Mortal Kombat 1 was part of the preview showcase at last year's Evo World Championship, but the 2024 event later this month will see its official competition debut. Evo has posted official sign-up numbers for all the featured games, and although Mortal Kombat recorded a franchise uptick from last year, its seen a dramatic drop off from the debut of Mortal Kombat 11. Read on for the full story:

It will be a bittersweet return for Mortal Kombat at this year's World Championship when a respectable 645 registered players compete for bragging rights in the latest entry in the series. This was up from a reported 449 players for Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate last year, but still ranks a distant second-last behind powerhouse rival franchises Tekken and Street Fighter.

The latter garnered not only a gargantuan 5,265 players for the sixth & current entry in the series, but also attracted over one thousand competitors for the anniversary nostalgia return of 1999's Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. Only King of Fighters XV failed to draw a smaller registration - two years since its initial release.

Mortal Kombat traditionally lagged behind the other major franchises when it came to serious tournament competition, but enjoyed a massive entry into the organized eSports space with its 2011 reboot, Mortal Kombat. NetherRealm Studios games have been a consistent presence since, despite a close call with omission at the subsequently cancelled 2020 event.

Bolstered by the organized support of the Warner Brothers sponsored Pro Kompetition; Mortal Kombat 11 debuted at Evo 2019 with 1,567 registrants -- more than double the first-time turnout for the latest game!

Mortal Kombat 1 continues to be a divisive entry for the series, challenging the established install base with sweeping changes to basic gameplay sensation and mechanics, while rebooting the fictional universe for a second time with an altered version of early events.

Are you one of the dedicated players still attending Mortal Kombat 1 tournament events? Will you be heading to Las Vegas in less than three weeks? Share your journey in the comments below and go deeper into discussion in the Mortal Kombat 1 category!