SRK Presents: “Hype”

By on August 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm

As fighting game enthusiasts, we all know exactly what we mean when we use the term hype to describe something, whether it be ourselves, someone else or something we witness.

But what is “hype”?

At this year’s EVO World Finals in Las Vegas, I hooked up with creative talent and Street Fighter enthusiast Richard Li out of San Francisco to catch the sights and sounds of the world’s largest fighting game tournament, and after compiling hours of tournament footage and player interviews, he’s done an amazing job cooking up a trio of videos that captures not only what EVO looks like, but also what it feels like to be there. If you’ve never been to EVO, then this is exactly what you’re missing.

Hype, the first of the three short films, explores the word’s definition — a term used liberally not only in the fighting game community, but also was referred by nearly every interviewee who we ran into. For many of them, hype is a nebulous idea consisting of many different poignant definitions from intensity to tension to suspense — an endearing, emotional feeling that draws in gamers ranging from casual to hardcore. (For you camera nerds, Richard used a Canon 5D Mark II and 60D combined with 70-200m, 16-35mm, 24-70, and 50mm lenses. It was edited in Premiere and graded in Colorista II.)

For the absolutely uninitiated, here’s a stab at it: Hype is that feeling you get when you know you’re part of something truly unique, never to be replicated again. It’s that feeling you get when you’re watching a tournament on a livestream, knowing that it’s happening right now, thousands of miles away in real time, and you’re witnessing it and connecting with it live rather than watching a replay on YouTube. It’s that feeling you get when you’ve just nailed the most important combo of your life on stage at EVO against your biggest rival, setting the crowd off into an electrical atmosphere. Hell, it can be even as small as something that you feel when you hear a DJ play your favorite song play on the radio during your 45-minute commute back home after a difficult day at work.

Hype isn’t something you watch, play or do; it’s something you live through a unique experience that connects you and others together at a single moment in time regardless of their age, location, ethnicity or beliefs. That, to me, is hype.

Which moments made you the most hype at EVO this year and year’s prior? Share your favorite moments in EVO history and what it meant to you to experience that moment with others in the comments below. Here are a few of my favorites:

Justin vs. Yipes
Choi vs. Nuki – EVO World 2008 ST Grand Finals

Interested in creating a film? Contact the director Richard Li at hedayli [at]

  • xeedoc

    Shoutouts to Corrupted Data

  • HigherTomorrow

    Shoutouts to purple leather and leopard print shirts.

    Good vignette, can’t wait to see more.

  • ThatImpGuy

    What’s that song they start playing like, a bit past halfway through? That shit’s tight

  • Diabolical B3

    The hypest moment at Evo IMO was when Poongko perfected Daigo. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

  • NyuBomber

    Man, that is NICE. Feels like it should be part of a larger documentary on Evo/the FGC. Very nicely produced.

  • Nuts

    Thanks. Been waiting for this. But where’s the other one?

  • ahdonye

    lol @ the man-rack bounce @ 2:10

    • abacus

      yea poor guy

  • Karlito504

    Nice to see the conclusion of data corruption.

  • WyonEarth

    hahaha the data corruption was so funny. killed hype like nothing.

  • Darksteel

    That was a pretty cool vid

  • Lance702

    The data couldn’t handle how hipster Magus was.

    • ShadowoftheDarkgod

      He’s already hyping the Hype, before it was cool.

  • shadowcharlie

    magus is the truth

  • Saionide

    Data is salty.

  • madman0017

    Garcia Hotspur represent at the end.

  • Cillranchelllo

    Hype for the uninitiated: If your heart doesn’t feel like its about to explode, there’s no hype.

  • Saionide

    Does anyone remember when seth killian was talking about the waves of hype and as he was doing the hand motions, the lights kept dimming and getting brighter in harmony with his hand motions

  • Jocelot

    Lol, LI Joe’s hype reaction was tooooooo good oh man. Loved it. I wonder if he knew he was on camera at the time.