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Dragon Ball FighterZ is on its way to being the big game of Evo 2018

Arc System Works’ 3v3 fighter will bring back some of that Marvel magic

Goku goes Super Saiyan in a screenshot from Dragon Ball FighterZ
Dragon Ball FighterZ
Arc System Works/Bandai Namco
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Dragon Ball FighterZ is going to be a big deal at this year’s Evo fighting game tournament, based on early registration figures. According to Evolution Championship Series co-founder Joey Cuellar, Dragon Ball FighterZ is currently leading the pack in registrants and is way ahead of its closest competitor, Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition.

Cuellar tweeted out the “Evo 2018 Leaderboard” today, noting that Dragon Ball FighterZ is currently the top game at the tournament with a “big lead” in registered players over Street Fighter 5 and third-ranked game Tekken 7.

While those registration numbers are still early — Evo 2018’s early bird registration window closed on March 31, and registration will remain open through the summer — it’s good news for Bandai Namco and Arc System Works, the folks behind Dragon Ball FighterZ. Capcom’s Street Fighter games are typically the most popular titles with players looking to compete at Evo, but with mixed response to Street Fighter 5 and a lack of any Marvel vs. Capcom game this year, FighterZ is here to fill the void.

It helps that Dragon Ball FighterZ is relatively new. It was released in January and immediately found a wide audience. On Steam, FighterZ already has 316,796 players, according to data from SteamSpy, which is quickly catching up to Street Fighter 5’s player base (359,641 players).

Last year, Evo saw a large drop-off in the number of registered Street Fighter 5 players. Street Fighter 5 brought in 2,622 registered players in 2017, compared to 5,107 in 2016. Registration numbers were lower across all games in 2017 compared to the previous year, however.

Will a massive turnout for Dragon Ball FighterZ mean that Street Fighter 5 could be replaced as the main, event-closing game at Evo 2018’s Sunday finals? Not necessarily. As Cuellar noted in 2016, “Sunday has never been based on entrants.”

Evo 2018 will feature five games as part of the Sunday finals, in an order still not yet announced: Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ and Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition.

The annual fighting game tournament will take place Aug. 3-5 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

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