One of My Favorite Moments in Gaming: EVO Moment 37

Daigo Umehara's infamous comeback against Justin Wong in Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike at EVO 2004 is perfect for showing people how hype competitive gaming can get.

The details of EVO Moment 37, or “The Daigo Parry” as it’s also known, have been discussed to death by people more knowledgeable than me. In the final match of Street Fighter 3: Third Strike at EVO 2004, Daigo Umehara managed to pull off a stunning comeback against Justin Wong to win the tournament. This piece of history is my favorite video of competitive gaming, not just because of how awe-inspiring and entertaining it is, but because it’s exactly what the fighting game community needs in order to expand and be accepted by the mainstream.

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The Fighting Game Community, commonly shortened to FGC, is a fascinating and fun group of players, spectators and commentators of fighting games. The players, in addition to having to face some of the strongest competition known to any competitive activity, must deal with the pressure of maintaining an image or reputation in front of a highly critical audience that loves to taunt them. Whether it’s the crowd at a tournament or people watching fights being streamed online, there’s always someone watching. This creates the need to impress your peers, which most players attempt with a mix of performance and trash talk.

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The intertwining of bravado from the players, teasing from the spectators and the input of the commentators at events has created a rich collection of phrases, in-jokes/memes and made some people icons in the FGC. I’ve shown the video of Daigo’s comeback to people I know who aren’t really into video games and even they were able to appreciate it. After that, people are generally more open to delving deeper into the FGC. 

I know that if the FGC could just grab the general public’s attention with some great footage they could really take off. The amount of viewer input, through commenting on streams, videos and creating jokes, would appeal to anyone who makes fun of Lebron’s hairline or the fact that Ray Lewis took deer antler spray and might have killed a guy. The cutthroat nature of the competitive scene, and trash talking of competitors, would also gain the attention of people into professional wrestling or MMA. We just need more awesome moments to get people in the door. 

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