Evo 2021’s return to Las Vegas has been canceled due to rising concerns surrounding the Delta Variant of COVID-19. In a tweet, Evo’s organizer said they will continue to work on bringing back big, live events.
The statement said, in part, “The players invited to participate in the Evo 2021 Showcase represent many of the best fighters in the world. We’re incredibly saddened to cancel the event.” You can read the whole statement below.
Update regarding the Evo 2021 Showcase: pic.twitter.com/DjUbNXV3EP
— EVO (@EVO) September 29, 2021
Evo 2021 was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas on November 27 and 28. The lineup was set to include Guilty Gear Strive, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, Skullgirls 2nd Encore, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, and Tekken 7. Evo is still scheduled to hold an in-person event in Las Vegas in August of 2022.
Last month, Evo held its Evo 2021 Online event, which featured players from all around the world. The last in-person event was held in 2019, as Evo 2020 was canceled shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began. Last year, the Evo community was also rocked by a sexual abuse scandal surrounding Evo organizer Joey Cuellar. This caused multiple companies to pull out of 2020’s Evo Online events. Cuellar was put on leave shortly after the allegations came to light.
Earlier this year, PlayStation bought the Evo Fighting Game Championship Series. Despite that, the event is still open to platforms beyond PlayStation, according to Evo team members. Super Smash Bros. was noticeably absent from this year’s planned lineup, with Nintendo saying, “we will continue to assess Evo, and other opportunities, as we plan for future online and offline Super Smash Bros. tournament activity.”
Other gaming events are also taking the Coronavirus into account, with the Call of Duty League becoming the first major esports organization to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test ahead of its 2021 Championship Weekend last month.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.