Liam Collins ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
With the recent conclusion of this years Evolution Championship series (Evo for short), the fighting game community has seen both victories and upsets that will stand the test of time.
For those unfamiliar, the Evolution series is the eminent and oldest fighting game tournament in the world. Evo, which takes place yearly and began in 1996, brings together the greatest players from around the world for an unbelievable exhibition of skill and hype. Evo is open to anyone, meaning anyone can enter without having to qualify in advance (which also means that popular games often exceed 1,000 entrants), featuring stations available for relaxed free play, all the while offering unique opportunities to meet people from different countries and different walks of life who share the passion for competitive play. Both players and fans gather each year to honor the competitive spirit of the tournament in an open format where champions are crowned.
This year’s Evo official line up was especially strong, with titles like: Ultra Street Fighter, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Injustice: Gods Among Us, King of Fighters 13, Killer Instinct, Blazblue Chrono Phantasma, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Smaller side tournaments in Skullgirls, Soul Caliber 5, Guilty Gear XX, and others were also held.
You’re reading the top 5 hype moments of Evo 2014.
5. The Red Cyclone
RG Snake Eyez vs. Xian
The number five spot on this list recognizes one of best Zangief players in the world, RG Snake Eyez. In this year’s Ultra Street Fighter 4 tournament Snake Eyez was faced with a great challenge when he dueled with Evo 2013’s previous Street Fighter Champion, Xian. Battling in the Top 32 finals these two behemoths fought for supremacy and the right to move on toward Top 8. Though this same spot could have also gone to Snake Eyez when he faced off against Louffy, the many who took first in USF4 for this year, this match was much more explosive than the waiting game with that occurred later on.
4. The Return of a King
EG Justin Wong vs. GG Chris G
In a game that has been presumed dead by a majority of it’s fans, the grand finals of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 saw the return of a king. There was no dawn for a new champion as Justin Wong faced off against Christ G.
Every year, people like ChrisG and FilipinoChamp were waiting to take him down. But, this year was different. Justin would not be denied. He wanted more than second. Clawing his way past other huge names within the community, and making a ridiculous comeback against FilipinoChamp in the losers bracket, Justin made his way up to the grand finals and took it.
Final Game 8:05
3. Pokemon Master
MOR RZR Axe vs. GC Silentwolf
Facing it potential last year as a part of the Evolution Championship Series, Super Smash Bros. Melee brought both copious enthusiasm and community to this year’s Evo. Most players know that when it comes to Melee, tiers play a big part how the tournament will go. Most players also know that the Star Fox characters, or “spacies” as dubbed by the community, stand atop the rankings. And though this year’s Evo ended with returning champ MIOM Mango reclaiming his title playing Fox McCloud, the third spot on this list goes to a Pokemon.
Axe and his trusty Pikachu brought only death to SilentWolf’s Fox. The number four spot goes to last game in the two out of three set. Set on the beautiful Fountain of Dreams from the Kirby franchise, both players and fans alike watched as Axe dispatched his opponent in less than a minute without losing a single stock.
Final Game 6:05
2. Blossoming Rose
Meltdown Louffy vs. Bonchan
With the strength of his PlayStation 1 controller and Rose, Louffy’s efforts in the finals of USF4 rightfully earn him the spot of number two. In a tournament that had a garden filled with some of the greatest Japanese players, Louffy’s rose blossomed. After being sent to losers and defeating both EG Momochi and Snake Eyez, everything came up roses for Louffy. Progressing into the grand finals of the tournament, the stage was set for an unforgettable bout. Louffy’s Italian fortune teller was set against the “God of Muay Thai,” Bonchan’s Sagat.
Though Bonchan was sitting pretty in winners, Louffy and his rosen made came out on top. Louffy won Ultra Street Fighter IV for France, for the West, and for himself.
Final Game 20:25
1. Never Falter: The Rise of Garireo
Garireo vs. Dogura
With a $35,000 on the line, the largest pot of EVO 2014, Keiji “Garireo” Okamoto and Ryo “Dogura” Nozaki engaged in one of the greatest tournament sets to ever occur. The battle that occurred in the BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma grand finals went beyond all expectations.
Garireo and his Litchi had been sent to the Losers bracket by Dogura, a harsh 0-3 loss. But that did not break the Litchi players spirit, as he defeated Dorabang and climbed to grand finals. Garireo faced Dogura once again.
As the tournament’s finale raged, the audience watched with bated breath. Every time it seemed that the tournament was over, with Dogura so close to snatching victory, Garireo brought himself back from the brink of defeat. The two were neck and neck until the very end. But only one could be crowned and it all came down to one, final round.
Final Game 28:00
“Moments like these are why we play fighting games.”
The Champions Of Evolution 2014
· Ultra Street Fighter 4: Meltdown Louffy (playing Rose)
· Ultimate Marvel VS. Capcom 3: EG Justin Wong (Wolverine/Storm/Akuma)
· Injustice: Gods Among Us!: SonicFox (Batgirl)
· Killer Instict: KN CDjr (Sadira)
· Super Smash Bros. Melee: MIOM Mango (Fox)
· King of Fighters XIII: Xiaohai (Ex Lori/Mr. Karate/Kim)
· Tekken Tag Tournament 2: JDCR (Heihachi/Armor King)
· Skullgirls: Dekillsage (Double/ Cerebella)
· Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R: RF (Faust)