Why Was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Cut From EVO Online?

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It comes as no surprise to hear that EVO has been cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. While they originally stated they would try to hold out and see if things improve, circumstances forced EVO staff to announce last week that the event would be cancelled and replaced with an online alternative.

The online event will, in some shape or form, feature the titles on the original EVO 2020 lineup, with one notable exception: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will not be showcased at all for the online EVO event.

This has caused quite a stir in competitive communities, and has led people to ask: why isn’t Ultimate at EVO?

Why Isn’t Super Smash Bros. Ultimate At EVO Online?

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is one of the most popular fighting games, but its online play is almost a completely different experience.

There is no official reason for why Ultimate won’t be at the online EVO event. One (minor) speculation could be that because the online event likely won’t have the same draw as the traditional EVO events do, Nintendo wasn’t as keen for the game to be featured, although this seems unlikely as all the games being featured are getting essentially free advertising.

The most widely accepted reason for Ultimate being cut from EVO is due to its horrible online play. The Nintendo Switch (and Ultimate in particular) does not have the strongest online capabilities when it comes to a smooth gameplay experience.

Ultimate in particular has seen its fair share of issues since COVID-19 sidelined offline tournaments; major online events have popped up over the months, and many top players who originally entered them have since sworn off online tournaments due to the horrible competitive experience that is Ultimate online. It’s often said that offline Ultimate and online Ultimate are almost two completely different games at the competitive level.

Because of this, it’s highly likely that the EVO staff decided to forego having Ultimate featured. The online event will rely heavily on viewership and the stream experience to make it memorable, and having a lag-filled game with less top players would just be a hindrance more than anything.

What Games Will Be Featured At The Online EVO Event?

The main games that will still be featured at EVO Online will be:

  • Tekken 7
  • Street Fighter V: Champion Edition
  • DragonBall FighterZ
  • Soulcalibur VI
  • Under Night In-Birth (UNICLR)
  • Granblue Fantasy Versus
  • Samurai Shodown

On top of this, there will be four open tournaments for games that weren’t previously featured at EVO 2020. Anybody can enter these events, and these games are considered to have much stronger netcode than other fighting games, so you’ll get a more authentic experience playing them. The games include:

  • Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath
  • Killer Instinct
  • Skullgirls Encore
  • Them’s Fighting Herds

Be sure to follow the EVO Twitter account for updates on when each tournament will happen!