By Paul Kainoa Vigil / July 22nd, 2015
When you stand up to celebrate winning a round, and by an honest mistake think you’ve closed out a set at the world’s biggest fighting game tournament, tragedy awaits. The picture above is just part of the story. There were plenty of memorable moments this year at EVO 2015, including a malfunctioning arcade stick during Ultra Street Fighter IV‘s Grand Finals and a variety of upsets throughout the Super Smash Bros. Melee event, but this one is quite unique.
Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- was one of EVO 2015’s headlining events, and the first match of the day started with two of the best Japanese Guilty Gear players: Ogawa’s Zato-1 against Woshige’s Millia Rage. Woshige and Ogawa met in the Winner’s side of a double-elimination bracket, and the set for this match was a best-of-three (or, the first one to reach two game victories.) At the start of the third game, both Ogawa and Woshige had one game in their pocket and needed one more game (comprised of two victorious rounds) to advance.
Ogawa takes the first game. Woshige is on the verge of losing the second game, but Ogawa finds himself in a perilous position when Woshige punishes a misplaced summon from Ogawa and Ogawa is unable to access his combo-interrupting Burst. In addition, Woshige has lots of Tension meter, so right after using one Overdrive super he is in a position to activate Millia’s reversal Overdrive which closed the round.
But that was only the second round of the match. And yet, Woshige jumps up to celebrate. The victory screen allows you a couple of seconds of free time, so it wasn’t too surprising for the crowd considering Woshige clinched victory from the jaws of defeat. However, he came back to the game far too late, and Ogawa took the opportunity to erase a large chunk of Millia’s life bar (both Zato-1 and Millia have high defense modifiers compared to the rest of the cast, meaning they take more damage from attacks than most other characters.) Woshige had one more chance though he was stuck in the corner of the stage, but Millia was promptly placed in dizzy (not the character) and the set disappeared from him.
The crowd cheered on Ogawa’s dispatching of Woshige’s Millia just as much as they cheered on Ogawa’s subsequent victory celebration. Both competitors seemed to realize it was a mistake, but Ogawa wasn’t staring a gift horse in the mouth at such a big event. The tournament runs in a double elimination format, so this means players have to lose two sets in order to be eliminated from the tournament. Since Woshige only lost one best-of-three set, he had a chance to fight his way back to the Grand Finals. And it almost worked out, until he ran into the Japanese Faust player Nage at Loser’s Bracket Finals, the match that decides who advances to the Grand Finals (the set winner) and who places third (the set loser.) Woshige would end up losing to Nage and placing third, but all throughout the rest of his matches he enjoyed crowd favorite status.
The rather bizarre situation is enjoying quite a lot of media coverage, even in more mainstream outlets. Arc System Works’ (the developer of Guilty Gear) English Twitter account also embraced Woshige’s moment, and the early celebration has been the inspiration for pieces of fanart online.
The clip below from YouTube user rei336’s channel captures the moment during the Ogawa-Woshige Winner’s Semifinals set from Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, the footage itself belonging to Evolution Championship Series. Incidentally, once the tournament concluded Ogawa and Woshige ran a set against each other for fun, but Ogawa also took that one.
2D Fighting GameArc System WorksGuilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-PlayStation 3PlayStation 4