There’s no question that eSports participants take competition extremely seriously, as well they should. In fact, with the entirety of the prize pool for this year’s Ultra Street Fighter 4 tournament at EVO 2015 – Evolution Championship Series, for the uninitiated – being set at $72,270, not many can say making a career out of playing video games is unviable. Having said that, it’s important to note that the spoils of victory don’t come without rigorous and disciplined training, as evidenced by the skills of fighting game aficionados GamerBee and Momochi.
While the fast-paced Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom and the gory Mortal Kombat X were featured at EVO 2015 along with many other great tournaments centered around various popular titles, the most interesting one was most definitely focused on Ultra Street Fighter 4. After defeating multiple opponents to reach the final match, the Taiwanese player GamerBee and the Japanese gamer Momochi had a tense battle, especially when the latter’s fight-stick controller malfunctioned during the second round.
After GamerBee’s impressive run earlier in the day, he had arguably become the crowd favorite, with many expecting him to come out on top during the Grand Final. However, Momochi came out swinging, and took the first bout with Evil Ryu being his character of choice. Although the Japanese underdog had the upper hand momentarily, the match came to a screeching halt after his controller somehow failed to register its connection to the Xbox 360 console hosting the battle.
The breakdown led to a lengthy delay, during which GamerBee showed a great deal of sportsmanship. Rather than utilize the situation to his advantage by building up his Super meter to take the second round, the Taiwanese pro set the fight to an even playing field by knocking Momochi’s health bar down to roughly the same as his own with a couple of quick jabs from Ultra Street Fighter 4‘s Adon. While event coordinators scrambled to find Momochi another controller – of which should have been immediately available due to it being a fighting game tournament – the competitors allowed the time to elapse until the next bout could properly be played, as the Japanese professional had to forfeit the round.
There’s no question that the mechanical hiccup caused both players to lose momentum, but after another controller was procured, Momochi ultimately came out on top during the EVO 2015 Grand Final with a magnificent combo that quickly bested GamerBee. Also, in a strange and ironic twist, Momochi was later awarded a golden fight stick which certainly would have been handy during the technical delay. Nevertheless, neither competitor left empty handed, as Momochi won $33,362 for first place, and GamerBee took home $14,454 for second.
With both participants having mastered Ultra Street Fighter 4, once Street Fighter 5 releases, it’s only a matter of time before GamerBee and Momochi become the players to beat in later tournaments. So should one be looking to train for future tournaments, they should brush up on EVO 2015’s rules regarding stick failure by checking out the full set of regulations on the matter.
EVO 2015’s full breakdown regarding gear malfunction during tournaments:
Reporting Equipment Failure: Video game hardware has a tendency to break down during tournaments. Buttons or joysticks will occasionally break down in the middle of a match, leaving the player on the broken side at a significant disadvantage. The following rules will be used in the event of a breakdown:
• In the event of an equipment failure, the player has the option to stop the Game in progress to obtain an replacement.
• If a Game is stopped in progress, the reporting player must forfeit the current round.
• New equipment must be immediately available. If replacement equipment cannot be obtained in a timely manner, the player must continue to play on their current equipment or forfeit the Match.
• Once replacement equipment is obtained, the player is given the rest of the round to configure their buttons and test the new equipment. If the player gains an undue advantage by doing so (e.g. charging an abundance of super meter), they must forfeit the Game.
• A player may opt to switch out equipment between Games at no penalty. When this occurs, the player will be given ample time to configure his buttons before the next Game begins.
Ultra Street Fighter 4 is available now for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, PC, and Mac.