Announcing the NYU Game Center EVO Scholarship Recipient

The NYU Game Center is proud to announce that the first EVO Scholarship has been awarded to Tony Kao, an illustrator and graphic designer based out of Chicago. Kao will receive over $20,000 towards his studies at the Game Center in pursuit of a Masters of Fine Arts in game design.

Like many fighting game veterans, Kao’s journey started with a notable defeat. Having dominated his local arcade, Kao was given a rude awakening when a more veteran player, Rashad Miller, beat him in a series of money matches in Marvel vs Capcom 2. This drove Kao to dive even deeper into fighting games, training constantly in order to improve and traveling to numerous local, national, and international tournaments to meet new and more talented opponents. After college Kao considered giving up fighting games to dedicate himself to his new career, but soon realized that he couldn’t leave behind the community and passion that his had spent so much of his life building.

“As I was watching the EVO stream an advertisement pops up on screen. It was the EVO scholarship!” says Kao, “There’s no other way I can describe it but to say it was a sign.”

Kao will begin his studies at the NYU Game Center this Fall and will graduate with a Masters in Fine Arts in Game Design in the Spring of 2016.

The EVO Scholarship is funded entirely by the profits from the high definition stream of the Evolution Tournament, the largest fighting game tournament in the world. It is awarded to a student applying to the NYU Game Center who shows a talent and passion for creating the next generation competitive video games.

The EVO scholarship will be awarded again for the Fall 2015 class. Anyone interested in finding out more about the NYU Game Center, the EVO Scholarship, or how to apply for both, should send an email to or visit our website at

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Spring Fighter 2014

This weekend was our fifth annual Spring Fighter event. After nine tournaments, two of Street Fighter’s most influential figures in conversation, thousands of stream views, and probably ten thousand fireballs, we’re excited to say Spring Fighter 2014 was a success! Players came from all over the northeast to compete in tournaments in BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Brawl, Project M, indie eSports Killer Queen, Foiled, BaraBariBall, and one of the first Ultra Street Fighter IV tournaments in the world!

A huge congratulations to Manny Fuerte, PIE Poem, and NYU’s own DaFeetLee for taking first, second, and third places respectively in Street Fighter, as well as to the Marvel vs. Capcom winners NickC, Erik Warda, and Crazy Joe, and BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma winners Lich, Lord Knight, and Sodelic. See all the FGC tournament action here: For Smash, the full tournament is up here:

This year, Seth Killian sat down with Street Fighter legend and Level Up President Alex Valle. Their conversation covered everything from Valle’s experiences playing USFIV to his role as a fighting games community leader. The video is now up here.

Photo credit: Robert Paul. Check back soon for more of Robert’s photos of the weekend.