Street Fighter 6 at Evo 2023 will set a new entry record for the legendary tournament. This is nothing but good news for all of the FGC.
It was revealed last week that the upcoming Street Fighter 6 Evo 2023 tournament will break the event's all-time record for most competitors. The final tallies won't come out until July 10, but we do have an idea of the player count. The previous record, set by Street Fighter 5 in 2016, came in at 5,065 players. This should come as a shock and surprise to nobody. The FGC has patiently waited for Street Fighter as a franchise to come back for its crown.
And we've seen this before. The Street Fighter IV era was a bountiful one for the Fighting Games Community. Never before had there been as much gamer and mainstream interest in fighting games than that six year period. I'm remiss to blame Street Fighter V for ruining things, but the downturn was sharp.
Jump ahead to 2023 and Street Fighter 6 is the new messiah of fighting games. A true contender for game of the year, it feels as though more people than ever are playing again.
It's also the moment all of the FGC should have been waiting for. Whether we like it or not, the tide rises when Street Fighter is sitting at the top of the fighting game totem poll. We could be in the most potentially prosperous era for fighting games of all time and the Evo 2023 entry numbers are proof positive.
Street Fighter Evo 2023 breaks entry record
We've seen some good fighting game competition over the past eight years. I say this to avoid the terminally online opinion that Street Fighter V was a failure and almost killed the FGC. That's just not true at all. However, it was a game that took a number of years to find its stride. In that time we saw other genres within the fighting game genre take hold. Tag and anime fighters especially flourished, with the likes of Guilty Gear Xrd and Dragon Ball FighterZ being the flagbearers.
But it's nothing like the Street Fighter IV days. The impending Street Fighter 6 Evo 2023 entry record being shattered feels like a return to those 09er times from a decade ago. It certainly doesn't hurt that in the last ten years the genre has become more approachable than ever.
But there's something visceral and raw that boils up in folks of varying ages when Street Fighter gets mentioned. It's a game with nostalgia and core memories across a wide swath of different people.
And if we're being honest, that's something the Fighting Game Community needs. It's the thing that makes fighting games--and the FGC--a rarity within esports. It's the only competitive game genre that, to borrow that boat euphemism once more--rises all ships.
League of Legends and DOTA being successful wasn't a boon for the MOBA genre. You could argue it did the opposite, as a wave of copycats looked to flood the market with cash grabs. Likewise with shooters, they're always in the zeitgeist and a good one only raises the flag of that particular franchise.
However, there's something eye-grabbing about fighting games as a genre. Completely reliant on one's own skill and tactics, to succeed in the FGC is to break personal barriers. It's why every year when Evo comes around it's like clockwork that a bunch of nerds like myself get hyped. You watch some excellent fighting game matches and suddenly you feel motivated like you could be the next Daigo or SonicFox.
How many of you have ran out after Evo and bought a fight stick? Be honest.
And with fighters being so franchise-based it's only a matter of time until you find the one that appeals to you personally. That's the wonder and joy of Evo tournament weekend. It's a literal buffet table of fighting games, personalities, challenges, losses, and triumphs. And when there's one smashingly-huge game that draws even more eyes to the genre as a whole. The Street Fighter 6 Evo 2023 entry record means more eyes, hands, and other appendages all focused on the FGC.
When we all succeed
So, there's this socio/economic/political idea called "trickle down economics." Brought to popularity in the United States in the 1980s under the dubious leadership of one Ronald Reagan, the idea was simple. Success for the most successful means that, over enough time, all become successful.
Applied to the economics of our country I find the theory full of more holes than swiss cheese. However, it is true that as a community prospers so too does everyone involved and surrounding it. If ever a golden age for fighting games was to come once more, it's when Street Fighter is collectively at its best and drawing the most casual fans into the game.
Follow the birdie: More fans means more events. Then those events get bigger, the game gains wide mainstream appeal, and even more money goes into the prize pools of said tournaments. Fighting games find success through community growth and the upcoming two million dollar prize pool at Capcom Cup could only be the start.
After all, anyone with enough grit and determination can become a winner. It just takes one metaphorical quarter put into the arcade cabinet.
Stay tuned to esports.gg for esports news and updates.