I had a lot of the same thoughts, but came to a lot of different conclusions.
The main thing (and I won’t even really call it a problem, because IMO it wasn’t one) with Evo this year was the game selection. This is the last year for sure on at least 3 of the games picked and ALL other games might be gone next year also. I commented on this to a lot of people and it seemed like everyone was in agreement with me, but CvS2 this year felt like CvS1 finals at B5. It was a fun tournament and everyone who enjoys CvS gameplay was into it and had a good time…but that’s the last time a lot of us are going to play that game seriously. A lot of people felt the same way about some of the other games, too.
Because of this, it seems like the SRK/FG community is kind of in flux right now. A lot of the old games have gotten stale and the competition has stagnated a bit. A few of the non-SF/peripheral communities also weren’t here in force. The Tekken crowd didn’t come out in force, neither did the Guilty Gear crowd, both for different reasons. I was pleasantly surprised at how many GG people actually did show up, to be perfectly honest, but I know a lot of them were dissatisfied with their game not being official and just didn’t bother to make the trip.
I think this was the last year for Evo…for the old Evo that is. I think next year is going to have a considerably different flavor because almost all the games will be new and the competition will be fresher. The games are still evolving but the major questions, the interesting questions about the core games we’re playing (Marvel, CvS, 3s, ST) have been answered and in some cases have been answered for 4+ years. It’s still fun to play and still fun to watch because of the competition and how creative the current top players are, but really a lot of the games are stale and a lot of people just aren’t playing anymore. I can’t tell you how many conversations with people I had where it was like
"Hey man, you still playing?"
“Nah, haven’t touched Marvel since last Evo, I just want to beat someone this year and not embarass myself”
"Haha, same here! But I beat 3 people in a row at 3s so I’m feelin good again!"
So on and so forth. I guarantee it’s not going to be like that next year.
The best point made in this thread is that Evo isn’t a tournament for most people, it’s a reunion. For the majority of people, that’s what Evo is. How many people can show up to a tournament and really think “I’m in a position to win?” 10 maybe. For Marvel, there were probably 5 people who showed up thinking they had a shot to win the whole thing. Well…5 that weren’t kidding themselves. But a lot of other people entered Marvel (like me) just to play and have fun and talk some shit. That’s what Evo is to a lot of people.
Can things be a little more competitive? Absolutely! That’s what’s going to be so great about next year. When there’s a new game out, a lot of people think they have a shot. Mostly because the fight hasn’t been beaten out of them yet, but also because everything hasn’t been dissected and replayed over and over to death. That’s why I’m already looking forward to next year. It’ll be a tournament for me next year instead of 43 hours of poker and too much liquor (lightweight here). I think a lot of people are with me.
Also as far as the Trop goes, I may be in the minority and yeah the Trop is grimy. But being on the Strip is very very very important to me. The good thing about it being on the strip is that if you don’t like the Trop…you don’t have to stay there. You want to go somewhere classier, you can and you’ll only be a mile or so away. Hell, you could have done Mandalay Bay and been an optimistic walk away. Personally, I hope things stay on the strip next year.
I still had a really good time this year. I guess my overall point here is that Evo is different things to different people. It’s not dead yet and I’m 100% sure next year will be better than this one.