'Smash Bros.' Evo Record, 'Fortnite's' New Frontier

Courtesy of Nintendo; Courtesy of Epic Games
'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate', 'Fortnite'

Elsewhere in the world of e-sports: Arslan “Arslan Ash” Siddique becomes the first Evo champion of Middle Eastern descent and 'Apex Legends' introduces a limited-time solo mode, allowing players to play on their own instead of a three-person team.

Esports Arena is a curated weekly roundup of the biggest stories in the world of online competitive gaming.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, making its debut at the Evolution Championship Series (Evo) this year in Las Vegas, set a new streaming record for the event during its Grand Finals.

The final match of the weekend, pitting Gavin "Tweek" Dempsey against eventual winner Leonardo "MkLeo" Lopez Perez, peaked at 279,000 total viewers across all of Twitch. Dragon Ball FighterZ still holds the record for most viewers on Evo’s official Twitch stream at 258,000, but Smash now stands atop the total viewership leaderboard.

This year marked the first time Smash Bros. headlined Evo weekend, unseating Street Fighter, which had served as the main event for every previous Evo series. This was also the largest Smash Bros. tournament ever with over 3,400 entrants, and the winner, Lopez Perez, took home over $21,000 as the winner.

It was not the only milestone set at Evo 2019, as Tekken 7 champion Arslan "Arslan Ash" Siddique became the first Evo champion of Middle Eastern descent. The Pakistani player defeated Tekken veteran Jae-Min "Knee" Bae in the final match to take home nearly $14,000.

Elsewhere, a stunt intended to be a "little joke," as described by Evo, landed the event organizers in a bit of hot water. Before the Tekken 7 Grand Finals, an image appeared that implied Metal Gear Solid’s Solid Snake would be the next guest character announced for the game. Such was not the case. Many spoke out against the move, including the actor who voices Snake, David Hayter, who condemned the stunt on Twitter, saying, "Do not use my voice to promote other games. Ever." Evo later apologized in a separate Tweet. 

Here’s what else is happening in the world of esports.

Fortnite Reportedly Adding New Servers, Including First in Middle East

Fortnite creator Epic Games could soon be adding 15 servers to the game across the world, including the company's first in the Middle East. A data miner in the game found references to the new servers in a recent update, listing countries such as Bahrain, Finland, Singapore and more as potential locations for the new servers. Iowa and Oregon also appear on the list, which suggests increased server power in the U.S. as well. A request for comment from Epic Games was not immediately returned.

Team OpTic Wins Three-Way Tiebreakers, Earns Spot in LCS Playoffs

The field of six teams that will compete for the League of Legends Championship Series Summer Playoffs have been decided, with the last spot going to Team OpTic after tiebreakers. OpTic was able to hold off both 100 Thieves and the Golden Guardians in order to punch their ticket to the playoffs. Team Solo-Mid and Clutch Gaming also secured bids by winning their matches, joining previously qualified teams Team Liquid, Cloud9 and CLG in the field.

Solos Mode Coming to Apex Legends Next Week

Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment have announced the Iron Crown Collection Event, coming next week. The event, which will run Aug. 13-27, will include a new, limited-time Solos mode (a game mode where players can compete on their own, not as part of a three-person team as the game is usually played), marking the first time Apex Legends has allowed for solo play since its launch in February.