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EVO 2021's exclusive in-person tournament canceled due to Covid concerns

EVO 2021 canceled
(Image credit: EVO)

The EVO 2021 Showcase, billed as the fighting game tournament's "triumphant return" to Las Vegas, has been cancelled, organizers announced Wednesday.

"Due to the continuing complications of COVID-19 and the spread of the Delta variant we have made the tough decision to cancel the EVO 2021 showcase. 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."

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You might be wondering, wait, wasn't EVO 2021 an online-only event earlier this year? That was EVO 2021 Online, which was held last month as an online version of EVO's usual open elimination format, with players competing in Tekken 7, Guilty Gear Strive, Street Fighter V, and Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate.

The EVO 2021 Showcase was an invite-only in-person event scheduled to be held in Las Vegas. A total of 40 players would have competed for a prize pool of $125,000 spread across five games.

EVO organizers added that they would be reaching out individually to invited competitors "to recognize their efforts." It's unclear if the prize pool money will be allocated to those competitors or if it's taken off the table. PC Gamer has reached out to EVO's PR for clarification and will update when we know more.

EVO 2020 was made an online-only event as the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping North America, but was ultimately outright cancelled when major sponsors pulled support following the allegations. Sony assumed co-ownership of EVO earlier this year after allegations of abuse and harassment resulted in former EVO CEO Joey Cuellar resigning. Two of EVO's co-founders, Tom and Tony Cannon, now serve in an advisory role to Sony and a talent management venture called RTS.

EVO 2022 is currently scheduled for August 5-7 in Las Vegas as an in-person event.