EVO 2016, Never Give Up:


EVO 2016 is over, and it was so incredible to be able to watch it on cable, or on a stream this year. ESPN had it available, and I figured it was just a matter of time. I mean, they show “World Series of Poker” and have had Magic the Gathering on there. Why not Street Fighter, Smash, etc? Those take tons of practice, mental and physical conditioning, dedication, and heart.  And literally anyone can win. Just because a player is considered one of the best in the world, doesn’t mean they can’t get bodied, or get outplayed. One of the things I have noticed is that some of those players can either become incredibly cocky, or let their head get full of ideas that they’re the best and are untouchable. I’m not pointing any fingers because that would be shameful. And I’m incredibly honored to be a part of the Fighting Game Community. Also: Congratulations to RZR|Infiltration for taking first in EVO for SF5! A man that has dominated virtually every tournament he’s gone to, his Nash is undeniably powerful. He thinks three moves ahead and always has a strategy.

Street Fighter V Battle Costume Trailer

One of the biggest surprises to me was that Daigo, the Beast, did not even make top 8. Top 16. Daigo was put out of losers bracket by EG|Justin Wong, putting him at 32nd place. Is it disappointing to him? I’m sure it is. Does that mean he sucks? Absolutely not. He is heralded as one of the greatest fighting game players ever. He’s known throughout the world, in all circles as one of the best. That’s not to disparage Justin Wong, who is incredible in his own right. Their EVO Moment #37 is a reason many people became interested in not just fighting games, but EVO in general. I mostly watched Street Fighter, but I looked over at the other games too, just to see what the hype was about. But there were so many insane, intense moments in the tournament, from pools to Finals to Grand Finals. Long Island Joe/LI Joe was the final American player in the top 8 portion, and made it to 5th place. His win that kept him in finals was incredible, and being fortunate enough to have his father witness his hard work come to fruition was emotional even for me! The “USA! USA!” chants were deafening. Everytime I tuned in, I saw the utmost respect and honor between players, bowing politely, shaking hands, showing that we can be gentlemen and ladies, while still competing at the highest level. Also shoutouts to Fuudo for bringing Mika! Top 8 didn’t go down the way I predicted entirely, but I was nowhere near disappointed. For those who missed, Street Fighter V top placements:

1. RZR|Infiltration (Nash)
2. RZR|Fuudo (R. Mika)
3. Yukadon (Nash)
4. HM|Go1 (Chun-Li)
5. LI Joe (Nash)
5. MOV (Chun-Li)
7. HM|Eita (Ken)
7. AW|Nemo (Vega)

Congratulations to everyone who attended, put in work, and whether they won it all, didn’t make it past pools, or made it onto the stream, I hope it encourages you to work harder, get better, and show up for the next tournament. The FGC needs all the positivity it can get. I do worry sometimes that pools get stacked so that the professional players can move forward to the big stage, but I’d like to think that isn’t the case. Only by playing together can we grow, can we improve. See you guys next year at EVO 2017!

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