EVO 2019: The Top Performing Nations

Japan and the United States dominate, but 15 different countries earn top 8 finishes.

The largest fighting game tournament of the year has come to an end, and if there’s one takeaway I have from EVO 2019 (apart from “wow it’s a good time to be a fan of fighting games“), it’s that the fighting game community is truly international. So many nations were represented this weekend, in fact, that I was reminded of the Olympics. One thing was missing, though–commentators and broadcasters didn’t mention the medal count. When the Olympics come around, I’m always excited to hear how well each country is performing. How many golds does the USA have now? How far behind is China? Well, it’s about time we start asking the same kind of questions of esports.

Gathered below are several lists. First, a list detailing information on the top 3 finishes for each EVO tournament. However, instead of the players’ names, this list shows the names of the countries that were being represented by the players. Next, you’ll see the “Medal Count.” While there are no “gold medals” given out at EVO, we all know that “gold” means a first-place finish. This list will show you how many “medals” were earned over the course of the weekend. And finally, since fighting game tournaments usually recognize and reward top 8 finishes, you’ll find a list on top 8 finishes, by country, at the bottom of this article.

Event Placements (By Country)

Soul Calibur 6: (1) Japan, (2) USA, (3) France

Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late(st): (1) Japan, (2) Japan, (3) Japan

Dragon Ball FighterZ: (1) Japan, (2) USA, (3) Japan

Samurai Shodown: (1) South Korea, (2) Japan, (3) USA

Mortal Kombat 11: (1) USA, (2) USA, (3) Bahrain

Blazblue Cross Tag Battle: (1) USA, (2) Japan, (3) Japan

Street Fighter V: (1) Japan, (2) United Arab Emirates, (3) United Kingdom

Tekken 7: (1) Pakistan, (2) South Korea, (3) USA

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: (1) Mexico, (2) USA, (3) France

Eight different nations managed to earn top-3 finishes at EVO this year. That’s an impressive diaspora. You’ll also notice that five different nations are mentioned just once: Mexico, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and the United Kingdom. And while people from all of these nations are no doubt proud of their achievements, the two with first-place finishes stand above the rest. Arslan Ash of Pakistan won first place at the Tekken 7 tournament, and in doing so defeated the “Tekken God”–Jae “Knee” Min Bae of South Korea. Meanwhile, Leonardo “MKLeo” Lopez won the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament for Mexico.

Of course, this list also shows signs of dominance. For instance, the USA finished both first and second at the Mortal Kombat 11 tournament. Mortal Kombat games have long been an American stronghold, and it’s nice to see the United States defend that territory again this year. Japan, meanwhile, completely ran the table in Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late(st). In fact, all top 8 finishers for that game were Japanese.

Medal Count (Totaled For All Games)

  • Japan: 4 Golds, 3 Silvers, and 3 Bronzes
  • USA: 2 Golds, 4 Silvers, and 2 Bronzes
  • South Korea: 1 Gold, 1 Silver
  • Mexico: 1 Gold
  • Pakistan: 1 Gold
  • United Arab Emirates: 1 Silver
  • France: 2 Bronzes
  • Bahrain: 1 Bronze
  • United Kingdom: 1 Bronze

As you can see, the Japanese clearly had the best overall performance at EVO–not only did they earn the most gold medals (4), they also earned the most total medals (10). The United States also had a very good showing, finishing with the second-most gold medals (2) and the second-most total medals (8). Bahrain and the United Kingdom round out the list–each country earned one bronze medal, respectively.

Top 8 Finishes (Totaled For All Games)

  • Japan: 31
  • USA: 21
  • France: 3
  • South Korea: 3
  • Canada: 2
  • Taiwan: 2
  • United Kingdom: 2
  • Bahrain: 1
  • Brazil: 1
  • China: 1
  • Mexico: 1
  • Pakistan: 1
  • Singapore: 1
  • Spain: 1
  • United Arab Emirates: 1

Representatives of 15 different nations managed top 8 finishes this weekend. As I said at the top of this article, the fighting game community is truly international. And while Japan and the United States still dominated EVO this year, all of these other countries will continue to put up a good fight moving forward.

Furthermore, I would like to add that there were many more countries represented at EVO besides these 15. Unfortunately, the competitors representing these other countries did not manage to place in the top 8 of any tournament. Better luck next year.

So, EVO 2019 is over, and now you don’t know what to do with yourself. Luckily, fighting game players compete around the globe pretty much nonstop. You can find a list of upcoming fighting game tournaments here.

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