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EVO Championship 2014 Recap
Evolution Championship Series 2014 (EVO for short) took place over the weekend, and it was full of all the hype you would expect from the biggest fighting games tournament in the country. For those who aren’t aware, EVO is the largest tournament for fighting games which started over a decade ago in a basement and was known as “Battle by the Bay.”. In 2002, when the tournament started to grow in popularity, the name was changed to Evolution Championship Series and has grown over the years and eventually moved its location from California to Las Vegas and now regularly brings in over 100,000 fighting game enthusiasts who test their mettle or just want to make the journey to their respective Mecca.
The top 8 for the major tournaments which included: Super Smash Bros: Melee, Ultra Street Fighter 4, King of Fighters XIII, Killer Instinct, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, BlazBlue: Chronophantasma, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 are as follows.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
1.Mango (Falco, Fox)
2. Hungrybox (Jigglypuff, Fox, Falco)
3. Armada (Peach, Young Link)
4. PPMD (Falco, Marth)
5. Mew2King (Marth, Sheik)
5. Axe (Pikachu)
7. Fly Amanita (Ice Climbers)
7. Silent Wolf (Fox)
First off, yes people still play Super Smash Bros. Melee, clinging to the game as they wait eagerly for the next iteration, because apparently the last one wasn’t good enough for them because of things like tripping. Regardless, the Melee finals for EVO were actually pretty good. Its always exciting to see Jigglypuff see some love and not just the usual Fox/Falcos who are everywhere. Hungrybox did a good job and even landed some rests (an attack of Jigglypuff’s) and built up a lot of hype and managed to keep the games close and lost 3 – 2.
Ultra Street Fighter 4
1. Luffy (Rose)
2. Bonchan (Sagat)
3. Fuudo (Fei Long)
4. Snake Eyez (Zangief)
5. Gackt (Fei Long)
5. Ricky Ortiz (Rufus, Rolento)
7. Momochi (Ken, Juri)
8. Sako (Ibuki, Evil Ryu, Elena, Gen)
Street Fighter was interesting this year for EVO. A lot of the power players were weeded out really early, leaving gaps people weren’t expecting, this included both Daigo Umehara as well as Infiltration not even making top 16, which is more than a little surprising, but hey them’s the breaks in fighting games sometimes. A couple of bad sets and that’s all she wrote. What was very impressive actually though was Luffy, who ended up winning the Street Fighter tournament. I went in and I thought he was just another Rose player, but he was incredibly solid with some really good spacing and play. Bummed that Snake Eyez lost though.
King of Fighters XIII
1. Xiao Hai (EX Iori, Mr. Karate, Kim)
2. Tokido (EX Iori, Chin, Mr. Karate)
3. ET (Clark, Mr. Karate, EX Iori | Others)
4. MadKOF (Duo Lon, Daimon, Kim)
5. Woo (King, Takuma, Kim)
5. Yoshi (EX Kyo, Benimaru, Shen | Others)
7. Misterio (Yuri, Saiki, King)
8. Chris KOF (Duo Lon, Iori, Shen)
I’m not gonna lie. I was worried that KOF wouldn’t be fun to watch, since I’ve never cared for the series. That being said, this was a fun match with some good back and forth between Tokido and Xiao Hai, and it ended up making the game at least fun enough to stick it out until the end when Xiao Hai bested Tokido. Chin does work as well.
Injustice: Gods Among Us
1. Sonic Fox (Batgirl)
2. Pig of the Hut (Zod)
3. Mit88 (Deathstroke, Batgirl, Aquaman)
4. PimPimJim (Hawkgirl, Raven, Shazam)
5. Noobe (Doomsday)
5. DJT88 (Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, Doomsday)
7. 16-bit (Catwoman)
8. Emperor Theo (Aquaman)
I was actually disappointed with Injustice this year. Normally I’m a huge fan of the game, and the matches up to the final were fine and the early matches between Sonic Fox and Pig of the Hut were good prior, but it changed in the finals. Pig of the Hut unfortunately ended up getting completely stomped by Sonic Fox’s Batgirl in such a manner where it wasn’t even particularly exciting to watch. Not that its a bad thing per se, but close matches are a lot more fun to watch than blowouts.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
1. JDCR (Heihachi, Armor King)
2. Gen Kids (Bob, Leo)
3. Ao (Alisa, Miguel)
4. Jimmy J Tran (Bryan, Dragunov)
5. HOA (JACK-6, P-JACK)
5. Inkognito (Bryan, Bob)
7. JustFrameJames (Marshall Law, Yoshimitsu)
8. BMNS-13 (Hwoarang, Baek)
This felt like it dragged on at points. It wasn’t bad at all to be honest, but I was surprised to see the timeouts is all which I wasn’t aware was really a thing when it came to Tekken, but you learn some new stuff everyday I suppose. JDCR did work and managed to beat Gen Kids after a good solid 20 minutes of matches. Hopefully we see more from those two in the future because their play was about the only things I managed to find interesting about the Tekken stream.
1. CD Jr. (Sadira)
2. Rico Suave (Thunder, Glacius, Jago, Sabrewulf, Fulgore)
3. Justin Wong (Sabrewulf)
4. Gutter Magic (Thunder)
5. TSwagg (Sadira)
5. MyGod88 (Sabrewulf)
7. Pretty E (Orchid)
8. Mr. Grimmmz (Jago)
Killer Instinct was great to watch. The game itself is an absolute joy to watch at times, and was even more so when it came to the tourney. Although it bums me out Rico Suave lost, since he plays Thunder and I loves me some Thunder, but thats how it goes. CD Jr. did a great job and pulled out the victory and ended up being crowned this year’s Killer Instinct EVO champ, so hopefully we’ll see more from him in the coming months as the road to the next EVO sets up.
1. Garireo (Litchi)
2. Dogura (Azrael)
3. BE|DoraBang (Bang)
4. Yoshiki (v-13-)
5. Tiku (Tager)
5. N-O (Rachel)
7. Tochigin (Azrael)
8. SG (Litchi)
This was the most hype event of EVO in my opinion. People are already rolling their eyes at me thinking I’m partial to the airdashing anime fighters, but Garireo really brought it home against Dogura in the finals, managing to battle his way all the way back and win it out in the very last possible round. It was so satisfying to see somebody you root for pull out the win. Plus, it’s always a bonus to see Azrael lose. Also, Tiku representing Tager in a big way and tearing it up while showing people what happens when you’re crazy good with Tager was probably the best thing about the BlazBlue tourney..
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
1. Justin Wong (Wolverine, Storm, Akuma)
2. NYChrisG (Morrigan, Dr. Doom, Vergil | Others)
3. Filipino Champ (Magneto, Dormammu, Dr. Doom | Others)
4. RayRay (Magneto, Dr. Doom, Sentinel)
5. Flocker (Zero, Vergil, Hawkeye | Others)
5. Jan (Hulk, Shuma-Gorath, Haggar | Others)
7. Marn (Zero, Vergil, Strider)
8. Insaynne (Nova, Spencer, Dr. Doom)
This year’s Marvel tourney at EVO suffered from the same problem that Injustice had. There was a lot of hype matches, which built up to the end and then you just get a blowout match between Justin Wong and ChrisG. It was fun though seeing the Wong Factor back in action though, so it wasn’t a complete bust.
Multiple other side tourneys were held as well, including Mortal Kombat, Skullgirls: Encore, Soul Calibur 5, Persona 4: Arena, and Guilty Gear. Additionally, Skullgirls also held a secondary side tourney which allowed players to participate so long as they used the new character Eliza who is currently being tested and balanced. All in all, EVO was phenominal. There were some ups and downs in the form of a couple of great run backs and some blowups that just kind of fizzled out, but that’s part of what makes EVO or any sport in general entertaining: the upset potential. Hopefully we get even more from EVO 2015.