EVO 2023 may have been more costly for some than others, as players are reporting having their controllers damaged by overused PS5 USB ports.
PS5 consoles would've seen heavy use during EVO 2023, as the headline game Street Fighter 6 saw upwards of 7,000 players register to compete. And it appears that the event's consoles may not have been able to withstand the force of thousands of PS5 controllers constantly being plugged in and out over the course of the weekend.
Spotted by VGC, several players are taking to Twitter to report USB port parts lodging in their own controllers' ports. Owners of some of the best fight sticks are showing parts ripped from the PS5 got stuck in their devices. As you can see below, others suggest the consoles ran so hot that the connectors began melting into their own.
As a result, some players are suggesting EVO switch to PC or Xbox Series X|S as the platform of choice for future years. However, given Sony now owns the event, there's admittedly little chance of that happening.
This is my melted controller. It just took one set. pic.twitter.com/EiG6OsdjeGAugust 6, 2023
Overheating USB ports isn't an impossible situation. PS5s have decent ventilation, but they'll still run hot after a three-day weekend of constant use. The stuffiness of an event featuring tens of thousands of players could potentially play a part as well.
What's more likely, though, is that the USB ports were simply falling apart from overuse. Many of the best fighting games at EVO 2023 were played on PS5 consoles, including Street Fighter 6 and Guilty Gear Strive. Factor in that wired play is preferred to minimize input delay, and you've got a situation where thousands of players are rotating through a handful of PS5s, with controllers constantly being swapped in and out.
A better solution is needed for future events to prevent such damage from happening. Whether that be a greater quantity of consoles in play, units with reinforced USB ports or better cooling measures, hopefully, EVO's organizers and Sony are able to figure something out.
If you're keen to participate at future fighting game tournaments like EVO, Red Bull Kumite and CEO, consider checking out our best PS5 controllers guide to make sure you're going to your chosen event with the best hardware possible.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.