It was pure pandemonium at the GameStop Street Fighter IV National Tournament finals tonight! Thousands of SF fans flooded Fort Mason Festival Pavilion in San Francisco to watch the best of the best fight for the title of top Street Fighter player in the country. After a series of GameStop tournaments the past few months, it came down to 16 very talented players, but only one could win.
(Justin Wong – SFIV National Tournament Winner)
The journey to the top definitely wasn’t easy. Littered through the list of finalists were legendary adversaries like Mike Ross (E.Honda), Antawn Ortiz (Balrog) and Jason “A-Dhalsim” Cole (Balrog). Matches we’re extremely close at times, but Justin Wong dominated with the pressure of a super offensive Rufus. Often finishing off opponents with his arms shooting up in the air on cue with the finishing hit of Rufus’s Ultra. The crowd loved it, and raised their hands to the roof as well.
(Street Fighter IV Producer Yoshinori Ono greets an amazingly enthusiastic crowd)
Immediately following the SFIV National Tournament was a shot at the International title. Battling it out round robin style, were Korea’s top player Poongko (Ryu), Japan’s top players Iyo (Dhalsim) and Daigo (Ryu), and Justin Wong (Rufus).
(Japan’s top player Iyo zoning opponents with Dhalsim’s long limbs)
After a series of very intense and exciting rounds (I’m talking crazya** ish like Focus Cancels to EX to another EX to Ultra finish combos without even flinching), Daigo and Justin remained on top. The two would battle it out in a much anticipated match.
(A disappointed Poongko after losing to Iyo, Daigo and Justin. )
Would Justin get redemption from the millions of people who have seen him get beat down by Daigo’s infamous Ken comeback on YouTube? Would the Rufus that he used to defeat all the best players in the U.S.A. be enough?
(Daigo and Justin Wong preparing for battle)
Not this time. Daigo’s godlike Street Fighter skills completely shut down Justin’s offensive strategy.
(Daigo punishes Justin with a focus dash cancel into Ryu’s Ultra)
Seth Killian did his absolute best to commentate during this final match, but Daigo’s attacks and counters were happening so fast, that even he couldn’t keep up with the craziness.
(SF Community Manager Seth Killian delivering excellent play-by-play commentary)
Final score 4-0. Best Street Fighter IV Player in the World — Daigo, better known as “The Beast.” He can rest easy and enjoy his victory for a few months, until he must defend his title at the Evo 2009 Championships in July at Las Vegas.
(Daigo holds down the International title for Japan)
Long live Street Fighter!
GameStop Street Fighter IV National Tournament Photo Gallery (videos below)
***More videos coming soon… be sure to check back this week***
Daigo vs. Justin Wong (International Finals)
Justin Wong vs. Mike Ross (National Finals)
Justin Wong vs. Poongko
Justin Wong vs. Iyo
Poonko vs. Daigo
Poongko vs Iyo
Iyo vs. Daigo