Evolution 2012 World Championship has just ended in Las Vegas and man what a great showing this year. For those that are unfamiliar, EVO is one of the largest fighting game tournaments in the World. Players from different regions compete against one another in a no holds barred match using muscle memory, wit, and complete skills.
Some of the games featured this year were Super Street Fighter 4 AE 2012, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, and The King of Fighters XIII. The most amazing thing about EVO this year was that many different countries were represented with players hailing from Japan, Mexico, China, Korea, Belgium, and even Australia. There was no shortage of giants and gods getting completely bodied.
I think that the best matches came from pool play and semi-finals; SSF4 AE had a strong showing of talented players. With 1500 entrants it was hard to say who’d come out on top. One of the more notable matches include Daigo “The Beast” Umehara vs. Gamerbee.
This is one of those matches that showcase how methodical the pros play at high level competition.
Another highlight features East vs. West with Uryo vs. Dieminion
Dieminion has one of the most flawless Guile play styles I have ever seen in SSF4 AE. Uryo’s C. Viper was relentless and fell short of Dieminion’s ironclad defense.
This was a matchup I never thought could be possible especially for top 16. This was truly a Street Fighter World Warrior matchup in real life. There seemed to be a variety of characters in the finals proving how balanced the game has become. The top 8 players consisted of:
- Korea: Infiltration, Poongko,
- Japan: Daigo Umehara
- USA: Dieminion, PR Balrog,
- China: XiaoHai, Gamerbee
- China/Australia: Human Bomb
Surprisingly the best Evo matches were from Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 finals. It was a fantastic ending to a long and grueling ladder climb to the top. But after the smoke settled the one champion rose to the occasion and his name is Filipino Champ.
Whether you love him or hate him, he really showed how hungry he was to win the Evo title. His expert defense was tough to crack as he sent players home including teammate Combofiend, NYChrisG, and tournament rival Infrit.
The amazing thing is that he announced his confident victory during interviews and he was able to come out of finals losing bracket to take it home. Top 8 for UMVC3:
- Winners Bracket: Combofiend, Infrit, Flocker, Filipino Champ
- Losers Bracket: ytwojay, Frutsy, NYChrisG, Justin Wong
Unbelievable Hype For The King of Fighters
The sleeper event of Evo this year had to be the KOF XIII finals. The big show featured Mexico vs. Korea. With all of the hype surrounding the larger pools like SSF4 AE and UMVC3, it was a breath of fresh air to see gamers styling on KOF XIII. The Korean clan “CafeID” proved that they were a force to be reckoned with by having 4 team members in Top 8. It was the flashy styling of Mad KOF’s (Duo Lon/Chin/Kim) against BALA’s (Billy/Takuma/Shen) that had the stage audience and stream monsters going wild. I think the KOF XIII finals will spark the buzz for fighting games fans to pick this game up and compete in next year’s EVO championships.
There were many great sets including Mortal Kombat 9 pools, Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, and Soul Calibur V.
One of the less exciting matches came out of the Street Fighter X Tekken pools. I think this is partial to the game being new on the scene much like when Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was released. But notable fighters in the scene participated including Alex Valle, Combofiend, Tokido, Ricky Ortiz, and CEO’s own Alex Jebailey along with CJ Truth. It was nice to see the fan favorites branching out to compete in other games that they are not known for.
This was certainly a great year for Evo and I think the most entertaining one at that. There were so many great moments; not just the matches but how close the community is in tune with their fans. I mean hearing the stories like Daigo competing in a tournament raising money to send Osamu to Evo 2012 is compelling.
Umehara said it best when asked: “What is more important more to you? Fame, Teammates, or Money?” Daigo’s response: “None of those things are important to me, only to bring the hype to the community…” I feel that this year’s Evo will inspire other gamers to come out of the woodwork and I expect to see even more new faces next year.