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ESPN is continuing to expand and grow their roster of competitive sports games... and I'm not talking about real life sports, I'm talking about virtual sports and e-sports. The newest game that will get the televised treatment is none other than Capcom's Street Fighter V.
Gamespot is reporting that the record breaking number of entrants for this year's Street Fighter V at the annual EVO tournament series sent enough of a shock wave through the community to catch the attention of ESPN. The broadcasting station will devote some airtime to Street Fighter V at this year's EVO, which takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gamers and non-gamers alike will be able to catch a glimpse of the action on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.
According to a report from Event Hubs, this year's EVO Championship Series has a seen a record number of entrants across a variety of games, but none more-so than Street Fighter V, whose final tally came up to 5,065 entry registrants.
Street Fighter V will be joined by a number of other games that will be on display during the tournament, including Pokken Tournament, Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, Mortal Kombat XL, Killer Instinct, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, both Super Smash Bros., for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Melee, along with Bandai Namco's upcoming Tekken 7.
None of the other games have anywhere near as many entries as Street Figther V. Last year Ultra Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition held the most entries for a game, managing to rack up 2,227 registrants. Everything else dipped just below the 1,900 mark, according to a report from Shoryuken.
Interestingly enough, the Smash Bros., community actually grew this year compared to last year, with both games gaining 1,000 additional registrants.
ESPN, however, is only concerned with Street Fighter V, which is expected to be a blowout tournament this year. Capcom just recently updated the game with some much-needed fan-favorites, including tournament-favorite Balrog, who is usually played by competitive gamer P.R. Balrog. He's usually an odds on favorite to at least make the top eight, along with the stoic and fierce Snake Eyez, who makes Zangief look like a top tier fighter.
There should be a number of fascinating match-ups this year, and ESPN wants to be at the forefront of broadcasting and streaming the Street Fighter V competitions.
Last year the finals boiled down to a Rocky I-style confrontation where the underdog Gamerbee took on some of the best players in the whole world and came up just short of the grand prize during a controversial finale, where veteran Momochi etched out a win by a nose's hair.
With improved counters, new specials, advanced supers and one of the most interesting rosters in Street Fighter history, I'm actually quite excited to see what comes out of this year's EVO. If I were a betting man I would say the top eight will likely see a very polished looking Charlie Nash in there, along with Balrog and Juri.
You can look to tune into ESPN2 or live-stream the event through WatchESPN when EVO takes place over the July 15th weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada.