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Evo's Rick Thiher Celebrates Increased Prize Pool and Event Offerings for 2024

Evo 2024's minimum prize pool for all of its main games is increased to $30,000 while the show floor extends to all three days.

In a candid conversation with Esports Illustrated, Evo's general manager, Rick Thiher, shared a number of tidbits about the 2024 iteration of Evo. One major development that's sure to make competitors happy is the increase in winnings for all eight major games. Thiher also says that the new three-day structure is sure to benefit spectators as well, stating that this year's Evo is "themed after festivals where there's almost too much to do". 

More Money For More Players

The $30,000 guaranteed prize pools at this year's event in Las Vegas is a step-up from the $25,000 for every grand final besides Street Fighter 6. While it remains to be seen if there will be any additional funds from publishers added in, it's still the largest minimum prize pool the tournament has ever offered. This $30k also does not factor in number of entries either. 

"That's more than what's needed to offset inflation," says Thiher. "That was unexpected and dope."

While certain games like Tekken 8 and Street Fighter 6 are sure to balloon well past that number in entry fees, this is a big win for some of the other brackets that will grace the main stage. In the case of Uni 2 and King of Fighters XV, $30k would be the largest prize pools offered for those games ever at Evo, according to Esports Earnings. With Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, it would be the largest prize offered for that series outside of Japan. It would even be the biggest prize offered for Street Fighter 3: Third Strike, arguably the most beloved fighting game of all time. 

Jo'siah "Hikari" Miller after winning an Evo title for Dragonball Fighterz in 2023.

Jo'siah "Hikari" Miller after winning an Evo title for Dragonball Fighterz in 2023.

Evo's Claim On The Culture

Evo's expansion into a larger show this year comes at an interesting time for the esports world in general. The dreaded esports winter has come, gaming publishers are laying off folks in unprecedented numbers and there doesn't seem to be any respite in sight. All the while, Evo and the FGC don't just's growing. Thiher says that's because Evo isn't an investor or partner. It's an intrinsic part of FGC culture.

"I think if you wanna look at business as a backdrop, entities that go into markets to celebrate and be active parts of culture tend to survive if they support and extol the culture that they're helping push forward in the market," Thiher says. 

"Evo has benefited from, by and large, always being an active member of the culture that it extols. Being able to continue to do that I think is allowing us to have a great place in the market as a whole."

Alongside its cache as a benchmark event, Thiher also says that Evo's foray into content is something that's helping create connection with the community. He mentioned the new EvoFGC channel on YouTube and how its aim isn't just about authoritative content but also humanizing these gods of fighting games. 

"So you can have something like the rivals react video that went up with JDCR and Saint where that's some of the silliest content Evo's ever put out.[...] It shows you that JDCR and Sainte actually aren't different than you and your buddy on the couch...There has stopped being places to talk about that." 

"The editorial market wants to talk about Arslan's great and [a] 4 time Evo champion and rise of Pakistan, or the 907th documentary about Daigo, or Tokido lost weight and became a better player,"
says Thiher.

Tickets for the Evo 2024 are on sale now at