EVO 2010 – A Fighting Competition Journey, Video Game Fighting That IsPosted 12:01 am on Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 by Chris Del Castillo
It was random for me, I went to Vegas for some R&R, and was planning on coming back home early, when a few friends of mine called me and told me, “Dude! We just decided to go to EVO and some of us want to join the others. Want to watch? Are you interested?”
In my mind I wanted to come home, but the gamer in me wanted to go for the challenge. So after about 5 minutes of thinking it through, I figured what the heck, it’s only once a year. Why not find out what I am made of and stay an extra 3 days in Vegas. After all, they said they would pay for me.
Thursday couldn’t come fast enough as we went ahead to check everything out, I decided to try my luck on three games: Tatsunoko vs Capcom, Super Street Fighter IV, and Tekken 6. The set up at Caesar’s Palace was still being done, but we wanted to check everything out before hand. I was so excited and nervous I couldn’t sleep at night. Friday rolls around and I got maybe 4 hours of sleep, got some McDonald’s for breakfast, and a few energy drinks just to keep me going.
Some big names were there. Daigo “The Beast” and Justin Wong were of course the two biggest names, but that’s not all of them. Mike Ross, Shizza, Henry Cen, and one of my favorite, Vance “Vangief”, who I was rooting for this year, were in attendance.
First up was Tatsunoko, and since I was already in Vegas, I couldn’t really get any of my sticks, so I used the tournament provided ones for the other games. But for Tatsunoko, I was probably one of the only few people who preferred the GC controller, but opted to use the stick, mapped my buttons, and was ready to roll. My team of Zero and Morrigan won me the first round, but was taken out on the second round. Switching Morrigan for Batsu proved to work as I was able to get pass the first battle.
I was happy but nervous, and I had to wait awhile before my next match and opted for the same team, sadly I was destroyed quickly both rounds, but I didn’t go down without a fight. My third match was back and forth. Lost the first round and came back on the second round. I was taken out on the third round, but it was a close battle. Maybe If I spammed Morrigan’s fireball, but it’s too late now. I was still happy to try. Now I had some time to rest, and man the room was really cold. I only noticed it after I had played my T vs C matches.
Next up, Super Street Fighter IV. The tournament blocks were made and I had been put in the same one as Interception, the Korean Champion. At the time, I wasn’t too focused on that and just wanted to see how far I can go. The Street Fighter matches went from simple spamming to incredible. My goal was to get a non heavily used character in the top. I didn’t go up for awhile, so I began calculating on who would I use, and how I would proceed. Should I stick with my best character, or use other character I’m good with so that my style wouldn’t be read early? Since I did noticed a lot of chattering about people teaming up to figure out how other people play and the information would be shared. It’s a smart idea to take out some people, but I wanted to go through with my skill. It’s probably my ego speaking, but in the end, I came to prove myself.
My match goes up and I decided to mix up my characters in the pool. I don’t remember the exact number of people who had joined, but the numbers were over 1800. I was told you could have more than 25 matches on this day alone and that would be minimum, but it was all to get to the 32, and there was of course double elimination. My character for this round is M. Bison, again using a Madcatz Arcade controller, I faced off against a Ryu. It was a back and forth match, but I was able to win both rounds, so I proceeded on. The second and third match was win/lose/win, lose/win/win with my Bison Ultra. The next match I was taken out and now was 3 wins and 1 loss, but if I lost the next match I would be out. I had my friends run to grab me some food and my sweater, since the room was cold and it was around 4pm.
My next match was against Infiltration, I heard of him being the top player in Korea, but it’s always nice to take on top people, I’ve faced Daigo before and gave him everything I could using my Rufus, but was defeated. I was happy, but that was back in Street Fighter IV.
Now I get to try out Korea’s top dog. I went with Cody and couldn’t hold back against his Akuma. His style of staying in the back shooting fireballs was something a lot of people online do, so I used my rock throw and uppercut tornado, but overall, it wasn’t easy breaking his style. He cleaned me out and in the second round, was more aggressive. That was a tough Akuma.
0-1 so far and I had to change my style so I went with Abel with Breathless. It was much better than with my Cody and I used the ultra to win round one. Yeah after it was over (I don’t know if he was playing with me), I lost third round with 2 raging demons, one super and one ultra, within three seconds of each other.
It was all over for me by my fourth match, and I was completely knocked out of the tournament for both Tatsunoko and SSFIV. We took some seats where we can watch some more matches near Daigo’s bracket, but I went to go see Vangief in his matches, watching him win into the top 32.
Day one was over, but we were still in Las Vegas. Even if I have already been here for a week and Tekken 6 was tomorrow morning, I was here with new friends, so I decided to gamble a bit more for the night before sleeping, having some Hooters for a late dinner (you have to love the wing special!), and finally slept for tomorrow.
I am no expert in Tekken 6. I played the game straight for awhile and knew the bounce system, but found it utterly annoyingly similar to Marvel vs Capcom 2’s infinite combos, just not as bad at times. I’ll use them when I have to for the tournament, since everyone else will be using it.
My team of King, Brian and Asuka didn’t get me far. One combo against most opponents lead to utter bouncing, wall bouncing and destruction. I didn’t like the bouncing, but it’s a skill and I won’t knock it. I lost both my matches quickly. I was sad, but that’s how it goes.
I was hungry since we woke up late, so I didn’t get to eat. We opted to skip the rest of the Tekken Pool to check out Marvel vs Capcom 3, since I was told there were changes from the E3 version, including level 3 supers. I decided to go to a buffet and got back like two hours later.
The Super Street Fighter IV semi’s had just begun and we sat back in the cold room watching the matches. Some of the top matches I was able to sit near the announcers, so hopefully some of my friends were able to see me. Hi guys! At that point I was cheering for two people, Vangief and the newcomer Gamerbee, who I was hoping was going to take a new character to the semi-finals. I was hoping Gamerbee would go far and even see if his particular style could face off against Daigo (sadly we never did get to see that). We were left with the top 8, which would be the finale tomorrow.
After the matches, money play was going on with some pretty big stakes, but it’s Vegas. Nothing new here and I wasn’t looking to drop a few 100’s, so we watched a few matches and then fatigue was catching up, so I turned in early (in Vegas that means I went to bed at 1am).
Day 3 was the finals and I was already packed to head home right after. My flight was at 1:30am, and supposedly everything was going to be over by midnight, so I was good checking out. I had already spent around $900 in the last 6 days. I was done spending.
7am, had breakfast and headed back. We sat there watching all the finals from Melty Blood, which I may want to check out more of since some of the combos are pretty crazy and the game doesn’t seem simple. Marvel vs Capcom 2 was as I expected. Players mostly used Storm, Cable, Sentinel, Magneto and Iron Man, making the matches filled with infinites. A few players surprised me with original and fun combos, which is why I liked playing the game.
Tatsunoko was the more fun game to watch, I like how I play with Zero, but EG Ricky 0 just knew how to bounce like crazy with Zero’s down dash, making me want to learn that even more now. Too bad I didn’t get to see a Zero win, but the Finals of Tatsunoko are something you need to watch.
We passed on Tekken 6 and HD Remix to go take care of some last minute stuff. We watched the Marvel vs Capcom 3 exhibition match as well as the Female invitational SSFIV match, which I had to say AAA Kayane and Burnyourbra are really good players. I wouldn’t mind getting my ass owned by Kayane anytime in Street Fighter of course.
Mystery Announcement for Comic-Con
It wasn’t over during the Tekken matches. Katsuhiro Harada called out Yoshinori Ono and talked about his tweets about the mysterious announcement next weekend, when Evo is happening this week. Ono admitted he was wrong and that the special announcement was for Comic-Con, and he would reveal it there. Harada teased Ono on this, but what could this mysterious game be? My guess would be the “Vampire” aka Darkstalkers sequel that has been rumored for some time now.
You would think that would be the highlight of the day. Afterward, we had Marvel vs Capcom 3 producer Ryota Niitsuma come out before the Exhibit matches to talk about the additions to the game. I was pretty impressed. The button scheme is a bit disappointing, but if they are listening to fans and making changes, even better.
All right. Back to the main event, the SSFIV finals with the top 8. More than likely you’ve watched it or will watch the live streaming, so I won’t bore you with what happened. I was glad to see Vangief and Gamerbee in the top 8. The surprise of this year would be Justin Wong being taken out early, especially by Gamerbee. Daigo is still a beast. Oh did I mention it was deafening in there with so much screaming, but then again it was like that during the finals and semis.
It was a crazy 3 day event, and it makes me want to try even harder next year to at least step up my game and try to make it further.
Here are your Top 8’s: (taken from Evo2k.com)
Super Street Fighter IV — Top 8
1. Daigo Umehara (Ryu)
2. EG.Ricky Ortiz (Rufus, Chun-Li)
3. Infiltration (Akuma)
4. Mike Ross (E. Honda)
5. Bruce “GamerBee” Hsiang (Adon)
5. Vance “Vangief” Wu (Zangief)
7. Henry Cen (E. Honda, Dhalsim)
7. Shizza (Chun-Li)
Tekken 6 — Top 8
3. Mr. Naps
4. Devil Jim
7. GMMA Kor
Super Street FIghter II HD Remix — Top 8
1. Snake Eyes
5. Afro Cole
7. Alex Valle
Super SF4 Women’s Invitational — Top 4
1. AAA Kayane
3. Yellow Gal
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom — Top 8
1. EG Marn
3. EG Justin Wong
5. Royal Flush
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 — Top 8
1. EG Justin Wong
2. EMP Santhrax
4. EMP Yipes
7. Chaos Nightwolf
7. Regency Rob
Melty Blood — Top 8
1. Yoichiro “Garu” Aruga
2. Stephen “Lord Knight” Barthelemy
3. Antonio “Kusanagi” Medrano
4. Byron “HF Blade” Barzabal
5. Brandon “Brandino” Lee
5. Yuji “Yat” Tanaka
7. James Xie
7. Eric “Numakie” Gutierrez
Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.