Mr. Wizard On Having Guilty Gear, BlazBlue, And Both Smash Bros. In EVO 2017’s Lineup

Now that we know eight of the nine titles to be at EVO 2017, event founder Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar, shared his thoughts on some of the games that made it in and some that didn’t in a recent interview with Shoryuken.

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Here are some highlights from interview between Zavian “mushin_Z” Sildra of SRK and Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar.

On Street Fighter V topping its entrants record:

mushin_Z: Street Fighter V topped a massive 5100 entrants in 2016. Are you confident SFV can break that record in 2017?

Mr. Wizard: Records are meant to be broken, so anything is possible! We have a lot of space this year, so accommodating tournaments that break records should be doable.

On having both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U in the lineup:

mushin_Z: Smash fans are likely thrilled, but not everyone is, surely–what justifies the inclusion of both Smash 4 and Melee once again?

Mr. Wizard: Having the 2nd and 3rd most entrants last year, with a very diverse cross-section of Smash players, says a lot. These are two dedicated communities and we see the value in bringing them both back. Smash is in fact a fighting game, and they deserve to be represented at Evo.

On having both Arc System Works’ main fighters, Guilty Gear and BlazBlue in the lineup:

mushin_Z: Air-dashers might be surprised that both Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 and BlazBlue: Central Fiction made it to the main stage this time, more likely expecting one to edge out the other. What made you decide to let them share the spotlight? Did the upcoming release of GG Xrd ReV 2 make a big difference?

Mr. Wizard: We were all set to let BlazBlue have the spotlight this year, but then that surprise curveball of ReV 2 getting announced a few days ago changes things up. We wanted to make sure that we could include both games this year, as we recognize that they have different communities for those games. Evo 2014’s BlazBlue Finals were epic, so we’re looking forward to seeing what players can do this year!

In Pokkén Tournament and other titles that didn’t make the lineup, but will get a chance via votes:

mushin_Z: Pokkén Tournament debuted last year, and is now out of the lineup–was it a hard game to cut? How strongly was it considered? And were Killer Instinct or Mortal Kombat X even in the running this year?

Mr. Wizard: Every fighting game is in the running and is considered every year. One of the key elements that we look at is if people are still playing it, and how often. Evo can only do so many tournaments every year, so that’s why we included all those titles in the vote so that we can make sure everyone has a shot at the final game.

You can read the full interview over at Shoryuken.

EVO 2017 is scheduled to take place from July 14th through July 16th at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Those of you looking to attend can get more info on the official website. You can also head over here to donate and help a game get into the main lineup.

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Gamer, avid hockey fan, and firm believer in the heart of the cards.