A host of new combatants punched their tickets to the arena this last weekend. Between the various games on the main stage of Evo 2019, there were a lot of announcements of new fighters, balance patches, and even a new game or two.
Starting off on a much smaller scale, the Evolution Championship Series—colloquially known as Evo—has become both a world championship stage for many fighting games and a pseudo-press conference for publishers to announce fighting game news to its most engaged audience. This weekend, especially on the main stage, did not disappoint.
Here's a rundown of all the big news from this weekend's action:
Street Fighter leaked, but more is on the way
Street Fighter's big new for the weekend leaked a little early, but Capcom didn't show up completely empty-handed to Evo. Series producer Yoshinori Ono took the stage to announce that more news would be coming in November or December, so that's good for Street Fighter fans holding out their main to get added. (Come on Capcom, just give me Makoto.)
Those three leaked fighters—E. Honda, Poison, and Lucia—are available today on PlayStation 4 and PC.
BlazBlue gets Senran Kagura and… a tank?!
A strong contender for the strangest news of the weekend, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle is getting a few more "Fates" to cross in the future. This includes characters from the BlazBlue series as well as ninja-girl beat 'em up series Senran Kagura and Akatsuki Blitzkampf, a popular Japanese fighting game that apparently has a tank in it?
I'm really excited to see how the Blitztank actually plays, because it looks ridiculous but also really fun. There's also a 2.0 balance patch coming for Cross Tag Battle, which will include nine total new fighters. The stinger of the trailer revealed Neapolitan, a popular character from the animated series RWBY, which also be making her debut in the Cross Tag universe. The update's set for November 21, but there will probably be a few more characters revealed between now and then.
Tekken has a few surprises, though one wasn't intended
One of the biggest surprises of grand finals day was the inexplicable codec call in the middle of Tekken 7's finals, with Solid Snake showing up on the stage screen to say that was some "good ass Tekken." The stream only got a hint of it, though those in-person saw it all.
Evo has since said this was its idea of a "little joke" during the finals, and that it was done without consulting Bandai Namco and did not imply a character reveal. Bit of an odd joke to throw in during the finals of a game like Tekken, that already has Akuma, Noctis, and Negan from The Walking Dead.
Tekken did have a few announcements though, like the return of fighter Zafina and a brand new contestant in the King of Iron Fist tournament, Leroy Smith. A new update for every existing fighter with brand new moves, an updated UI, and new Practice mode options is coming as well, as Tekken 7 kicks into its third season. So plenty to come on that front, even if its not Solid Snake.
A familiar face returns to Soulcalibur
Cassandra is finally getting her much-due appearance in Soulcalibur 6, bringing her own brand of sword-and-shield brawling to the stage of history. But one returning face is not all that's set for Soulcalibur; several more fighters were announced, including one guest fighter that's been starring in another Evo title.
Haohmaru of Samurai Shodown is also coming to Soulcalibur 6, in a pretty fitting cameo for the weapon fighter. Haohmaru will be part of a second season pass, including three other fighters. Cassandra, meanwhile, is available today.
A new Guilty Gear is in the works
Arc System Works announced it has a new Guilty Gear in development, set for 2020. While we don't know too much about it just yet, the trailer alone is simply gorgeous. How the artists manage to keep one-upping themselves, from Guilty Gear Xrd Sign on through to Dragon Ball and now a new Guilty Gear, I have no idea. Speaking of Dragon Ball…
Janemba joins the fray in Dragon Ball FighterZ
The antagonist of Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn is coming to Dragon Ball FighterZ. It seems like Arc System Works is really mining the expanded canon for more Dragon Ball fighters, as GT Goku has quickly become a staple in the competitive scene. Still, Janemba looks pretty rad.
The movie villain arrives August 8, while previously announced Gogeta SSGSS (that's Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan) is "coming soon." Since the Super version of Broly is occupying the last slot, that's presumably the end of this season of Dragon Ball content. There are some interesting picks, but man, where's Kefla at?
Under Night gets a new, fittingly bizarre title
Never to be shown up by series like Kingdom Hearts in the title department, the Under Night series has a new version on the way: Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late [cl-r]. I'm guessing that's pronounced "ex-ell-ate clear."
The new UNIEL is coming in 2020, and already has one new fighter in the ice-wielding fighter Londrekia. No news on platforms, though a leak says this will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Switch Neat!
A new King of Fighters and some more Shodown
It wasn't just the Arc System Works show, though. SNK also took the main stage to announce that King of Fighters 15 is in development. Alongside a new KoF, there's also a lot of DLC on the way for throwback fighter Samurai Shodown, with a new character coming every month for the rest of the year.
Samurai Shodown DLC schedule revealed, plus Season 2 DLC in 2020 including Mina Majikina pic.twitter.com/Y8HycVhOFx— Wario64 (@Wario64) August 4, 2019
Finally, I can chart the months by SamSho fighters. A second season was also confirmed, and SNK revealed that Samurai Shodown 5's Mina Majikina would be the first fighter of season two.
That's all the major news out of Evo 2019. Every main game had a reveal, except for headliner Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and this year's Mortal Kombat 11, though both have new fighters already set in stone. Nintendo just launched Dragon Quest's Hero and is building up steam towards Banjo-Kazooie's Smash debut, while NetherRealm Studios is dropping Nightwolf later this month, with Sindel, Spawn, and more on the way. It's never been a better time to juggle a million fighting games.