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Sony’s PlayStation buys fighting-game tournament

CALIFORNIA (Axios): Sony’s PlayStation division has bought the Evolution Championship Series, the long-running fighting game tournament, reports Stephen Totilo, who’ll soon be launching the Axios Gaming newsletter (sign up).

The Evolution Championship Series hosts contests between the world’s best players of video games such as “Street Fighter,” “Mortal Kombat,” and “Tekken.”

Just so you know, though: Everyone calls it Evo.

The big picture: Video game giants such as Sony and Microsoft usually buy companies that make games. But Sony’s acquisition of Evo, made jointly with a new group called RTS, is the rare purchase of an event — and a notable move for Sony into competitive gaming.

Catch up quick: The grassroots Evo events have been running since the late ’90s, most recently in Las Vegas in front of thousands of attendees.

The bigger audience is online, where nearly 300,000 people tuned into the Evo 2019 finals featuring Nintendo’s “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.”

This year’s event will be online-only, across two weekends in August, and feature at least four major fighting games.

Of note: “Smash Bros.” may not be there.

Nintendo and Sony are arch-rivals. While Evo will still be open to non-PlayStation games, Nintendo wouldn’t confirm involvement, telling Axios it will “assess” the event.

Worth seeing: Take a look at the most famous finish in fighting-game history, 2004’s “Evo Moment 37.”

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