Taking a look back at what happened at Evo 2014.
July 11 to the 13th 2014 was the most intense period I’ve had all year. It was that fabled time of year where Titans awaken from their slumber and lumber their way to Las Vegas; arcade stick in hand, eyes burning with desire to prove that they were the best.
This… was Evo.
The Evolution Championship Series (Evo for short) is three days of the most heart-pumping, adrenaline-injecting action that can only be described as “breathtaking”. From the harrowing victories, to the heartbreaking defeats, this display of the best of the best always left me in complete and utter awe since I started watching the tourney online in 2011. 2014 was certainly no exception, and the amount of emotion and passion on display was nothing short of inspiring.
With Evo right around the corner (and this post sitting in the Draft file of the blog for a long time), I thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at the action… and it still gives me goosebumps.
There were so many moments where one couldn’t help but be swept away by the pure, raw energy and scream alongside those in attendance. Here were some of the moments that touched my heart most.
Fall of the Gods – Ultra Street Fighter IV
This… this was nothing short of shocking. We weren’t even through with Day One of the tournament, and reports on Twitter were coming in saying that many of the “Gods of Street Fighter” — players whose technical prowess with Street Fighter is nothing short of Omega God Tier — were eliminated early on in their respective pools!
Names like Daigo “The Beast” Umehara (one of the most notable players from Japan and a former Evo champion), Tokido (another prominent Japanese player), Infiltration (Korean player and the Evo 2012 Street Fighter IV AE champion)… so many players that were expected to get far, but fell far short.
A good chunk of these eliminations weren’t shown on the main streaming channel, however some folks managed to capture a couple of them and uploaded them onto YouTube:
USF4 @ Evo 2014: MCZ Daigo (Evil Ryu) vs John Choi (Ryu)
Infiltration (Blue Akuma) vs Eita (Red Akuma) EVO 2014
That Wong Factor
Justin Wong, member of Team Evil Geniuses, is well known for his skills across many games… especially his amazing comebacks! Dubbed “The Wong Factor”, this omnipotent power was in full effect in this nail biter of a Winner’s Finals match in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 against the formidable Filipino Champ of Revolution Gaming (sounds a bit off in this vid):
EVO 2014 EG Justin Wong VS RG Filipino Champ UMVC3 Winners Finals
The Best for Last
ArcSystem Works fans showed up in droves to display their skills in Blazblue: ChronoPhantasma. I mean, with $30,000 pot bonus and a spot in the 2014 ArcRevo tournament at stake for the highest ranking US player, who wouldn’t want to try (if your footies are up to snuff)?
The entire Top 8 was nerve-racking, to say the least, but the Grand Finals was the most emotionally charged match. Ever.
Garireo was sent to Losers bracket by Dogura during Top 8, and he made an awesome comeback; fighting his way to Grand Finals to go against the very player who sent him through that gauntlet in the first place. The stacks are against Garireo, as he not only has to win three matches out of five to reset the bracket, but then win another three to claim victory. The twists and turns in this one are incredible.
Blazblue was the first game of the day on Grand Finals Sunday, and set the tone for the rest of the day. Honestly, all the other Grand Finals didn’t quite match up to this.
For those who want to watch Blazblue: Chronophantasma Top 8 in its entirety: Here ya go:
Twitterverse Sound Off
When you have an event of this magnitude, you can bet that the social mediaverse will have something to say.
— Glen ‘Famine’ Swan (@TehFamine) July 12, 2014
— David Philip Graham (@ultradavid) July 12, 2014
— Omar (@1negativesignal) July 12, 2014
Rose: I’m too low tier…. There’s no way I’ll win #Evo2014. Ken: SURE YOU CAN
— Gameapp Maker Co. (@GameappMakerCo) July 14, 2014
— Freddie K (@Fredrex00) July 14, 2014
Fuudo looks like the main character of so many animes.
— Justin Epperson (@sprsk) July 14, 2014
— Sunny (@LSbladewolf) July 13, 2014
— 植田佳奈 (@uedakana) July 13, 2014
— Cat (@Eidelonn) July 13, 2014
As you saw above in the BlazBlue Grand Finals, lots of people were getting choked up:
— 4GamerLive (@4GamerLive) July 13, 2014
Toshimichi Mori, the producer of the BlazBlue series, even broke into tears during the Nico Nico stream! 😮
【EVO2014】Toshimichi Mori Crying. pic.twitter.com/kzUTkrMw0z
— Furious (@Furious_blog) July 13, 2014
And, of course… the Return of the King:
— Mark Julio (マークマン) (@MarkMan23) July 14, 2014
There was so much happening, it was great fun watching it. I could feel the excitement seeping through my monitor, and made me even more determine to go get my fighting games skills up-to-snuff with my fightstick (making the transition from pad to fightsticks taking longer than I thought!).
Will this year be just as much of an emotional rollercoaster as this? With so many developers putting in pot bonuses for the games represented this year, I’m sure the players will all play their hearts out to prove that their the very best.
I KNOW I’m missing lots of matches. Let me know which ones were your favourites in the Comments Section!