The biggest three days of the year for fighting game fans, the Evolution Championship Series, went down in Las Vegas over the weekend and was packed with everything you want out of a good fighting tourney – upsets, thrilling comebacks and many displays of technical wizardry. In case you missed any of the action from the event’s three-day live stream, we’ve picked out eleven of the very best fights for your enjoyment.
Alex Valle vs. Bonchan (Ultra Street Fighter 4)
The match-up that drew a lot of attention early in the competition. Grizzled Street Fighter veteran Alex Valle going head-to-head with 2014 USF4 runner up Bonchan. Valle – one of the best Ryu players in the world – goes against his usual strategy, giving the crowd something to talk about with some of the best Hugo play ever seen at the tournament. Bonchan isn’t willing to take it lying down, however, and takes it to Valle as Sagat.
Sleep NS vs. My God (Killer Instinct)
With the smallest player pool in this year’s tournament, no-one expected Killer Instinct to deliver world-class thrills. When Sleep, playing as Kan-Ra, got whittled down to literally a pixel of health, My God goes into defense mode, determined to wait his opponent out. However, in one of the ballsiest plays of the entire weekend, Sleep decides if he’s going down, he’s going down swinging and puts My God on the backfoot.
Poongko vs. Onisan (Ultra Street Fighter 4)
One of the cheekier matches at the show this year, Onisan attempted to get into his opponent’s head by whipping off his shirt on stage. Unphased (probably because he’s a filthy Seth player), Poongko picked up the gauntlet and stripped down himself.
Plup vs. Leffen (Super Smash Bros. Melee)
To say Leffen arrived at Evo 2015 full of confidence is a bit of an understatement. The self-proclaimed “best player in the world” was then treated to a lesson in humility by Plup, who took Leffen to church with some seriously amazing Samus plays. Leffen, classy in defeat, returned to his twitter account to congratulate his opponent.
KBR vs. Justin Wong (Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3)
Returning UMvC3 champ Justin Wong took on KaneBlueriver in the semis, drawing a substantial crowd. Wong’s Wolverine-Storm-Akuma team produced some solid play but found themselves under seige from KBR’s Red Hulk-Haggar-Sentinel team.
KBR vs. RayRay (Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3)
KBR wasn’t ready to slow his role quite yet and carved a swath all the way to the grand finals. Taking on the winner of the loser’s top eight bracket, Ray-Ray, KBR showed exactly how serious a contender he really is. KBR is now the first non-American player to take the UMvC3 championship at Evo.
Chudat vs. Hugs (Super Smash Bros. Melee)
At Evo, the fight ain’t over until it’s over. Despite the commentators declaring the fight “virtually over” for Chudat following the loss of one of his Ice Climbers early on, he ralled hard and forced Hugs, a Samus-main, to pull out every trick in the book.
Gamerbee vs. Daigo (Ultra Street Fighter 4)
Another Gamerbee match, this brawl sees him face an admitted personal fear: a match against Daigo Umehara, one of the biggest and most competative USF4 players in the world. Gamerbee has to throw everything he’s got at Daigo if he has a hope of staying in the competition.
Sonicfox vs. YOMI MIT (Mortal Kombat X)
Sonicfox was one of the most interesting players to watch over the whole weekend, able to change up his tactics (and seemingly his character, from Kitana to Erron Black) on the fly to deal with a variety of opponent play. Of particular note is his match against Honeybee in the second half of this video which gets especially tense.
Here he is again in the grand final against (the fantastically named) A Foxy Grandpa.
Gamerbee vs. Infiltration (Ultra Street Fighter 4)
Gamerbee and Infiltration found themselves battling it out for the top spot in the loser’s bracket in one of the most knock-down, drag-out matches of the entire weekend. Gamerbee, playing Elena and Adon, had a real fight on his hands against Infiltration’s Chun-Li and Juri. The brawl went on for almost 30 minutes and features some of the most exciting Street Fighter 4 play of the show.