By William Haderlie / July 17th, 2016
Day 2 Results
After a very long day full of riveting action, there are only 8 remaining. This is pared down from a group of almost 5100 entrants. In the winners bracket we have RZR Fuudo from Japan, MOV from Japan, Yukadon from Japan, and RZR Infiltration from Korea. On the losers side we have HM GO1-3151 from Japan, AW Nemo from Japan, HM Eita from Japan, and L.I. Joe from the United States. You can check out the official brackets here to see what kind of bloodshed led to this final lineup.
From an observer’s perspective, here were some of my favorite matches (and ones that I will hope end up on Youtube for your future entertainment). The first one of the day, for me, that really made me really excited is when one of the nicest guys in the FGC, TS Sabin (Arturo Sanchez from NYC), took out EG Momochi in a Dhalsim versus Ken match. Furby has been really strong on their Wednesday matches in the Big Apple, but not many expected him to make a splash at Evo. And even if you asked him, I doubt that he would have predicted that he would beat last year’s Evo champ. After that the hits kept on coming with PR Balrog (finally getting to use his Boxer) winning a fantastic match with a Double KO while he was on Match Point, against a very strong competitor from Japan. And then EG Justin Wong taking out BST Daigo Umehara one more time in a fantastic Karen versus Ryu match, very reminiscent of their classic battles in Street Fighter III.
I would suspect, however, that the one which will live on in many people’s minds was the last match of the day. It featured L.I. Joe (which stands for Long Island, where he lives) on Nash versus GGP Kazunoko (one of the Japanese Gods) with Cammy. Going in, if you told anyone that L.I. Joe would be the last remaining American, they would have either laughed or just said that there were going to be no Americans in the top 50 then. But people forget that on the East Coast, the early tournament winners were TS Sabin and L.I. Joe. But going up against GGP Kazunoko, who is known for his crazy combos and lightning fast reflexes, is a whole other animal. Joe had him in hand for the first round but then lost a lot of footing. It finally culminated in the Final Round of the last match in order to get into top 8. Well, you’ve seen my tournament lineup already, so you know how it ended up. How they got there has to be seen, though, and it involved a truly fortuitous low block by Joe, right when Kazunoko had him right where he wanted him. A Critical Art punish later and Joe was being mobbed by fans, and later snogged by his girlfriend.
Where does that leave us? Really with two things. The first is that we will be able to watch the top 8 tomorrow at 7pm Pacific Time. You can watch the stream at the SRK Evo Twitch Channal here, or you can also watch it live on ESPN2. The longer repercussions as still difficult to fully suss out. However, one thing is for certain, Street Fighter V is definitely living up to it’s competitive billing. I know that many people, many of whom are readers and writers on this website, are very critical of it’s release and it’s structure for earning new characters. But within the fighting game community, to hate on this game makes you sound a bit like a hipster. The mechanics are very solid and there is a lot here that fighting game fans have really wanted for a while. In other words, I don’t expect to see a large drop off in registry next year.
One other aspect of it’s new release style, however, is that for the first time the US has gotten a Street Fighter at the same time our friends in Japan have. Because this did not get an arcade release, Japan was given no head start on us. So that excuse for their dominance is no longer valid. However, as you look at the top 8, you have more than likely noticed that there is 6 members from Japan, 1 from Korea, and 1 from the US. There were a lot more entries from Japan than ever before, including a ton of entries from all around the world, but needless to say the lions share were still Americans. It is, after all, on our home turf. But when a player from Japan was defeated, it was always considered an upset. Everyone learned really quickly, if they didn’t already know, that the players from Japan were the favorites. Now, part of that is self-selection, you are only going to pay for a trip like this if you are really confident in your skills. However, against a 5100 person field in a country’s home turf, that still should end up balancing out because the Americans will also whittle themselves down to their best members. What ended up happening, however, is one bald guy from New York ended up in the top 8, and that’s it. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, but the fact that it only happened to one means that a lot of the American top talent needs to do some real thinking about where they want to go from here.
But, in the mean time, let’s just enjoy the final day of the largest fighting game ever. Perhaps by the time the Capcom Pro Championship Tour Final happens, we can have more American representation. Either way, though, I’m not really into the whole nationalism thing. I just want to see some good matches. And given what we have seen already this weekend, tomorrow is looking to be a good old-fashioned slobber knocker for the ages.
2D Fighting GameCapcomEvo2016Evolution Fighting Game ChampionshipPlayStation 4Street Fighter V