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Street Fighter V’s Top 8 Was The Moment We Were Waiting For – Evo 2016

Street Fighter V’s Top 8 Was The Moment We Were Waiting For – Evo 2016

Evo 2016’s Street Fighter V  top 8 was as exciting a spectacle as anyone could have hoped for, during its inagural debut on ESPN2 Sunday evening.

The 12,000 strong who packed the Mandalay Bay Events Center, had already witnessed 10 hours of sometimes dramatic tournament action, however that did not quell their excitement for the Evo 2016 main event.

It doesnt get much bigger than this

It doesnt get much bigger than this

The biggest stories heading into the top 8 were the elimination of several high-profile players. Names like Daigo, Tokedo, Justin Wong, Ricky Ortiz, and PR Balrog, were absent from the massive stage.

Instead, the drama of the top 8 was carried by the monumental aspect of the fighting game community finally getting its mainstream moment, as well as the emergence of the largely unknown, L.I. Joe, a Long Island native who barely made it into the top 8, but was able to capture the hearts of the crowd.

The adoration bestowed on Joe was fueled partially by his being the final American remaining in the top 8, however, the majority of his admiration was earned by his being a genuine, humble player.

L.I. Joe became an instantly loveable hero at Evo 2016

L.I. Joe became an instantly loveable hero at Evo 2016.

It was hard not to love Joe. By the time he took the stage for his first match in the loser’s bracket, Joe had become a modern day Rocky, eliciting an absolutely thunderous response from all in attendance. The response to his arrival rivaled pretty much any live wrestling or sporting event that I’ve ever been to.

Despite the crowd’s love for Joe, it was not to be his night.

He advanced past Japanese player Eita, provoking a beautiful, euphoric rapture from the audience, before losing out to Yukadon’s Nash in the next round.

In the end, it was Korea’s sensation, Infiltration, who was left to fight out of loser’s brackets, against the force that was Fuuda.

Fuuda, had earlier sent Infiltration to the loser’s side, sailed through the winner’s brackets with an R. Mika that looked nearly unstoppable.

Early in Grand Finals it looked like Fuuda would be able to easily capture the Evo 2016 championship, however, Infiltration, well, infiltrated Fuuda’s head; forcing a reset of the brackets, and then turning the tables to dominate Fuuda, to become the Evo 2016, Street Fighter V championship.

Infiltration overcame a nearly unstoppable Fuuda, to capture Evo 2016's Street Fighter V championship

Infiltration overcame a nearly unstoppable Fuuda, to capture Evo 2016‘s Street Fighter V championship

When asked post-match about how he was able to reverse his fortunes so easily against the Fuuda juggernaut, Infiltration joked, “download complete“, a reference to his robotic reputation to be able to quickly learn his opponent’s playstyle, and make adjustments.

It will be interesting to see where fighting games as a mainstream form of entertainment goes from here.

As for it’s debut, Evo 2016’s Street Fighter V top 8 was the perfect culmination of Evo’s 20 year journey from the arcads, to a globally televised event.

Written by The Watchman

The Watchman

The Watchman is a journeyman gamer who has seen and played a good chunk of gaming history.
He’s also an actor, a reporter, a pro wrestling connoisseur, and some say he’s a cat whisperer.
If you have any questions or just want to drop me a line, hit me up at
Or follow me on Twitter @DavetheWatchman
You can also game with me!
Look me up on Xbox Live @ DJKhadoken
Or on PlayStation Network @ Eaglevision_dl


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