Photo: Christine Solis / Checkpoint XP
The most fighting filled weekend in esports is over. Now that the final shoryuken has been thrown, we take the time to look back on the big moments EVO 2019’s Championship Sunday.
An American Anime In Vegas
Since 2011, Anime fighters have been the realm of Japanese players since the days of early Guilty Gear. For every, western player that rises there is always a Japanese gatekeeper ready to cut them down to size. Shinku changed that on Championship Sunday.
First he would have to fend off an onslaught from Japanese player, Kyame, in Grand Finals. But Shinku stabalized after the bracket reset and became the first western player to win in an Anime fighter in almost a decade.
Big Bird’s Losers Bracket Run
United Arab Emirates native, Big Bird, is already one of the best Rashid players in all of Street Fighter V. At EVO, he broke out and showed that he was one of the best in the world, period. Making a run through the loser’s bracket that would make Tokido blush. Big Bird would bully his opponents gaining a few perfects along the way only being truly tested by Fujimura in the Losers semifinals.
He would reach the Grand Finals to face Bonchan, a tournament favorite. Even though he was able to get a perfect round on the Japanese player, he eventually would fall before he could reset the bracket. Ending an amazing run that nearly made history.
What Was That Noise?
In the lead up to the last few matches of Tekken 7, a very familiar tone went out over the stream. It was the Codec tone from Metal Gear Solid, sending the crowd into a confused frenzy. It was revealed that in the arena there was a very short video which brought up the familiar Codec screen from MGS. Solid Snake, the protagonist of MGS, was talking to Katsuhiro Harada saying that what they watched was “good ass Tekken.”
The arena erupted expecting that the short clip was a confirmation that Solid Snake would be coming to Tekken as a guest DLC character. It was later explained by the official EVO twitter, that it was not associated with Tekken’s team at all. Just a cool clip for those in the arena. Fan reaction ranged from genuine hurt to rage, but most just laughed off the elaborate troll job.
Caster Curse In Tekken 7
This clip is just hilarious. Tekken caster Markman completely curses Japanese player Noroma. Noroma faced Take (Tah-kay) in Losers’ Semifinals and completely dominated the opening match. Noroma was on the winning round and Markman state’s “This is over.” Noroma drops the combo and he would lose the set and get sent home.
Arslan Ash Dominates Tekken 7
It’s not often a man not named Knee runs roughshod over the Tekken scene. Arslan Ash just did that. Already the EVO Japan champion in the game, Arslan Ash looked to continue his run in Las Vegas running a gauntlet of some of the best that the Tekken scene has to offer. Coming out of the winner’s bracket, he took down Korean legend, Knee, in his first match. He’d go on to brush aside the only American in top 8’s, Anakin to have a rematch with Knee in Grand Finals.
Arslan Ash never truly looked out of control. He chipped away at Knee with a calmness and composure not seen from players often. He clinched his title at EVO and is surely the favorite to win the Tekken World Tour.
MK Leo’s Comeback For The Ages
This was Smash’s first EVO as the final event. Often reserved for games like Marvel vs Capcom or Street Fighter, this was a way for EVO to say “Smash is FGC, period.” The top 8 of the tournament did NOT disappoint. One of the favorites of the Smash scene, Mexican player MK Leo, was coming out of the losers bracket and would have to face stiff competition. In Losers, he would go through Zackray, Raito, Samsora and Glutonny before facing Tweek in the Grand Finals.
Tweek went absolutely mental in the first couple games, putting MK Leo on the defensive in the fourth match. Tweek got it to championship point. And in that moment, MK Leo seemed to tap into a hidden reservoir of energy. He would take the next two stock off Tweek, win the next two matches handedly and reset the bracket. After the reset, it was clear that Tweek had been broken, he became almost a passive observer to MK Leo’s game. MK Leo won the match and took home the first EVO title for Smash Ultimate.
EVO 2019 Premier Tournament Winners
- Smash Ultimate – MK Leo (Mexico)
- Tekken 7 – Arslan Ash (Pakistan)
- Street Fighter V – Bonchan (Japan)
- Blazblue Cross Tag Battle – Shinku (USA)
- Samurai Shodown – Infiltration (Korea)
- Mortal Kombat 11 – SonicFox (USA)
- Dragonball FighterZ – Go1 (Japan)
- UNIST – Clearlamp (Japan)
- Soul Calibur VI – Yuttoto (Japan)
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