This year at the well-known world fighting game tournament EVO brought a few great surprises with it. World Tour announcements, new characters, new DLC, tons of upsets, and lots of old faces grabbed us by our hearts and reminded us why fighting games and this community we love is so great. However, nothing was a better surprise than the players that defied expectations and went through the gauntlet of seasoned foreign and country natives gaining spots in their respective top 8s.
Many community members always believe Japanese anime fighting game players to always have the advantage and it’s no secret that year after year it seems they have a leg up on the US in these games whether it be due to the strength of their scenes or due to their history of anime fighters with arcade legacy. Despite the odds there were many Americans that we should be proud of for making it so far and with announcements of world tours from Arc System Works and the ongoing Dragon Ball World Tour there is no better time.
Last night we besides the highly expected Sonicfox making top 8 in Dragon Ball FighterZ we witnessed 2 other players going with the punches and joining him against the 5 other Japanese contestants in top 8. KnowKami, a high level Guilty Gear player that has under too many people’s radar with his Android 21, Cell, Kid Buu team and Supernoon, a well known player in the Marvel vs Capcom community made it out of their brackets and are ready to prove they are some of the best in this game tonight. Both had amazing runs and great pop offs showing their emotions on their sleeves after realizing they finally made it. And those pop offs were well deserved.
Along with the Dragon Ball FighterZ finalists we have PAG|Fame the sole U.S player that was left with an all Japanese top 8 in Blazblue Cross Tag Battle. Fame has been a big face in the American anime scene since his rise in Blazblue. He ended his run in second place which was a bit of a letdown to him but nothing that will keep him from picking himself up and shooting for first next time.
Lastly, we have the Cinderella Story of Lost Soul. This top Guilty Gear player and his main Elphelt were never slept on and this weekend he proved why. For the first time in 4 years of EVO an American broke into top 8 of Guilty Gear and he definitely wasn’t there to relax. Lost Soul took down many and ended his run in third place after going down to Machabo and his Ky cementing his place to many as the best Guilty Gear player in the US and as a huge threat in the Guilty Gear global scene.
This definitely isn’t the last you’ll hear of these players and with the anime fighting game scene gaining more and more much-deserved momentum with the world tours more hopefully more will join them.