Today, EVO founder Joey Cuellar tweeted out the registration numbers for the largest fighting game tournament in the world, Evo 2018. To those unaware, the fighting game community takes EVO registration numbers quite seriously, as the lifeblood of any fighting game is commonly measured by the number of people signing up for competitive play.
Unlike other esports, the fighting game community enjoys a non-trivial amount of player overlap between different games. Due to the number of different fighting games on the market, low registration during EVO can spell doom for particular games competitive lifespan. For a game to lose all interest, it usually takes the top performing fighting game players to stop playing, causing the majority of their fans and followers to also jump ship.
Such was the case with Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. The game was completely devoured by Dragon Ball Fighter Z once the competitive community, almost all at once, decided they enjoyed Saiyans over superheroes.
These years registration numbers speak to the dominance of Dragon Ball and Street Fighter while also marking a sharp rise in BlazBlue players. Comparing these numbers from last year, you can also notice a significant drop in Injustice 2 attendees.
For reference, here are the registration numbers for EVO 2017:
1. Street Fighter V: 2622
2. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: 1515
3. Super Smash Bros. Melee: 1435
4. Tekken 7: 1278
5. Injustice 2: 883
6. Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2: 827
7. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3: 648
8. BlazBlue: Central Fiction: 499
9. The King of Fighters XIV: 375
Nowadays, fighting game developers are keen on EVO's community impact and the games on display aren't always a direct reflection of community interest.
EVO 2018, for example, marks the first time that 3 games from the same developer (Arc System Works) are scheduled for competition and it is easy to imagine the inclusion of their least popular games was ensured thanks to Dragon Ball Fighter Z's runaway success.
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.