On Twitter, Punk popped off on EVO Japan, calling the monitor issues “fucking annoying” and the tournament itself “shitty.” He later explained that he’d spent “over $2000" only to be met with what he felt was an unacceptable tournament setup in which the match’s result was not in his control. He finished off by apologizing to “all Japanese fans” for not playing his best, something he promised just before beginning his match against Momochi.

EVO says the issue was the stage and stream, not the monitors

In the wake of competitors like Punk discoursing over monitors on Twitter,, the official EVO account acknowledged that the event suffered from “a flawed competitor experience” that resulted in an imbalance it promised would “never happen again.” The tournament’s general manager, Richard Thiher, quote-tweeted EVO, saying that the stage setup “negatively impacted players” across games. However, in that admission, Thiher wanted to make one thing clear: it wasn’t the monitors.


“It is important to confirm that Punk and others were right, the Evo Japan 2023 stage setup negatively impacted players,” Thiher tweeted on April 2. “It is also necessary to confirm it was the stage and stream design itself, not the INZONE monitors. We will prove that to you at other events this year.”


Kotaku reached out to EVO and Punk for comment.

Despite the technical issues and drama, EVO Japan was still a blast this year. There’s nothing like watching talented, professional players do incredibly unimaginable things in games, let alone during the stress of a tournament. However, fighting games being what they are, it’s essential that competitors be able to play in an environment where the hardware, displays, and everything else are up to the task, as anything less will inevitably hamper play. With EVO returning in August at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay, there’s still a few months to fix things up and prove that, as Thiher said, the problem wasn’t with the monitors.