Lineup for #EVO 2018 to be announced on February 6th!

With the first EVO Japan officially in the books, we now turn our sights onto the World Finals coming up in August 2018 at Las Vegas's Mandalay Bay! Of course, we have yet to learn the answer to this burning question: which games will make it atop the World Stage for the big finale?!

As it turns out, we will know the full lineup for EVO 2018 next Tuesday, February 6th.

In previous reveal shows for the EVO lineup, Joey "MrWizard" Cuellar, co-founder of EVO, and his team partnered with Red Bull Esports to add flavor to the program. It has yet to be announced if a similar partnership is in the works for next week's reveal, or if EVO will be displayed via the ESPN2 television network once again, but we will keep you updated when we learn more!

If you recall, MrWizard dropped a possible hint about the size of the lineup two months ago (see this article). Although it has yet to be officially confirmed, we may be seeing only seven games at EVO this year, as opposed to the nine-game lineup from last year.

We may already have some inklings of what to expect from the lineup this year. Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition is definitely a given, since the EVO series was initially founded on the basis of levitating the Street Fighter series to a competitive setting. Additionally, with how much the FGC has come to embrace DragonBall FighterZ, it is highly unlikely that it will not see the light of day at EVO. Both Smash 4 and Melee are almost certainly guaranteed as well.

However, shortly after Capcom Cup's conclusion in December, MrWizard noted the apparent lack of support for Marvel vs Capcom Infinite and seems to be questioning the idea of including it at EVO. No further comment has been given since then, but for once...the possibility of an EVO without a Marvel title seems to be ever-present, according to a reply he made to someone asking about Marvel Infinite's inclusion at the event.

Marvel vs Capcom 3, the predecessor to Marvel Infinite, faced a similar possibility at EVO 2017. The team had started a donation drive called the Player's Choice, where communities would race to raise funds with the goal of getting their game into the EVO lineup last year.

Once the contest began, both the Marvel and Pokken communities instantly collaborated to donate thousands of dollars on behalf of their respective titles. It became a neck-and-neck race hours from the deadline, but Marvel 3's community barely edged out Pokken's to emerge victorious and give Marvel 3 one last chance to shine at EVO, before it was to be succeeded by Marvel Infinite.

Thus, a bullet was dodged. But now it appears that a second shot could be coming their way...though nothing is for certain yet.

Other candidates have been suggested for the EVO 2018 lineup, including Injustice 2, Guilty Gear, Pokken Tournament DX, Blazblue Cross Tag Battle, and so on. With so many fighting games having begun their lifespans in 2017 and 2018, this will most certainly be a trending discussion.

Which games do you feel will make it to EVO?! Let us know on Twitter!

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Blake Whitworth