Competing in a fighting game tournament takes a lot of skill, a decent amount of courage, but apparently not the ability to see. This new revelation comes from a Dutch Street Fighter 5 player by the name of Sven who managed to take a game from his opponent in tournament, despite having been blind for most of his life.
Playing as Ken at Spain's Sonic Boom event, Sven fought against Musashi's Akuma in the Street Fighter 5 tournament's pool stages. The disabled player lost his sight at the age of five due to cancer, but that minor inconvenience wasn't enough to stop him from coming out on top at the last minute. With an extremely aggressive play-style, Sven listened out for signals that Akuma was performing an aerial, before launching powerful anti-air attacks to counter.
In an interview after the match, Sven detailed how it felt to lose his sight at such a young age:
"I was afraid that I was not able to play computer games anymore because I was blind, but then Capcom released Street Fighter II on the SNES and I was so happy I was able to play the game just by the sound," recalled the victorious player.
According to Sven, Street Fighter 5 has particularly good sound effects that make it easy enough to tell what's going on in the match, especially when wearing a headset. After a long time studying the in-game sounds, the Street Fighter fan is able to tell where each character is standing and what moves are being used, without the use of sight.
Sven also admitted that cross-up attacks, that involve your opponent jumping above your character and requiring a change in the direction you are blocking, are undoubtedly the hardest moves to counter. This is because of the uncertainty that comes with the other player being silently airborne.
Having only purchased a PS4 last Autumn, Sven has been playing Street Fighter 5 for only a short while. A player with full use of his or her sight still may not be capable of taking a set in a tournament with this amount of practice, and the Dutch player is only just getting started. We'd imagine this won't be the last that the Street Fighter scene will be hearing from him. Next stop, the Capcom Pro Tour.
And while Sven is certainly one talented individual, he's not the only gamer to be continuing the hobby after the loss of his sight. In fact, last year we saw another blind player complete Ocarina of Time, a task that is less competitive but significantly longer-winded than Sven's accomplishment. It just goes to show that the more dedicated of gamers won't be phased by something as small as a lack of sight when it comes to beating their favorite titles.
Street Fighter 5 is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.