Evo 2011 Wrap-Up: Finals!
The Grand Finals for the Evolution 2011 Championship Series wrapped up on Sunday with some extremely dramatic finishes! Follow me as I describe the matches, announce the winners and the crowd reaction to the over 10,000 attendee tournament (not including the hundreds of thousands views the stream received)! Top 3 of all of these tournaments received a portion of the total entry fees for their respective tournaments in the following breakdown: 70% 1st, 20% 2nd and 10% for 3rd. As each entry fee was $10, and each tournament had anywhere from 500-1000 entrants, this is a VERY respectable amount of money. (If I could find exact statistics, I’d post ‘em!)
The clear favorite to win here was Mad-Catz Daigo “The Beast” Umehara, multiple Evolution Street Fighter title holder, best known for his 2004 come back in Street Fighter 3 against Justin Wong, full parrying Chun-Li’s entire super and responding with a combo that completely devastated Wong at 75% health (Note: This is extremely hard to do, and is considered to be one of the best moments in competitive gaming). However, his win this year was just not meant to be as he was eliminated in the Semi-Finals by Totalheads Poongko and BrokenTiers Latif in the winners and losers brackets respectively.
Latif and Poongko themselves met up in the Losers Finals for the right to face the undefeated (in the semi-final brackets) Fuudo, whose name is literally translated Food from Japanese. Latif started the match strong, posting a win against Poongko’s insane Seth with his equally impressive C. Viper. Poongko, though a strong player, is known for taking many risks in his play, and stayed true to form here. Latif was waiting for each one with a feinted ultra cancel that cost him his spot in the Grand Finals, as Latif’s C. Viper advanced to the Grand Finals against Fuudo to tumultuous applause from the gathered crowd in the Rio hotel in Las Vegas.
Before the Grand Finals began, the organizers of Evo took a moment to thank everyone for coming out and supporting the fighting scene before announcing ‘Fight!’ to begin the round. The unshakable Fuudo met Latif’s C. Viper with a flawless Fei Long execution that left Latif with very little options, putting Rekka-Ken combos everywhere Viper wanted to be. The second round went similarly flawlessly, with Fuudo seeming to have a sixth sense on just how to read Latif and was able to counter accordingly. In the only grand final of the evening NOT to be reset by the Loser’s Bracket champion, Fuudo took the last match and swept Latif 3-0. He is pictured below here, with his SSF4AE trophy. Congratulations!
Ask anyone who watched the stream or attended the tournament about Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and who they thought was going to win the tournament, names that were likely to come up were EG Justin Wong and BA Viscant. (Viscant did some truly insane things with Haggar throughout the tournament, my jaw literally dropped at the comebacks he pulled off.) Viscant’s Wesker, Haggar and Phoenix team cruised its way to the grand finals with a few close calls, even sending EG Justin Wong to the losers bracket. In a surprising turn of events, Mad Catz |DMG PuertoRican Balrog (though most refer to him simply as PRBalrog to avoid the mouthful) eliminated Wong’s Wolverine/Akuma team from the tournament altogether in the losers finals, leading to massive hype and crowd reaction.
PR Balrog threw his heart into it, landing an amazing hyper combo in game 2 after Phoenix had morphed into Dark Phoenix. In game 4, he managed a clean victory followed by an amazing comeback with Tron Bonne in game 5 that you’ll have to see to believe.
With the bracket reset, and Viscant sitting in losers right alongside PRBalrog they set back to it. You’d think that Viscant would be too shaken and Balrog would have the advantage here, but Viscant proved that to be untrue here, as he took the first match soundly. Things started to look up for PRBalrog in the second match, but he met his demise at the hands of Dark Phoenix. And, in the third match, with perhaps a mistake of nerves, Balrog blew his x-factor too early, leaving him wide open for a Dark Phoenix finish, making Viscant the first-ever Marvel vs Capcom 3 Evo champion. Congrats to him and to PRBalrog for an amazing show.
Starting things off with a bang, vVv REO began with back to back Mileena fatalities that led him to the Grand Finals in the Losers Bracket. MCZ|DMG PerfectLegend (previously known for a high finish in the PDP Nationals for MK) shrugged off most of his competition easily with his speedy and smart Kung Lao throughout the afternoon to meet REO in the Grand Finals.
REO fought a good match against PerfectLegend, forcing a bracket reset 3-2. In the second set, however, Legend dominated taking the 1st 2 games extremely fast and cleanly. Shaken, REO’s cursor hovered on Kung Lao before deciding on Cyrax for the 3rd game. Legend’s KL did lose a round to Cyrax, but he held on to win the match in three rounds becoming the first MK9 Evo Champion. Congratulations!
Blazing (haha, get it?) out of the losers bracket the morning of the Grand Finals came amazing Hakumen player Spark, defeating Lord Knight’s Litchi in a straight set 6-0. His blocking skills in particular were very good and should be commended. Congrats to him and the other top 8 contenders from the Gamezone staff.
Though the competition leading up to the finals was fierce, with MCZ|DMG Kor fighting his way out of the loser’s bracket, the Grand Finals in Tekken were rather lackluster. The match ended up being mirrored, with two Bob players (Kor vs Miguel). Even after Kor took down Miguel in straight sets, his victory was rather muted only shaking a few hands and not even smiling as he accepted his Tekken 6 Evo trophy. Bad form sir! Show some cheer, you just won a huge tournament and a bunch of money. Congrats anyway from us here at Gamezone.
So ends our coverage of Evo for this year - what did you think? Who were you rooting for, if you watched at all? Comment below!