It’s been a long time coming, but next year marks the debut of Evo Japan. The event has lived comfortably in Las Vegas every July, but apparently, the folks behind it are ready to branch out and head to the far east. Evo Japan will take place Jan. 26 to Jan. 28, and within these days, Nintendo will host competitive ‘Arms players for the first time.

Evo Japan will mark the first time the event will be taken outside of the United States, and so it just makes a lot of sense the organizers have compiled a roster of the best fighting fans from around the world to compete in a number of games.

Official games for Evo Japan

Headlining the Tokyo event are eight games. Some aren’t surprising, with games like “Super Smash Bros for Wii U,” “BlazBlue: Central Fiction,” “King of Fighters XIV,” “Guilty Gear Xrd,” and “Tekken 7.” What’s surprising though is, Evo Japan will not feature the fan favorite “Super Smash Bros. Melee,” unlike its Western counterpart. However, “Street Fighter V” will remain a staple, but considering the event is set to happen during Capcom Cup’s offseason, information on how high the stakes are remained to be seen.

A milestone for ‘Arms’

It’s worth noting that most games that made it to the list are mainstays in the Evo universe. With “Arms” making it to the list of official games, however, it’s interesting how major competitors would step up their game and recruit some of the best players around.

The trailer for the event is quite short, but it gives fans an idea of what to expect. Likely, the game will be live-streamed, similar to the recent Evo in Las Vegas. Another thing to watch out for is whether new games will be added to the already solid list. Currently, fans are rooting for “Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite” and “Dragon Ball FighterZ,” – both likely released around that time.

Arms” was one of the charity drive titles eligible for entry into Evo 2017, along with “Mortal Kombat XL,” “Super Street Fighter II,” “Pokken Tournament,” “Marvel vs. Capcom 3,” and a slew of others. The way the campaign worked was fairly simple – people can choose to donate on behalf of one of nine games up for consideration for the final spot.

Ultimately, “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” won the campaign, but the inclusion of ‘Arms’ at Evo Japan 2018 shows the games feasibility as eSports in Japan and abroad. Evo Japan organizers say they plan to work closely with Japanese fighting game communities on the tournament’s structure and selection of featured games. The event is also partnering with Godsgarden and Topanga, Japan’s local fighting game leagues.