EVO 2023 just came and went and it was straight fire. I got to watch Top 6 for every game with my buddies and it was an absolute blast. The return of UMvC3, the AngryBird hype, the Johnny reveal, Under Night II's announcement...it completely reinvigorated my love for this genre, as it does every year.

Angry Bird praying after winning EVO 2023's SF6 championship

If you were a first time viewer - there were many of y'all - and you caught a match that gave you goosebumps, then congratulations: you're a fighting game fan now. Time to channel that energy!

You're in luck, too, because other than the release of a new game, now is the time to get into fighting games. EVO always leads to an influx of peeps wanting to get in on the action and press buttons to do cool shit. If you saw something awesome in a fighting game this past weekend, know that you can do it too with practice and perseverance. There'll be tons of new players to practice with this week, so you'll have people in your skill bracket to square up against. On top of that, 95% of the biggest games have rollback netcode now, so you can play against most people and not feel a single ounce of lag while you fight online. that's huge if you can't or don't want to go to locals (like me, lol).

The cast of SF6 celebrating

There are tons of games out right now that are perfect for beginners. Street Fighter 6 is the king here: it has a huge player base, great tutorials, and an entire single-player mode that helps you learn how to play the game. But Guilty Gear Strive is a great choice too if you want to get a taste of the "Anime Fighter" sub-genre, where things move a little faster. And there's more to come in this regard: SamSho is perfect for learning how to master the neutral game and barely has combos - if any at all. It gets rollback netcode in September. And Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is coming in November, bringing with it a mix of the aesthetic of anime fighters combined with the grounded gameplay of Street Fighter. And beyond that, my favorite fighting game of all time, Under Night: In Birth, is getting a sequel next year.

Under Night In-Birth II Sys:Celes Cover Art

What I'm saying is, the future is looking brighter than ever for fighting games. You've got resources, you've got games, you've got good netcode, and you've got hype. Now's the time!!!

On that note, I'm going to do a thing that's become a meme at this point, but it's a meme I believe in. And that is posting this video for you to watch:

All done? Good. Now get out there and start pressing some heccin buttons. I'll see you in the ring!

That's all for now. Got a fighting game you're excited about? Favorite set from EVO 2023? Lemme know here or on cohost.org!