The Evolution Championship Series (EVO) has come and gone for another year. A shit ton of hurricane kicks and command throws were executed as the fighting game community got to showcase their passion to the world on arguably it’s grandest stage.
Now then, I like to think I’m good at fighting games, but it’s very much a case of a big fish in a small pond, and I’ve dipped my toes into enough larger ponds to realise that I ain’t got shit on ANYONE who actually has a passion for fighting games.
But I still have an obsessive interest in the mechanics and psychology of one of the flashiest genres that video games has to offer. So to help satiate this obsession, I watched as much of EVO as I could this year.
Let’s preface this as well, although Super Smash Bros is HUGE among the community, I personally could not give less of a fuck if I tried. I was there for the big splashy games. Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom and Killer Instinct.
I fucked up and missed mostly all but Street Fighter.
I did though, see a chunk of Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, the most impressive game I’ve never really seen in action. The group stages were streamed out late on the Friday night, and although it was the last slot of the night, for a not exactly top tier game (to say nothing of the game itself, just its position within the FGC) there was a healthy crowd that were super into it, which in turn grabbed my fucking attention.
That game looks god damn incredible, and is entertaining as hell to watch, especially at the level that it was being played. I missed the finals for it, but will most definitely be going back to check them out.
Street fighter V has been pushed pretty hard as THE fighting game for the Esports scene. Capcom has invested heavily into its Capcom Pro Tour which has built structure around Street Fighter V for what they consider major and minor tournaments. EVO is one of the majors, and rightly so. This shit was broadcast on ESPN. 2. ESPN2.
I caught some of the early stages that would determine the brackets for the finals, and OH BOY was it fucking good. The one match i was super excited to see is Justin Wong VS Daigo. If you know nothing else about the competitive fighting game scene, you’ve probably heard of their legendary Street Fighter Alpha 3 showdown at EVO 2004 If not, educate yourself. And here these two veterans were, in the group elimination stage, with one of them going home before reaching the big stage. Wong took it in the end, but the match, like many others in the elimination stage was fucking intense.
Korea’s RAZER Infiltration beat out fellow team mate Fuudo to take the title in an awesome match, but a shout out to everyone that placed in the top 8. That shit was fucking rad. The show as a whole was pretty great, and should be a thing that ALL gaming communities should feel proud to have and be a part of.
Watching fighting games being played at such a high skill level drives you to be better at things, ALL THINGS. There is a symbiotic relationship between knowledge and execution, that rivals genres like MOBA’s, but with a pace that makes even FPS players stare in awe.
I’ve went back to Street Fighter V last night, under the assumption that I had gained enough knowledge to become dangerous.
I won a game.
And then I lost a bunch and got super angry.
It was bullshit though. I totally had them. Fucking Ken and his rush down bullshit…