EVO 2011 Story Lines

The biggest fighting game tournament in the world is only a week away. As a hardcore fighting game fan and stream monster, I can’t wait to sit in front of the computer all weekend to watch the scene’s best go at it all weekend long. If you’ve never watched a fighting game stream before, but have any interest in it, EVO 2011 is definitely the place to start.

If you do start here, you should know that this EVO tournament is actually the last tournament in the 2011 EVO season. A lot of drama has taken place between the start of the season and now. Unless you want to sit through hundreds of hours of tournament footage or read through much more comprehensive and better written recaps on the EVO tournament season, I can give you a primer on a few of the story lines surrounding EVO’s biggest games.

Mortal Kombat

Nether Realm Studios really wanted to cater this latest Mortal Kombat game to the hardcore. Massive sales aside, having this game added to the EVO tournament season was a huge step towards the game gaining hardcore credibility among the community. While the turnouts for Mortal Kombat haven’t been as big as the Street Fighter or Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tournaments, there’s definitely been enough of a community to keep the game going thus far.

Speaking of the community, EMP Tom Brady really made a name for himself early by winning the first major Mortal Kombat tournament. While he’s still a great player, he hasn’t won a major since, due to players like Justin Wong, Perfect Legend, Chris G and Michaelangelo stepping up. Is he still the favourite? I don’t think it’s fair to count him out, but the competition should be fierce.

Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition

With over 1,700 players from around the world participating last year for Super Street Fighter IV, the Street Fighter series truly is the tournament of ‘World Warriors’. This year’s group of contenders could very well be even bigger, as the game’s popularity continues to thrive thanks to the release of Arcade Edition.

Having won the Street Fighter IV tournament two years in a row, the legendary Diago Umehara is looking to three-peat. While many other players from around the world have stepped their game up, such as the #1 seeded Wolfkrone, Daigo has dropped Ryu for Yun, who is clearly the best character in the game. Who can stop the best player using the best character? Will it be Wolfkrone? Will it be Ricky Ortiz, who was last year’s Street Fighter runner-up who also defeated Daigo at last year’s Norcal Regionals? Or could it very well be someone from out of nowhere, like Larry S who almost took down Daigo at Norcal Regionals 9? With so many amazing players coming out, it could be anyone.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3

After patiently waiting for a decade for a sequel to Marvel vs. Capcom 2, the fans finally got their wish in this wildly popular tournament game. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has been a stream monster favourite, as every match seems to be crazy exciting to watch. With Marvel specifically, it sometimes isn’t just the game that’s exciting, as the game has sparked at least one brawl that was live-streamed to the world.

However, the story line going into this tournament has nothing to do with either player involved in that fight. In fact, the battle is much bigger in scope. For over a decade, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 has been considered America’s game, as no one outside of the country has come close to taking out America’s finest. However, the same can’t be said right now for Marvel vs. Capcom 3, after Japanese- native Tokido stunned the world by winning the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tournament at CEO, while beating Justin Wong and Chris G (America’s best Marvel vs. Capcom 3 players) in the process. If Yipes’ commentary on that match isn’t the epitome of ‘salty’, then I don’t know what salty is. Can America bounce back from a crushing defeat? I can’t wait to find out!

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