The Story of the EVO Donation Drive

As the FGC knows, the EVO team presented a line-up consisting of nine games that would shine at the Mandalay Bay this year. All of the slots were filled except for the ninth, which would be decided by way of a poll driven by donations that would be made to the Make A Wish Foundation, an organization with the goal of battling life-threatening diseases that affect children everywhere. They will receive all funds raised for the poll, regardless of the winning candidate.

The cause is noble, but it cannot be denied that the ensuing contest has put factions of the FGC at odds with one another. And understandably so, when EVO is perceived as the World Championship for fighting games, an equivalent to the Super Bowl for the NFL. We all want our communities to be represented atop the most majestic stage competitors have ever seen.

The question is…how far will one go to ensure that the game of their dreams makes it to EVO?

Most may be unaware, but this is not the first time the EVO team has held a donation drive to decide on a game they will include for their roster. In fact, this vote, called the Player’s Choice, made its debut in 2013, during which seventeen games would clash with one another for a spot in the lineup, backed by their players’ donations.

The winner of that poll would go on to become a staple of the Evolution series, and that winner was Super Smash Bros. Melee, a timeless classic for the Nintendo Gamecube. Considering the era in which it was released, developer support had yet to be a trend. Despite that, the players have done an amazing job supporting their game to the point it became huge in today’s era of competitive gaming.

But during the 2013 poll, we’ve been inches away from seeing a different outcome. Titles such as Skullgirls and Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo came very close to dethroning Melee in the contest with a last-minute boost in funds from their communities, but they ultimately lost. This left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouths, especially those of the Skullgirls scene, but for reasons other than just the painful loss in the 2013 drive…

Taken from the wall of a Twitter user named AceKingOffsuit, you can read up on a series of posts that captures the story. There are so many to share that this article will not contain all of them, but clicking the first image will take you straight to the opening post so you can indulge yourself in some fascinating FGC history. You may have to click the “Show More” command on the Twitter thread to see the rest.

The thread is quite lengthy but worth the read.

While we are on the subject of the EVO donation drive, the deadline for this year’s contest is tomorrow at noon PST. Unlike 2013, we have nine candidates to choose from, some of which have previously been featured at EVO whereas other strike us as…unusual choices.

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 holds the lead at approximately $30K with Pokken Tournament trailing it by about $5K. No other candidate comes close to having a chance of snatching the lead away from them. If this trend continues, Marvel will once again rejoin the EVO lineup.

If you would like to make a contribution, go to www.generosity.com and type “EVO Player Vote” in the search engine. You will find all nine games and their donation pages instantly.

What are your thoughts on the course the 2017 poll has run? What about the fascinating tale of the 2013 drive? Let us know in your comments!