Watching the massive, 1000+ person Street Fighter 4 tournament at EVO2009 dominated my past weekend. The online streaming was shaky but a worthy effort for a first attempt at broadcasting the tournament live. Aside from the heart-pounding, world-class level of competition, I was most impressed by the running commentary that accompanied the action, particular from Capcom’s Seth Killian.
Seth is a natural. Not only can he concisely describe what the players are doing at the moment with snappy play-by-play, he also provides insightful commentary on the larger scale strategies and mind games. Hopefully he will be in the announcer’s booth for many more tournaments to come.
Some of the highlight matches from the SF4 tournament:
Sabre vs. Alex Valle — an incredible display that brought one of the biggest roars of the weekend.
Ed Ma vs. Evil Rahsaan — extremely tense match late in the semi-final rounds with everything at stake.
Justin Wong vs. Daigo — 2 legends meet in the Grand Finals for pride and country. It’s difficult to miss the symbolism displayed on screen: Justin Wong playing as American boxer Balrog in his red-white-and-blue costume, Daigo as the Japanese warrior Ryu. The match was a nail-biter that delivered on every level, a stunning ending to the weekend of competition.
Even though I likely can’t attend the event in person for at least the next few years because of scheduling conflicts, this was my first taste of EVO and I crave more. Hopefully I’ll be amidst the roaring crowd one day. EVO, wait for me…
Fantastic photo by Kelly Bracha. Please click on the thumbnail for full resolution.
UPDATE: Of course, right after I made this post, a good chunk of my match recordings (and especially the 3 matches I highlighted above) were deleted from Youtube due to copyright claims. Faaantastic. You can still watch the recorded online stream at Ustream.