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The last couple of weeks have been huge in the world of eSports. We had the International 4, the giant Dota 2 tournament with a prize pool of over $10 million, and we had EVO, the annual event where the best fighting game players gather to compete in games like Street Fighter 4, Marvel vs. Capcom, and Smash Brothers.
As is the case every year at EVO, some incredible matches took place. When you put the best fighting game players around the world together, you’re bound to get some special fights, and those are the battles we are going to look at today. If you missed the event, here’s some of the most intense matches that you absolutely need to see.
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 – Filipino Champ vs. Justin Wong
Justin Wong is a name synonymous with high-level fighting game play. He’s originally known for his exploits in the second Marvel vs. Capcom, and he then shifted focus to the world of Street Fighter 4, but he’s back in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (MVC 3) now. He’s done it all, and an MVC 3 championship at EVO 2014 would be the icing on the cake of his spectacular career. Filipino Champ is another force in the world of competitive MVC 3, and when the two meet, it’s always something special. In fact, in a previous meeting Wong made one of the most epic comebacks ever, and this match had all the making for another battle of epic proportions.
This one comes down to the very last moment, with one player looking like he’s about to go down, but a split-second decision at the very end of the game turns things around. Even if you don’t understand the finer nuances of the game, the way it ends is truly shocking, and it rivals any of the best moments you will find in traditional stick and ball sports.
Ultra Street Fighter 4 – Louffy vs. Bonchan
Street Fighter 4 is still the biggest game at EVO, and this is the grand final. That means it’s the two players who made it all the way through the gauntlet of incredibly skilled players. You really don’t see a bigger moment than that in competitive gaming.
In a game ran by players who have been on the scene for a while, this year’s final saw relative newcomers Bonchan and Luffy go at it. To make it more interesting, Luffy played the whole tournament with a rather odd controller choice. Just watch it, and prepare to be entertained.
Injustice Gods Among Us – Pig of the Hut vs. Sonic Fox
Injustice is far from the most popular fighting game on the scene, but it’s mechanics are interesting enough to make it feel different from others out there. In this match, there’s not a ton of special context or a grand story that sets the table, but that certainly doesn’t make it any less worth watching. It is the finals though, so the stakes are high for the players involved.
This is just an intense match filled with great action. Even if you’ve never played Injustice, or any fighting game for that matter, you can still appreciate the battle that is raging on the screen in front of you. Watch it, and you’ll be glad you did.
Super Smash Bros. Melee – PPMD vs Hungrybox
Jigglypuff! Everyone loves a good Jigglypuff match, and to see the beloved Pokemon square off with Falco, another very popular character, is always a treat. Hungrybox is generally regarded as one of the best Jigglypuff players in the world, while PPMD is lauded for his Falco play, so we’re looking at a quality match. It’s not a particular important match in terms of the overall tournament, but as you’ll see, the quality of the fight is so high, I just had to include it.
The fight itself is a downright fantastic display of skill and speed that actually prompts the commentators to scream “he’s a wizard” about one of the combatants. There’s an epic comeback, that you just have to see to believe.
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma – Dogura vs Garireo
This is the grand finals of the BlazBlue tournament, which is really all the context you need. We have two of the best players in the world going at it on the biggest fighting game stage in the world. It doesn’t get much bigger than that for fans of this game.
This is such an evenly matched battle that it’s impossible not to be entertained. I’ve never played a BlazBlue game, and I still thoroughly enjoyed watching Dogura and Garireo go at it. This is a match where an offensive style meets that of a defensive player. Who will win? You’ll have to watch to find out.
Killer Instinct – CDJR vs. Justin Wong
We mentioned Justin Wong and his awesomeness in the world of Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom, but now here he is taking his skill to the combo-focused Killer Instinct at the very same EVO where he competed in MVC 3. This wasn’t a huge match, as it wasn’t a grand final or anything, but seeing Justin Wong adapt his skills to a completely different type of fighting game is certainly impressive, and the match is worth watching for that alone.
Justin picks Saberwulf and CDJR picks Sadira, a matchup that favors Justin’s character. It’s a back and forth fight, and as is the case in most high level fighting games, it comes down to one player making a mistake and suffering a crushing defeat. Who makes the mistake? Watch the fight to find out.
So now, we turn to you, our loyal readers. What matches from EVO 2014 had you the most excited? Hit the comments below and tell us about your favorite fights!