Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will have one more year at EVO, thanks to the fans who voted to get it in. And, honestly, it’s only fitting that it be, especially this year.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will be one of the games played in this year’s Evolution Championship Series AKA EVO. And, for one hot minute, there was a possibility that it wasn’t going to be. With the recent resurgence of the genre, the esports event just couldn’t include every fighting game they wanted. They obviously made sure that the really huge games like Street Fighter V, King of Fighters XIV, Super Smash Bros. Melee and even Injustice 2 was going to make it on the main stage. But, for the rest, like Skullgirls, Killer Instinct and Pokken Tournament, the EVO organizers decided to let the fighting game community vote with their wallet which one was going to make it to the main stage, with all proceeds going to Make-A-Wish International.
The voting just ended a couple of days ago and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 just managed to edge out Pokken Tournament with the former raking in $71,690 worth of donations and the latter receiving $66,906. I’m totally elated this happened. Marvel deserves at least one more run in probably the most prestigious fighting game tournament. To be honest, I was rather surprised that Marvel even had to fight to be a part of EVO. Look, no offense to Pokken Tournament, Killer Instinct and the rest of the games that were in the running. But, in my opinion, it just had to be in EVO at least this one last time.
Marvel has become quite a staple of EVO. Ever since the game was released in 2011, the game has become quite a draw for EVO. Many would probably debate that Super Smash Bros. Melee as the second biggest game in EVO (the first being Street Fighter). But, for me, Marvel has always been second. The game has a huge following and the number of people who donated to get the game is proof positive of this. Although Pokken Tournament came in a close second in terms of money collected, that amount came from only 742 donors.
Now, that number does show that the game has a strong following. However, that audience is pretty small when you consider that there were 1,486 people who donated to the charity event just to see Marvel at EVO. If my math is correct, that’s double the number of people than Pokken Tournament. Actually, what makes the number of people who donated to Marvel even more impressive is that more people donated to Marvel than all the other eight games that were in the running. Simply put, Marvel won the popular vote by a large margin.
Marvel is probably one of the most bonkers and craziest fighting games you can play. It has characters tagging in and out of the fray and launching opponents high in the air and then jumping after them to do an insanely long combo. It has characters throwing screen filling blasts of energy and the action moves incredibly fast. I’m not even that good at playing Marvel but I can totally appreciate and be amazed at all of the zany action the game can bring. At times, it can even be difficult to follow what’s going on, especially with all of the flashing lights, characters jumping out of camera range and the huge number of attacks that bounce fighters all over the screen like a giant pinball. But, if you do manage to keep up with the frenzied action, Marvel is a thing of beauty.
That intensity and craziness in the game carries over to the crowd watching. When the chat is filled with people typing in “When’s Mahvel?” when another game is on, a lot of them are just being snarky. But I bet some of them actually mean it. They want to get to the insane combos and wacky setups as soon as possible because, well, each and every match is exciting and there is always a possibility for a huge comeback at any time during a match. This ability for one side to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, whether it be because the “victor” dropped a combo or the “loser” sneaks in one good hit then pops X-Factor to destroy two characters with one “happy birthday” to win, can happen from out of nowhere. Whenever this happens, the crowd just loses its mind with excitement. I don’t think any fighting game has actually been able to electrify the audience as much as Marvel does. Not Street Fighter V. Not Killer Instinct. Only Marvel can do that.
We all know that Capcom is working on the game’s successor, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, and a lot of people’s dreams came through when the game was announced. Lots of fans lost their minds when they got their first look of Megaman and Ryu tangle against Iron Man and Captain Marvel when the teaser trailer for the game was shown during the Sony PlayStation Experience event a couple of months ago.
While this is good news for Marvel and fighting game fans in general, this is also a rather bittersweet moment for them because this means that the entire community will be shifting their time and effort practicing on Infinite, which means the gradual death of the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 scene. A lot of longtime Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 players will also probably making the jump to Infinite once its released. And when that happens, the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 scene will be good as dead. After all, a fighting game is only as good as the crowd that plays it. And if there’s no one to play it, then all excitement for it fades away.
But it isn’t Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite‘s time yet. The old guard hasn’t changed just yet. This is precisely why Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 should have been slated for this year’s EVO from the very start is because, sadly, this is probably the last time it would even be eligible. This is the last time when most of the highly skilled players that devoted a lot of time and effort composing their teams in Marvel to show their stuff before starting from scratch with Infinite.
EVO 2017 will be the swan song for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. It’s officially in thanks to the thousands of people who donated the hard earned money to officially get it into the lineup of games. I will be kind of sad to see the Marvel Grand Finals of EVO this year as it will mark the end of a six year era of hype and excitement, amazing comebacks and seizure causing lights and sounds. But you can bet I’ll also be on the edge of my seat, watching the outcome and thinking it’s going to be a great match simply because “It’s Mahvel, baby!”