ESPN to broadcast Evo’s Street Fighter V top 8 live from Las Vegas

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The final top 8 bracket of this month’s Street Fighter V tournament at the Evo Championship Series in Las Vegas will be broadcast live in ESPN2.

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There are just over 5,000 entrants registered for the SFV tournament this year, and the final eight contenders will fight for first place on live television in Mandalay Bay’s 12,000-seater Events Center.

“The Street Fighter V World Championship will be one of the must-see competitions from the Evo finals,” said John Lasker, VP of programming and acquisitions at ESPN. “We are always exploring ways to serve the growing and passionate audience of competitive gaming, and we look forward to delivering this event to fans.”

The finals, taking place on the weekend of July 17, will see 5,065 SFV players face off for the coveted Evo Championship trophy, alongside thousands of other entrants for fighting games ranging from Smash to Killer Instinct and Pokken.

“Evo is excited to bring the energy and excitement of our world finals to a wider audience,”said Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar, the de facto Chief Executive Officer of the grassroots FGC event. “ESPN brings us an amazing opportunity to showcase the fighting game community competing at its highest level.”

Coverage will begin on ESPN2 from 7PM PDT (10PM EDT / 3AM BST) on July 17 (18 BST) and will also be available online at WatchESPN or Twitch’s CapcomFighters channel, as usual.

ESPN’s interest in esports has been growing ever since former TV and radio anchor Colin Cowherd gained internet fame last year for doing everything he could to deride competitive gaming.

During ESPN’s trials with airing Heroes of the Storm’s collegiate tournament Heroes of the Dorm last year, the SportsNation host stated that he would quit if he was ever forced to talk about ‘kids playing games’.

In July 2015, Cowherd was suspended from ESPN and moved to rival network Fox Sports. ESPN has since opened an esports department of the news site and aired several esports tournaments. GGWP.