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EVO 2011: Wrap Up and Winner's Lists

For anyone that still wasn’t aware, though I’ve been trying my damnedest to provide hype for the last year, EVO (the king of fighting game tournaments) took place over this past weekend. Three full days of fighting games, tournaments, side-pots, drama and announcements galore were offered up from the fine people at Mad Catz, EVO 2K, Capcom, Atlus and others. If you weren’t watching the live stream you missed out on what is easily the most intense pro-gaming tournament out there. 

Honestly, so much went down this weekend it’s really hard to keep track of everything, and trying to post everything all in one quick little wrap-up seems like madness (yea, yea I should have been posting throughout the weekend…). Maybe the easiest thing I can do here is break it up into a couple of different sections and break it down into the big news. 

First off, we need to talk tournament play. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend in person this year, it was heart breaking but sometimes real-life gets in the way, and due to unforeseen circumstances I wound up watching from the side-lines on the live stream as the announcements and gameplay took place down in Vegas. 

NEWS

One of the major changes to this year’s EVO tournament was the addition of panels before/during the tournament. Capcom was on hand to provide a series of panels about Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter x Tekken. There was actually a lot to come out of it, but let’s just hit up the cliff notes shall we?

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3:

First of all… we know it’s coming now. Generally speaking Marvel vs. Capcom doesn’t get alternate versions or secondary iterations, but it seems like it’s something they needed to do for balancing, features and a host of new characters. We already know most of the big stuff (i.e. the character announcements which have all been pretty much confirmed at this point) but the really interesting thing is that they brought out the ‘bible’ of all the changes being made to the characters on stage and spent the majority of the panel taking questions from the crowd about what’s happening to their favorites. Seriously, just one of the coolest things that you could do, especially having an audience of die-hards like that. 

Super Street Fighter IV: AE:

We’re getting another patch. That’s the big news. There’s still some tweaking left to be done from Capcom to make this the perfect tournament fighter that it was showcased as during this year’s EVO, apparently. Capcom said before the year ends we’ll get some new balance patches to make things a little more even, though honestly I haven’t gone into all of them (if you’re that level of frame-counting/damage rating need to know gamer, SRK is probably your best bet for the full break-down).

Street Fighter x Tekken:

Along with in-depth discussion of how the game is going to work mechanically and how the two worlds are being brought together in a new fighting style, the big news was the teaser trailers for two more characters for the upcoming game: Ibuki (from Street Fighter) and Kuma (from Tekken). Personally, I’m kind of excited that Ibuki made the cut here, and this game is finally starting to look a little bit interesting…

The Tournaments

Mortal Kombat:

Let’s just cut to the chase shall we? After knocking down about a 1000 competitors, here are your top 8 finalists along with this year’s EVO champ: 

Winner: Perfect Legend

2. REO (Mileena)

3. JOP (Raiden/Johnny Cage)

4. Chris G (Reptile)

5. Denzell Terry (Liu Kang)

5. 16-bit (Kitana)

7. OnlineTony213 (Kabal)

7. ATL Redd (Liu Kang)

Tekken 6:

Not going to lie, I’m not a huge fan of Tekken… But these guys still put on a serious show. Here’s the break-down of the top 8 for EVO 2011 in the Tekken 6 finals:

Winner: Kor (Bob)

2. NYC Fab (Bob/Miguel)

3. Rip (Law)

4. JustFrameJames (Law)

5. Crow (Bob)

5. Mr. Naps (Bryan)

7. Tokido (Bob)

7. Ryan Hart (Kazuya)

Marvel vs. Capcom 3:

Seriously, this is some intense competition, as an outsider looking in it had to be some of the most mind-blowing fights of the entire weekend. At times it’s almost impossible to even keep up with the action that’s taking place on the screen (considering there can be up to six characters on the screen at any given time). Props go out to these guys for being able to not only understand what’s going on, but keep ahead of it and play what basically equates to triple-level chess on speed:

Winner: Viscant (Wesker/Haggar/Phoenix)

2. PR Balrog (Wolverine/Dante/Tron/Amaterasu)

3. Justin Wong (She Hulk/Wolverine/Akuma/Storm/Wesker)

4. Combofiend (She Hulk/Taskmaster/Spencer)

5. Noel Brown (Wolverine/Wesker/Akuma/Phoenix)

5. Filipino Champ (Magneto/Sentinel/Phoenix/Dormammu)

7. X-Ray (Dante/Amaterasu/Magneto)

7. Mine (Wesker/Taskmaster/Phoenix)

Super Street Fighter IV: AE:

This is the big show as far as I’m concerned, and I guess a lot of others considering it’s always left for the final match. The competition was fierce, and I have to at least highlight one match-up for you: Daigo vs. Poongko – Somehow this mad-man from Korea managed to come in and take out Daigo (the beast and shooting for his third-in-a-row EVO championship) that included a perfect finale (literally, he perfected The Beast!). The winners break down after that went a little something like this:

Winner: Fuudo (Fei Long)
2. Latif (C.Viper)
3. Poongko (Seth)
4. Daigo Umheara (Yun)
5. Kindevu (Yun)
5. Tokido (Akuma)
7. Wolfkrone (C.Viper)
7. Flash Metroid (Zangief, C.Viper)

EVO is quite simply one of the hottest gaming tournaments out there. It combines the “anyone can win” mentality of the World Series of Poker along with some of the hottest fights seen around the globe (we’re still talking about Daigo’s Chun-Li parry video these many years later, and Poongko’s perfect is sure to live in infamy as well). If you haven’t checked it out in the past, do yourself a favor and look up some of the clips from EVO this year online, there were fantastic matches… and hopefully next year I’ll be heading down there proper to compete and show off my earned skills as a true world warrior.