Street Fighter V has only been out a day and there’s already been an upset in the competitive scene. Rapper Lupe Fiasco has defeated current Ultra Street Fighter IV world champ Daigo Umehara 3-2 at Street Fighter V‘s San Francisco launch event and it seems no-one is more surprised by this than Fiasco himself.
Fiasco, a well-known Street Fighter super fan, has long boasted about his superior skill at various incarnations of the game and was tweeting about his personal win streaks right up until days before the event.
Just went 45-0 in USFIV…
— Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) February 9, 2016
Not to be outdone, Daigo got in a typically tongue-in-cheek sledge ahead of the match.
My strategy vs @LupeFiasco? He will likely kick, push, kick, push, kick, push, kick, push…
I will coast. #LupeVSDaigo
— Daigo Umehara 梅原大吾 (@daigothebeast) February 12, 2016
You can watch the fight in full for yourself below. Fans of the game’s competitive scene are, to say the least, in disbelief that the world’s most successful professional Street Fighter player could lose to a celebrity in an exhibition match of all things. This, of course, is not to say that the whole situation, and its immediate aftermath (which you can see in the video) isn’t immensely entertaining because it absolutely is.
Fiasco, playing as Ken, took the first, fourth and fifth rounds of the best three-of-five match against Daigo, playing as Ryu.
Skip straight to about 18 minutes into the video and watch what happens when Fiasco gets his last K.O. on Daigo. Neither of them appears to understand what the hell just happened or where they’re supposed to go from there. Fiasco looks like he thinks there might be another round because there’s no way he just beat fucking Daigo at his own game, right? Even when he gets the nod that, yes, he just toppled the world champ, Fiasco looks like he can’t quite believe what he’s hearing.
Naturally, the internet has remained deeply, trenchantly skeptical of the whole thing and nowhere are they more convinced of a set up than on Kappa, the largest community of fighting game enthusiasts on Reddit. One commenter was convinced he could pick out when Daigo was purposefully making mistakes. “Watching him whiff grabs and DPs just close enough to look legit to the casual observer, but knowing they’d miss, all the hype parry attempts, all of it.” Ever suspicious, Kotaku started digging immediately after the fight and turned up a source from Mad Catz who swore up and down that the fight had not been staged in any way.
Either way, big congratulations to Fiasco, it was a hell of a fight against a seemingly impossible opponent. Daigo, we’re sure all the scalps you’ll claim on the 2016 Pro Tour will ease the pain of defeat.