It’s been a long weekend for many of those involved with fighting games, as EVO closes up for the year. There were numerous surprises, lots of drama, roomfuls of tension, and a hype meter that was ready to burst. After the smoke cleared, however, only the best of the best stood up among everyone else.
With the closing of EVO 2011 comes with it some of the best moments of the year. Starting off with Blazblue: Continuum Shift 2 finally making its long-awaited EVO debut, all eyes were on Spark and his amazing Hakumen, as he battled his way up from the Losers bracket, taking out giants such as Tokido's Noel and Lord Knight's Litchi, and taking the championship. The spectacle got fighting fans cheering, even those who didn’t play the game itself, as the participants showed that Blazblue does, in fact, deserve a place among the fighting game greats.
Many were also tuned in for Mortal Kombat 9’s debut performance, and despite earlier claims about the game not having a strong enough following, over 500 people turned out to take part in what would be the defining moment of the franchise. Spectators would not be disappointed, as not only did the game have some big names rounding out the roster, it also sported some of the most diverse character variety in the entire tournament, with nine different characters having representation in the top eight. At the final battle, it was Perfect Legend’s Kung Lao that would stand on top of the mountain, though not without a fight from Reo’s Mileena, who made his own extravagant showing, even knocking out fan favorite Chris G’s Reptile. Needless to say, I have a feeling that Mortal Kombat will be back next year (though they may have some harsher restrictions on performing fatalities).
All eyes were on Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition, however, as Daigo Umehara set out to continue his championship reign that has been two years strong. Many expected him to dominate with the controversially balanced Yun, however, a surprise performance from Korea’s Poongko, playing as Seth, threw him into the Loser’s bracket in one of the fastest matches of the night. The sight of The Beast being defeated so easily was a shocker to everyone watching. However, the final blow was struck when Latif’s C. Viper exploded through the brackets, sending a burn kick to Daigo’s Yun that sent him back to Japan, out of the tournament, and guaranteeing a new champion in SF4. Latif would then defeat the very person that sent Daigo to Losers in a nail-biting match to the finish. However, Fuudo, using the not-as-controversial, but still questionably balanced Fei Long, dominated the sudden fan favorite in the Grand Finals, sealing his spot as the new Street Fighter 4 champion.
All in all, it was most definitely a weekend to remember. Special moments will be piling onto youtube channels in the coming days, and the matches will be talked about long after the consoles have been turned off and the equipment packed up. It wouldn’t be surprising to say that it was the biggest EVO ever, with the stream channel alone topping off at over 80,000 viewers.
If you want to check out the top eight standings for each of the game for yourself, they’re listed below.
|2nd||Lord Knight (Litchi, Makoto)|
|5th||Severin (Lambda) / HeartNana (Makoto)|
|7th||Wuku (Hazama, Rachel) / DSmoove (Noel)|
|1st||DMG Kor (Bob)|
|2nd||Fab (Miguel, Bob)|
|4th||JustFrameJames (Law, Baek)|
|5th||Crow (Bob) / Mr. Naps (Bryan Fury)|
|7th||Ryan Heart (Kazuya) / Tokido (Bob)|
|1st||PerfectLegend (Kung Lao)|
|2nd||Reo (Mileena, Cyrax)|
|3rd||JOP (Johnny Cage, Raiden)|
|4th||Chris G (Reptile)|
|5th||16 Bit (Kitana) / Denzel Terry (Liu Kang, Johnny Cage)|
|7th||Online Tony (Kabal) / ATL Redd (Liu Kang)|
|2nd||PR Balrog (Dante/Wolverine/Tron)|
|3rd||Justin Wong (She Hulk/Wolverine/Akuma)|
|4th||Combofiend (Spencer/Taskmaster/She Hulk)|
|5th||Filipino Champ (Phoenix/Sentinel/Magneto) / Noel Brown (Wesker/Wolverine/Akuma)|
|7th||X-Ray (Dante/Amaterasu/Magneto) / Mine (Wesker/Taskmaster/Phoenix)|
|1st||Fuudo (Fei Long)|
|2nd||Latif (C. Viper)|
|4th||Daigo Umehara (Yun)|
|5th||Tokido (Akuma) / Kindevu (Yun)|
|7th||Flash Metroid (Zangief, C. Viper) / Wolfkrone (C. Viper)|