The Marvel vs Capcom franchise has been a paragon of the fgc, and a storied part of Evolution's history. Let's dive into the franchise's roots at Evo, and how it was brought back as our first throwback tournament.
Like most things Evolution, it starts in Sunnyvale, California at a tournament called “Battle by the Bay”. Battle by the Bay was started in 1996 and ran Street Fighter titles. However when it was time for Battle by the Bay 4 in 2000, there was a new edition to the lineup. Marvel vs Capcom 2, which had been released in March of that same year, was the first non-Street Fighter focused title to be featured at the event.
California natives Ducvader and Alex Valle fought it out in Grand Finals, with Ducavader eventually taking the first Marvel vs Capcom 2 title. The game returned the following year, and while Ducavader made it back to Grand Finals, he was not able to defend his throne, as a 15 year old Justin Wong took his first victory.
In 2002, Battle by the Bay was rebranded and renamed to Evolution, and thus the event you know today was born.
Marvel vs Capcom 2 was run at Evo from 2002-2010, and in those 9 years, Justin Wong took home 6 Evo titles and made Grand Finals 8 times. 2005 saw the return of Ducvander, reclaiming his championship glory over newcomer Yipes. Two short years later, Yipes came back to take the title over Justin Wong himself; with 2009 seeing Justin dethroned again by fellow New Yorker Sanford Kelly.
MvC2 was removed from the Evo lineup in 2011 to make way for a new title, the long awaited Marvel vs Capcom 3. And with that release new energy, names and of course, hype.
Unlike MvC2, Marvel vs Capcom 3 has the distinction of having no repeat Evo Champions. However there is a consistent storyline of players’ persistence and hard work, finally breaking through to claim their prize after coming just short.
Viscant became the first MvC3 champion, winning over PR Balrog. Followed by Filipino Champ winning over Infrit. 2013 saw Flocker take the title over JWong.
JWong finally gets his throne back in 2014, winning his first and only title in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. JWong had two top 3 finishes in the years leading up to his victory, but 2014 saw him finally get the gold. JWong had to beat ChrisG in Grand Finals, who himself had 3 straight Top 8 finishes.
Chilean player, KaneBlueRiver, became the first non American Marvel champion at Evo, winning in 2015 over RayRay. And in 2016, finally ChrisG was able to get his first title, after years of consistent top level play and Top 8 finishes. ChrisG tried to repeat in 2017 but was shut down by the Vegas hometown hero, RyanLV.
For the first time since 2000, 2018 did not include any Marvel vs Capcom title, and 2019 followed suit. Now with the introduction of the Evo Throwback Tournament, there is no more fitting title to bring back than Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. With well over 1,000 entrants so far, this event is sure to be one for the ages.