Shadowloo Showdown 2011, without a doubt, is probably the best tournament I have ever seen. Yes, they did run drastically over their time slot (and Australia is 13 hrs ahead . . . meaning I stayed up till 9 am), but my god the talent. First, they had the BEST players from Korea, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and even America (Mike Ross and Gootecks) play in the tournament. I mean, American fans finally got to see live tournament footage of such Japanese legends such as Momochi, MOV, and Kindevu and Korean powerhouse Poongko. Second, they took care of their players. The lodging, the food, the hospitality . . . literally none of the players could stop gushing about how good they were being treated.
Now without further ado, my impressions from this tournament.
1) Biggest Upset: Mike Ross eliminates Mago from Top 8
In a shocking turn of events, the loveable (but dangerous) goofball Mike Ross eliminated “King” Mago . . . widely considered the 2nd best Japanese Street Fighter player and easily top 5 in terms of Shadowloo’s competitors. What is more impressive is that he did it by beating Mago at his own game: mind games.
You see, while the Japanese are talented and technical, their biggest strength comes from their unwavering minds. Even when Daigo, Mago, Momochi, etc. lose a game or even a set . . . they don’t fret; they make necessary adjustments and come back stronger than ever. Not this time.
This time Mago cracked; Mike utilized unbelievable reactions, hitting his ultra and super without fail and ended up stealing the match from underneath Mago’s nose. In the end, it was Mago who cracked . . . sweating and playing some of the dirtiest Street Fighter I’ve ever seen him play.
So the good news is that Mike Ross has finally made a dent in Japanese dominance.
The bad news?
Mago was already in the loser’s bracket via upset, meaning he was having a bad tournament to begin with. Plus, after Mike eliminated Mago in a tight match he was completely blown up by Kindevu . . . another top tier Japanese player. So congratulations to Mike Ross on what is still a spectacular victory.
If it actually means anything, or if it’s a fluke. . . we’ll see at EVO 2011.
2) Tokido is the world’s most dangerous gamer
Yeah, I said it. Daigo may be the best Street Fighter player of all time . . . but Tokido is the most dangerous fighting gamer overall. He won Tekken AND Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and placed in the top 4 in Street Fighter AE. The only people who placed ahead of him? RF, Momochi, and Poongko . . . not bad young fellah.
More astounding is the fact that he’s only 24 years old . . . and has a degree in Engineering from the University of Tokyo. The fact that he’s winning Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in multiple tournaments (considered an American dominated game) only compounds on the fact that he is the world’s best Akuma in Street Fighter.
Look forward to this young gun at EVO 2011.
3) Kindevu considering coming to EVO 2011
Kindevu, like Uryo and Momochi, is one of those hyper talented Japanese players who never got a mainstream following internationally because he primarily stayed in Japan. Like Daigo, Mago, and Tokido however it seems that yet another Japanese powerhouse is ready to test his mettle in an American tournament.
It’s not 100% yet, but Kindevu’s arrival at EVO could provide the impetus of players such as Poongko and Uryo to show up as well and unify the international scenes.