On Saturday, I attended the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Grand Finals in San Francisco. This was my first major fighting community event. A couple of years ago when I was apart of Raw Game Play, I went to weekly Street Fighter tournaments, but none came close to the size of this one. Bright and early my other half and I began our Caltrain treck to Burlingame, California. After a 45 minute trip, we arrived at the Hyatt Regency SFO hotel. The line was short and we were in about 15 minutes later. The lobby was filled with people playing at Capcom game stations. A couple meeting rooms on the sides we set for an art exhibition and the God of War Ascension demo. We couldn’t resist and bought a few pieces from the art room.
Awesome fan art!
The first game up was Super Street Fighter II Turbo. I remember not putting any thought into this game when I was younger because I did not even think combos could happen. I, like every other person not playing Ryu, choose Chun Li’s lighting kicks. As I watched the first couple of matches, I saw moves that I did not even know could be done. It finally hit me… I was at the Street Fighter grand finals! The worlds best players were only sitting a couple feet from my seat. While the matches were going on, I walked around and did some shopping at the Capcom store. We even took a cheesy green screen picture 😀 The top three for Super Street Fighter II Turbo were: Afro Lengends, Chioboy, and Damdai.
The set was done and it was on to Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. Again, I was amazed by the craziness that ensued. It’s one thing to watch your favorite players on a stream, and another to watch MOV play the sickest Chung-Li I have ever seen. During this set a there was a break. This was the big announcement made…
Street Fighter X Megan Man was being released as a FREE PC download coming to capcom-unity.com on December 17, 2012 for Mega Man’s official 25th birthday! Before the announcer left the stage, I was on line to try out the demo. If you beat the Street Fighter boss at the end of a level, you won an exclusive Street Fighter X Megan tee shirt. Of course, I picked Chung-Li as the boss 😀 The demo was a bit short, fun and it felt like the original. I enjoyed it so much, I won a t-shirt! I returned to my seat right as the top 3 for Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike just finished. The top 3 were: Tokido, Momochi, and MOV.
Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition was up next. It was time for the matches I had been waiting for. Here were the results for round one:
EG|fLoE (Guy) vs. MCZ|Daigo (Ryu) – 0-2
BT|Dieminion (Guile) vs. AVM|GamerBee (Adon) – 2-1
RZR.CG|Problem X (Seth) vs. EG|Momochi (Akuma) – 0-2
EG|Justin Wong (Rufus) vs. MCZ|Tokido (Akuma) – 1-2
AGE|Snake Eyez (Zangief) vs. RZR|Fuudo (Fei Long) – 0-2
Alioune (Cammy) vs. EG|Ricky Ortiz (Rufus) – 2-1
MCZ|Mago (Fei Long) vs. Wolfkrone (C.Viper) – 2-0
WW.MCZ|Infiltration (Akuma) vs. Vangief (Zangief) – 2-0
I was able to follow the first round, but did not know the results of the losers bracket because it was played off screen. The top 3 ended up as expected: Daigo, Fuudo, and Infiltration. After AE was done, I walked around for a bit when I found the room where posters were being given away. Little did I know who would be giving them out! I met Yoshinori Ono, the Street Fighter franchise producer, and Tomoaki Ayano, the assistant producer for most of the Street Fighter games.
Street Fighter x Tekken was on for the next 4-5 hours. I didn’t mind it at first, but it got really boring fast. The in-game animations went off every 5 seconds for each move and the matches took forever. During the SFxT marathon, my other half and I needed a break. We had dinner, drank a couple drinks, and grabbed the Capcom goodie bags. We also had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Team Spooky. He was constantly running around working his butt off at the venue. Spooky is one of the hardest working members of the fighting game community who helps the events stay alive.
At about 8pm, 3 hours after it was originally scheduled the finals began! If I went into detail about each match, I would be here forever so I will just tell you the results of each game:
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (Classic Arcade)
Damdai (O.Ryu) vs. Afro Legends (Dee Jay, Balrog) – 3-1
John Choi (Guile) vs. Afro Legends (Balrog) – 1-3
John Choi (O.Sagat, Ryu) vs. Damdai (O.T.Hawk) – 0-3
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition
MCZ|Tokido (Chun-Li) vs. MOV (Ken) – 0-3
MCZ|Tokido (Chun-Li) vs. EG|Momochi (Yun) – 3-0
MOV (Chun-Li) vs. EG|Momochi (Yun) – 3-2
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition
WW.MCZ|Infiltration (Akuma) vs. MCZ|Daigo (Ryu) – 3-0 (WW.MCZ|Infiltration resets)
WW.MCZ|Infiltration (Akuma) vs. MCZ|Daigo (Ryu) – 3-0
WW.MCZ|Infiltration (Akuma) vs. RZR|Fuudo (Fei Long) – 3-2
WW.MCZ|Infiltration (Akuma) vs. MCZ|Daigo (Ryu) – 0-3
This entire experience was better than I expected it would be. Many say the fighting game community isn’t welcoming or nice, but they are wrong. There were so many people who were willing to talk and joke with complete strangers that it felt natural. I look forward to my next event and the fact that I want to start competing. I will start my training soon, and will go full time at the start of the new year. I guess you can say this is the start of my journey to Evo……