly with a new group called RTS, is the rare purchase of an event — and a notable move for Sony into competitive gaming.

Catch up quick: The grassroots Evo events have been running since the late '90s, most recently in Las Vegas in front of thousands of attendees.

  • The bigger audience is online, where nearly 300,000 people tuned into the Evo 2019 finals featuring Nintendo's "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate."
  • This year's event will be online-only, across two weekends in August, and feature at least four major fighting games.

Of note: "Smash Bros." may not be there.

  • Nintendo and Sony are arch-rivals. While Evo will still be open to non-PlayStation games, Nintendo wouldn’t confirm involvement, telling Axios it will "assess" the event.

Worth seeing: Take a look at the most famous finish in fighting-game history, 2004's "Evo Moment 37."

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