Evolution 2011 has come and gone, and with it came a string of intense, short bursts of the most exciting things in the world of gaming today. This year, Evo shattered every streaming record, with over 2 Million unique viewers tuning in to see what this magical thing called "Hype" was. They found out in a huge way. 5 very different games were played for three days, to determine a champion for each game. People may ask "Why is this such a big deal?" Well, it is a known fact in the Fighting Game Community (hereby referred to as the FGC) that Evolution is one of the biggest fighting game tournaments in the world, maybe second only to GodsGarden, Japan's biggest tournament. I saw so many things that were just mindblowing, weather they be amazing comebacks, massive combos, or generally stylish and exciting play. With all this excitement going on, you sometimes forget that there are some very real competitors with some very good thinking skills. My goal for this article is to show you what type of on the fly reactions and skills that it takes to make it in the competitive world of Street Fighter.
Something brand new at this year's Evolution tournament was the inclusion of developer and player panels
. These ranged from showing off new games, to streaming tutorials. However, one panel really captured my attention this year. It was "Inside the Mind of the Beast: Daigo Umehara Exposed!"
This panel showcased one of the most high-tension matches from Evo 2k10: Daigo Vs. Lamerboi. I actually learned a lot from this panel, and had my mind blown just as much. The way Daigo explains what he does in certain situations makes so much sense, but your average player never thinks below surface level. He analyzes his match right down to the simplest meter managing techniques. He even admits sacrificing a round so he can have that extra meter going into the next round. Seth Killian, community manager for Capcom and former competitive Street Fighter player, does a great job of forcing information out of the normally shy Umehara, asking followup questions based on the answers given. If you have an hour of your time to give to one of the most helpful insights to the most important aspect of Street Fighter, given by the best Street Fighter in the world today, definitely check this panel out.
A lot of attention is given to the flash of the games played at tournaments like these. That's understandable, but also unfortunate. While Daigo Vs. Alex Valle at Socal Regionals 2010
is one of the best Ryu/Ryu mirror matches in recent history with multiple comebacks, false finishes, and generally one of the most hype matches at that tournament, you can see a whole different match being played underneath the surface. Footsies, spacing, and ground control
really makes this match a Street Fighter technician's dream.
P.S.: Focus: A Documentary
is now out and available. If you want to see what the Fighting Game Community is really about, or if you just want to watch a solid documentary, check it out.