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The Road to EVO: The Final Check-in

 

Two weeks from today I’ll be in Vegas. Always an exciting prospect for me honestly, though this time it’s a little bigger than before. You see, EVO 2k – North America’s largest fighting-game tournament – takes place in two weeks’ time, and I’m going to be heading down (for the first time ever) as a competitor. Fans of the site, fighters in general or just interested in the (hopefully) Cinderella-esque rise to power of my Street Fighter abilities will know that over the course of the last year I’ve been in training to attend this year’s event and join in on the Super Street Fighter IV Main Event down in Vegas.

If you’ve been keeping up with the series, you know that my play has undergone a host of revisions including (but definitely not limited to): A change of characters, weekly training sessions online with friends, randoms and users of the site; changes of play-style, tactics, controllers and extensive online reading to learn about everything from vocab to frame data.

It’s been a long road, and now there’s only two weeks between me talking about playing Street Fighter online, dicking around with online rivals and friends, and the final show down in Vegas.

The first question everyone tends to ask when the project is brought up is: How do you think you’re going to do?

I’ve been knocking it out of the park online pretty reliably… But taking stage at an event as big as EVO is a whole ‘nother story. I’ve done what I can to participate in a couple of local tournaments to get an idea of the pressure (most notably the MK9 release tournament where I round up getting to the finals on the Big Screen at a movie theater in front a few dozen frothing MK fans and some rather stiff competition). All of that feels like a cake-walk though compared to the level of play that will be at EVO and the scope of the event.

So how do I feel? Scared. I’m not going to lie here, or sugar coat things… This is as big of a tournament as anyone can enter, and I’ve only seriously started playing Street Fighter for one year. My Bison is formidable; he’s taking down scrubs online like it ain’t no thang… But when I get down to Vegas at the end of the month it means taking on the best of the best, not just locally, not just in North America either, but from the entire world.

At this point I’m hoping to at least pass through the prelims, make it past round one, maybe two and take down a couple of people to prove that with a year of play and the sweet-ass Mad Catz fightstick I was imbued with that one can at least make a showing at EVO. Only time will tell though… so look forward to either a story of triumph or sorrow along with continuing coverage of the event from Shogun Gamer as I head down to Vegas the weekend of the 28th!