Street Fighter V Charlie in-game render

Evo 2016 is officially in the books, it’s a matter of record now. And the first record is that Street Fighter V just completed the largest fighting game tournament ever, at 5100 entries. Just try to imagine how many consoles you would have to run and how many staff you would need to have all on the same page in order to accomplish that feat.

Street Fighter V Results

Taking top prize in the first (but definitely not last) Street Fighter V Evo Championship was RZR Infiltration, from Korea. The fact that he accomplished that goal is surprising to hardly anyone who has been paying attention. He has dominated the professional Street Fighter scene all year. What was surprising, however, is how he got there. After losing to RZR Fuudo (and his awesome R.Mika) in Winners Finals, he came back at him in the Grand Finals and reset the bracket. After the reset it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that he would pull it out.

L.I. Joe, the lone American in the top 8, did win his first match of the night but ended up losing his second one. It was a bittersweet Top 8 finish, but one that he can certainly be proud of. His father was even on hand, along with his girlfriend, to provide very visible support for Joe. It was a valuable reminder that the same emotions and pressures of physical sports can also apply to electronic sports.

It was a little disappointing to see so many Nash players in the Top 8, however the game is still very young. Nash has good tools, but not overpowered tools. So the community will shift over time, and if it’s decided that he’s too powerful, Capcom will nerf him. They have already stated they will do character balances as needed in this game, after they wait for a while to see how things shake out. I find it more likely that a couple of characters will get buffed rather than anyone nerfed. But we will see. Early on in Street Fighter IV we saw nothing but Ryu, Ken, and Rufus. So we have a long ways to go before we settle on a real tier list. And the presence of a Vega (Claw) and an R.Mika in Top 8 is a great thing.

Regardless, it was a great tournament, great experience. Hopefully our Operation Rainfall audience enjoyed it, as well as our coverage of it this year. Next character up, one of my favorite Street Fighter waifus, Juri.

Street Fighter IV Juri

William Haderlie
Born in the 1970's, I've been an avid participant for much of video game history. A lifetime of being the sort of supergeek entrenched in the sciences and mathematics has not curbed my appreciation for the artistry of video games, cinema, and especially literature.