EVO 2014: Most Epic Grand Finals Match of All Time
EVO (short for Evolution) is the world's largest fighting game championship, and this weekend it was held in Las Vegas. This year, EVO featured championships for Ultra Street Fighter IV, The King of Fighters XIII, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and many others, but thus far the greatest match has been the Grand Finals of the BlazBlue championship. And the prize on the line for this championship? $35,000.
The Blazblue series of fighting games has always been praised for its strategic approach to traditional fighting game mechanics. Some consider it to be slower-paced, but as you can see in the video below that doesn't mean the series is any less thrilling. In the championship, the Grand Finals round is a match up between the leader of the losers' bracket and the leader of the winners' bracket. The former must beat the latter six out of ten rounds in order to claim the prize. This structure to the tournament insures that luck plays as little of a role as possible in determining an overall winner and usually results in the winners' bracket leader taking the championship.
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The video is a bit long (>30 minutes), but I challenge anyone to stop watching halfway through it. Keiji "Garireo" Okamoto was the leader of the losers' bracket playing as Litchi; he faced off against Ryo "Dogura" Nozaki playing as Azrael. With the odds stacked against him, "Garireo" doggedly fended "Dogura" off each and every time he grew close to losing. After the full 10 rounds, the underdog claimed total victory before an audience screaming and on its feet.
Never in the history of EVO has a grand finals been such a close, emotional match, and the tournaments aren't even over yet! Head on over to IGN and catch the live stream so you don't miss the next exciting championship. The tournament will be streaming until 10:00pm PST.
Also make sure you check out Kotaku's more in-depth article on the Blazblue Grand Finals.