Team tournaments reduce the importance of tiers in every game. I suspect that’s probably why Japan prefers them…
Let me put it this way: 3rd Strike singles tournaments are unbearable at the highest level, because it always ends up being a two-character game (Yun & Chun-Li). But Japanese team 3s is my absolute favorite fighting game to watch; the upper-mid and mid and low-tier characters are diverse and deep, but very few of them really stand much of a chance against Yun & Chun. In a team tournament, though, there’s much more variety in matchups (since you can’t have more than one of any character on a team of 3) and there’s more room for luck that can allow these characters to get past Yuns and Chuns.
That’s the most extreme example, I am sure, but it also makes any other fighter much more entertaining for the spectator (and, at least in the GGXX community, the vast majority of players).
Bravo, Evo, for doing the right thing. I sincerely hope this becomes the norm for American tournaments.