July is here, and that means a lot of very exciting events are just around the corner. Comic-Con is less than two weeks away, and this weekend (Friday, July 6th – Sunday, July 8th) is EVO 2012. EVO is the largest tournament of the year in the fighting game community. Players come from around the world to compete in their games of choice for the title of World Champion. This year, the official games are Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Street Fighter x Tekken, Soul Calibur V, Mortal Kombat, King of Fighters XIII, and Super Street Fighter II Turbo, and there will be unofficial tournaments for Skullgirls, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, and way too many other games to list here. If you enjoy fighting games, EVO is guaranteed to have something that interests you.
Aside from the games and the competition, EVO is known for its “EVO Moments.” Whether they are funny, exciting or just plain memorable, EVO Moments are small pieces of fighting game history that live on well past the end of the event. Last year’s EVO had its fair share of moments as well. Here are five of the best moments from EVO 2011.
MikeZ vs. Ike Takeda – BlazBlue (warning: language)
Even though it was one of the smaller games at last year’s EVO, BlazBlue has a dedicated following. MikeZ (who you may know from the Skullgirls team) is known for playing big, slow grappler characters, and here he continues that trend by playing Tager. He gets off to such a strong start that he gets completely inside Takeda’s head very early. The hilarious result of these mind games starts at around 1:05. Takeda could escape this “combo” at any time after the eighth hit or so, but he’s so scared to jump out of it that he doesn’t.
Mike Ross vs. DR Ray – Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Continuing with the funny moment theme, this match was by far the most hilarious thing to happen in the whole event. Mike Ross gets DR Ray down to a sliver of health with Deadpool, and it looks like Deadpool is going to make a comeback. Deadpool’s teleport move has a mechanic where every third time he uses it he explodes instead of teleporting. I think you can see where this is going…
Noah “The Prodigy” – Marvel vs. Capcom 3
When you were 8 years old, what were some of the things you were doing? If you were anything like me, you were going to school, playing in a baseball league, and that sort of thing. Noah “The Prodigy” Solis, on the other hand, was making top 48 at EVO in a field of hundreds of players. Here is one of his victories, against low-tier hero Royal Flush.
PR Balrog vs. Viscant – Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Grand Finals
To set up this video, this was the grand finals of the MVC3 event, meaning the winner of this match was going to become the 2011 World Champion. PR Balrog was at a disadvantage and needed wins to keep up the momentum. Viscant was using Phoenix, a character that was hated for being overpowered and cheap in the original MVC3 (even among the top players). PR Balrog was down to only Tron, a character with decent assists but not very good head-to-head, and very little life. Despite the odds, PR Balrog went into clutch mode and pulled out one of the biggest comebacks in EVO history. Viscant would go on to do San Diego proud and win the tournament, but this is by far the most memorable part of that final round.
Daigo vs. Poongko – Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition
Anyone with even the tiniest interest in the fighting game community knows about Daigo “The Beast” Umehara. The infamous EVO Moment #37 video, also known simply as the “Daigo parry video,” is basically the single moment that defines the entire fighting game community. Going into the 2011 SSFIV AE EVO event, Daigo was considered one of the heavy favorites. He was using Yun, which was considered to be almost as broken as Phoenix was in MVC3. Towards the later stages of the tournament he went up against Poongko, the Korean Street Fighter champion and a Seth player. Although later on the Seth/Yun matchup would be considered very close, Seth was thought to be at a disadvantage at the time. Poongko proved everyone wrong and went on to defeat Daigo in spectacular fashion in what felt almost like a “passing the torch” moment.
And there you have it, my five Top Tier Moments of EVO 2011. Be sure to tune in to this year’s EVO event, which will be streamed live at http://shoryuken.com/evo2012/live from Friday, July 6 through Sunday, July 8.