The Evolution Championship Series, better known as EVO, is one of if not the largest event in the fighting game world. It hosts tournaments across numerous fighting games that attract the best of the best, including titles such as Mortal Kombat, Super Smash Brothers, and Street Fighter. EVO 2015 has just finished up and new champions have been crowned, but the people behind EVO aren't quite finished yet. They've announced a new fighting game, Rising Thunder.

Developed by Radiant Entertainment, Rising Thunder will be a free-to-play game targeting serious fighting game players. Seth Killian, one of the most prominent members of the fighting game community, helps lead the project. Rising Thunder aims to change fighting games; Seth has tweeted a set of principles for the title.

Rising Thunder is also designed from the ground up for online play, attempting to optimize the netcode of the game. In other games such as shooters, netcode is important but not as vitally so as it is in fighters. Delays of just a few milliseconds can often ruin even the greatest of players in the fighting genre due to timed inputs, enemy reactions, and necessary pauses in combos. This has kept numerous other fighters from proper online play and limited the games players can play; if there is no local community, you can't play. Controls will be streamlined as well, in reference to the first principle. There will be no complicated inputs for special moves; moves are instantly accessible with a button press and are limited by cooldowns.

The game represents several promising and risky ideas and the fighting game community isn't the most welcoming of change. However, with a price tag of zero, the only thing curious players stand to lose is a bit of time. Radiant Entertainment is currently accepting applications to a technical alpha of the game. Those who are interested in checking Rising Thunder out early can apply and make early judgment. Will Rising Thunder introduce a new paradigm to fighting games? Or will it drown in a flooded market already dominated by titans? Only time will tell.