Illustration for article titled The First Evo Japan Lost Over A Million Dollars em/em
Image: Evo Japan

This January, Japan hosted its first Evo tournament. It lost over one million dollars. If you know how the event was set up, that shouldn’t be a surprise.


According to financial reports from Evo’s organizers (via MMCafe), the tournament posted a 124 million yen ($1.13 million) loss. There was considerable interest, with Evo Japan drawing over 7,000 entrants.

Evo Japan 2018 was free to enter, which might explain all the entrants. It might also partly explain the loss, as the event didn’t have enough sponsors to cover operating costs.


Evo co-founder and lead organizer Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar previously told Compete, “Japanese law only allows us to pay out 20 times the entry fee, so in order for us to pay out the amount that we want, we have to make the tournament free entry.”

In comparison, Evo 2017 charged $55-$75 for competitor passes, depending on when players registered as well as another $10 for every game they wanted to enter.

Fans also could watch events for free during Evo Japan 2018's first two days in Ikebukuro but did have to pay for the finals at Akiba Square in Akihabara.

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Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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