After seeing what the “hype” was all about, one of the other common themes that Richard Li and I ran into when we interviewed attendees at this year’s EVO World Finals was an extreme appreciation for community, friendships and camaraderie amongst friends – friends that come from all walks of life that share a truly passionate interest in something unique.
The second film that we put together explores this concept of community and belonging that all EVO participants and spectators feel. For many, myself included, EVO has become something more than just a huge tournament that happens every year; it’s a chance to reconnect with old friends, create new friendships, catch up with a few familiar faces and ultimately see the world’s best talent battle each other – while also throwing down in a few matches as well.
For Alex Valle, Keits and myself, making the pilgrimage out to EVO has been a yearly ritual for nearly a decade, and seeing it grow and reflecting on where it’s been is humbling to say the least. As for Ty Austin, otherwise known as Evil Hero representing Detroit, and Christopher Vogel, this year’s tournament was their first, and they got first-hand experience seeing just how big the community is today, and that while the online forum and community on SRK is part of it, the friendships that are made through the scene are real, tangible connections that crossover into the real world.
It was funny – Christopher Vogel, one of the people documented in the short film, actually starting talking to us on the floor of the ballroom not in a request to be interviewed – but rather just to thank us for building a community that he could be a part of. After thinking about it, I figure we should be thanking him – because it’s people like him, new and old, full of genuine excitement and passion about Street Fighter and fighting game culture, that make the community and EVO what it is today.
If you enjoyed this film, let us know your backstory and how you became part of the fighting game community in the comments below. A big thank you goes out to Alex Valle, Adam Heart, Ty Austin, and Christopher Vogel for helping us make this film.
Stay tuned for our third and final film, which we’ll be premiering on Monday that features footage from finals day that has yet to be shown anywhere, right here on SRK.
Interested in creating a film? Contact the director Richard Li at hedayli [at] gmail.com.