Nigel’s Evo Primer!

As many of you know I’m the resident E-sports junkie over here at dontcritme.com! And this weekend is probably my favorite event of the year. EVO. I made a quick little guide for you guys so you can enjoy this weekend with me!

What is EVO?

EVO stands for Evolution Championship Series, the biggest fighting game tournament in America, and arguably the world. The tournament started off as Battle by the Bay, taking place in Sunnyvale California, for Street Fighter Turbo 2, and Street Fighter Alpha 2. In 2002 the tournament changed its name to EVO, and in 2005 the tournament moved to Las Vegas, Nevada.

With the history lesson done lets jump into why you should watch EVO. EVO is fun. If you can’t be there tune into one of the many streams, you will laugh, you will scream there will be moments of disbelief. It is a rush and experience you cannot get from other E-sports genres.  Grabs some friends, libations, just watch it. Once you’re in you’ll be hooked.

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The 2011 EVO Crowd

So when is EVO?

July 11th-13th. (AKA this weekend) 3 days of dragon punches, fuzzy frames, and salt. Here are some useful terms for those of you new to the fighting game e-sports scene!

Terms:

OTG- On the ground attack. Sometimes a player’s character will hit the ground stopping them from being further comboed, unless a character/player has an OTG which lets them hit a player on the ground to continue a combo.

Reset- The longer a combo goes, usually the harder it is to keep the combo going (hit stun decay) and the less damage it deals. To avoid this players will end the combo and attempt to start a new one. This is called a reset.

5 Golden Letters- Also known as a perfect. I don’t understand why it’s 5 golden letters, just go with it.

Mix-up- A mix-up is when a one player forces their opponent to guess where their attack will come from. If they guess correctly, they’ll block the enemy attack, if they fail they’ll get hit and usually a combo will begin.

Salt- When someone feels upset about losing

Run Back- A rematch. Someone may shout, “Run it back!” To do another set of matches out of frustration.

Bodied- Means one of the player just got destroyed in a match.

Hype- Excitement. Something you will probably experience as you watch EVO.

Free- This means one player pretty much didn’t try, or was entirely out classed. They might as well have just given the victory over for “free”.

Happy Birthday- This is specific to games with teams like Skull Girls and Marvel vs Capcom. When two, or three members of a team are hit by an attack or combo. Usually this results in a dead assist character.

So now that you know the terms, what is actually going to be played at this year’s EVO next month? And which players should we look towards?

Super Smash Bros Melee- Melee makes a return this year, and the oldest game in the lineup.

The game is a bunch of Nintendo characters doing battle and has been a fan favorite for years.

Who to watch?

Wobbles. Wobbles is an Arizona native who uses Fox and Shiek as his main characters. He took second place at last year’s EVO, but is arguably one of my favorite players to watch. He’s known for discovering the Ice climbers’ infinite combo in Melee, and has incredible neutral and throw techniques.

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PK Fire!

Injustice Gods Among Us-

Injustice also returns to EVO, after having some incredible patches and adjustments to the game. The game is a DC fighting game developed by Nether Realm studios, the same guys who made the most recent Mortal Kombat game.

Who to watch?

Chris G. I usually will call for Chris G’s head on a pike in other games, but he is my favorite to watch in Injustice. Chris G. known for his insane execution and timing will definitely be a top contender this year.

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Hawkgirl ain’t no one to mess with!

Killer Instinct-

Developed by double helix, the game has returned to the fighting game scene since its last release in 1996. The game is different from other fighting games, but offers some interesting mechanics like Combo Breakers it’s a blast to watch and cheer for.

Who to watch?

I’m going underdog for this one, watch Maximilian. Maximilian or Max, is avid you-tuber and creator of the Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3’s “Assist Me” series. Max is all about fundementals and improving upon one’s self. Watch his Glacius go to work it will be something to take notes on.

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Saberwulf vs Jago!

Tekken Tag Tournament 2-

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a team based fighting game in the Tekken series. Another fan favorite with intense combos and fast game play. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 also has some of the most complex combos of the roster of games.

Who to watch?

Gagguni is my player to watch. Gagguni an LA native has been a part of the Tekken scene for years. He’s a versatile player who uses a group of characters as opposed to just a few. Anybody who can use Panda and Kuma (another bear) and take 5th at So Cal Regionals is good in my book.

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King of Fighters XIII-

Is another team fighting game, but based off of 1v1 matches. Usually three fighters per team create some crazy endurance matches and games for players. With some of the most interesting movement and blocking systems out there King of Fighters XIII is a blast.

Who to watch?

CafeId a South Korean player stole my heart at 2012 EVO. His Duo Lon can only be described a surgical masterpiece reading opponents movements and strategies like they were a children’s book.

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Trust me it’s a blast to watch

BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma –

BlazBlue is another 2d fighting game this time developed by Arc systems, the same guys who make Guilty Gear series. With one of the most complex and innovative systems to date the newest BlazBlue edition is sure to turn some heads.

Who to watch?

In all honesty I don’t know much about this scene, but I’ll be tuning in for some exciting fights.

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Ultra Street Fighter 4-

Street fighter is arguably the King of Fighting games, and very much the backbone of the entire EVO tournament. With the game coming at a great time, only a month before EVO a lot of interesting stuff will be seen. With all the new balance changes, and additions to the roster Ultra Street Fighter 4 is looking to be an awesome addition to the long list of SF4 games.

Who to watch?

PR_Balrog is a house hold name in the Street fighter scene. Balrog plays on Evil Geniuses and you can guess who is main character (it’s Balrog if you didn’t guess). With Balorg placing consistently high multiple FGC games, PR_Balrog is sure to make a commotion in Ultra Street Fighter 4.

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Poison and C. Viper!

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3

While being criticized for being a weak fighting game, nothing brings more hype and excitement than Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. With crazy combos, flashy specials and a plethora of combinations to build your team of Capcom and Marvel’s heroes and villains you’ll be shouting, “BIONIC ARRRRRRM!” With the best of em.

Who to watch?

Justin Wong. JWong a feared name in fighting games known for is incredible play and insane comeback will always have you on the edge of your seat. Who was once booed on consistently during his reign of terror in Marvel vs Capcom 2, he is now considered a hero when faced with incredible opponents like Fillipino Champ and Chris G.

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Hail Storm!

And there you have it! Even if fighting games aren’t your favorite thing in the world, watch EVO. Just for 15 minutes, and maybe you’ll see why it’s so exciting.

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