EVO will now allow coaching beyond the semifinals of its fighting games competitions, but only off stage and for a short amount of time.
EVO head Joey “MrWizard” Cuellar tweeted the event has added a “stage trespassing rule” on coaches. It will replace the previous mid-set coaching ban past the semifinals, but the restriction will put a heavy limitation on coaches, as “any unauthorized player trespassing on any of the EVO stages, including in the arena, will immediately be ejected and may be arrested.”
Coaches will be allowed, but they’ll only be able to work off stage and for up to 30 seconds at a time. The rule change has since been reflected on EVO’s website.
The debate about coaching in fighting games has been raging on recently for some time. One side argues mid-set coaching creates an inherently uneven playing field, as it is a privilege that is afforded only to the top players who are sponsored. Others argue that coaching is what makes the matches more interesting and competitive, and that nothing prohibits lesser known players from finding a third party who can assist them as well.