I had an opportunity to visit my first Evo tournament this year - Evo 2014. I’ve been watching streams, tournament footage, and playing Street Fighter for a long time, but had never gone to the big show. I’d also never been to Las Vegas before, so it was a real treat.
It started at my local airport where I met a couple of folks going to the tournament, and again when transferring in Chicago. They were mostly young pesky folks who wouldn’t stop talking like they were in a twitch stream chat. Don’t get me wrong, I like fighting games, that’s why I’m going, but you gotta know when to tone it down and put that fanboy stuff in check.
I got to see all the greats Justin Wong, Alex Valle, Seth Killian, Yipes, Chris G, Golden Boy Neo, Marn, Daigo, Tokido, etc. I only got to talk to Neo and Marn - Neo struck me as a nice guy, Marn was a bit peculiar but what would you expect? What struck me as really interesting was how Daigo was treated everywhere he walked. EVERYBODY wanted a photo with the man, it was amazing. We all grew up on hearing about Daigo, his face means Hadouken! Justin Wong was smaller than I expected, maybe that’s because his fighting spirit is so much bigger than he is.
Did I compete, yes. How did I do? Well, I got some blood on my hands, but these guys were tough. I see now that you have to bring a system with you or know someone with one so you don’t go into the tournament cold. You don’t want to be loosening up in a real fight. The other thing was, I was a bit nervous. You’re waiting for your name to be called, and everyone is looking over your shoulder to see what you’re doing. It’s reminiscent of the arcade, except you already know everyone in your arcade. Overall it was a lot of fun, and I would totally go again. If anything, it’s a few days away from work. I don’t gamble or anything like that, but Vegas was as fun or relaxing as I wanted it to be at any moment. I got probably the best chicken wings in recent memory while there!
I knew that seating on finals day would be tough, so I loaded up on snacks and water, and got down there early to see what was going on. BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma finals were surprisingly amazing, talk about a wake up! However, the Smash Bros finals put me straight to sleep. I don’t know how people can watch people jump kick each other for hours. My understanding is that this is a tactic in finals, very safe. Either way, it was un-watchable. After all that, we got on to the excellent and hype play of Justin Wong, who prevailed. Snake Eyes, a favorite of mine also did great in finals, but that match against Fuudo? Wow, infuriating! Haha, overall I had a great time.
Grand Finals - UMvC3
UMvC3 finals always have an air of excitement and hype that other games can’t quite touch, this year was no different. Justin Wong’s last second victory over FChamp in winners finals? Oh my gawd, Justin Woooonggg!
I think Filipino Champ is a really good player, so it surprised me when the people around me booed him. I guess they don’t like the way he carries himself, whatever. A true man of honor, Justin Wong, went on to face douchey mc-douche, Chris G in grand finals.
Jessica Gaona’s Work
I had the opportunity to meet Jessica at Evo, and see her excellent work. She had a bunch of Street Fighter fan art, but my favorite was her self portrait. Check them out below.