Just like the franchise it celebrates, the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary tournament series has been an exciting ride since the moment it began. Each qualifier, from well-known hearts of competition like Los Angeles and Japan to more remote locales like Brazil, has provided hours upon hours of intense tournament action as well as an interesting look at the stories being written by some of the strongest players in the world today. With the grand finals taking place in Burlingame, California this weekend, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the tournaments that preceded it and recap some of the best moments from each one. We’ll be highlighting qualifiers every day leading up to the weekend, so be sure to keep checking back for a refresher on how everything panned out.
Choice highlights will be included for each stop, but be sure to follow the links to their respective playlists for even more footage.
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition ver. 2012 – WW.MCZ|Infiltration (Akuma), AVerMedia|Gamerbee (Adon)
Street Fighter x Tekken – WW.MCZ|Infiltration (Rolento/Ryu), Poongko (Kazuya/Ryu)
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike – SGEsports|BOC (Urien)
Super Street Fighter II Turbo – WW.MCZ|Laugh (O. Sagat)
Though the Taiwan qualifier was the result of its own earlier set of qualifers, its smaller player pool provided a more intense set of matches for all those involved. The stacked brackets included players like Western Wolves and Mad Catz’ Seonwoo “Infiltration” Lee and Chang “Laugh” An, Chunggon “Poongko” Lee, Hsiang “GamerBee” Lin of AVerMedia, HumanBomb, Desperation Move’s Xian, and many more.
Infiltration was definitely the MVP of the weekend, tearing through competition in Street Fighter x Tekken with his unrelenting Rolento/Ryu combination and also taking first in Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition ver. 2012 after a close 3-2 grand finals victory over GamerBee. After being eliminated one spot out of qualifying for SFxTK by Poongko, GamerBee was able to return the favor in AE 2012 and ultimately prevent Poongko from ever attaining a seat at the grand finals in Burlingame.
In Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Infiltration’s teammate Laugh faced similar good fortune, facing his only difficult match in the grand finals against Jack of Singapore eSports. The Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike portion of the tournament saw some interesting character diversity with not a Chun-Li in sight. Singapore eSports’ BOC rode his Urien to victory, shrugging off a bracket reset by Asahy and his Elena before securing his qualifying spot.
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition ver. 2012 – GR|Breno_Fighters (Cammy), MCZ|Tokido (Akuma)
Street Fighter x Tekken – AVerMedia|Gamerbee (JACK-X/Julia), GR|Breno_Fighters (Ryu/Chun-Li)
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike – MCZ|Tokido (Chun-Li)
Super Street Fighter II Turbo – MCZ|Tokido (Vega)
While much of the competition in Brazil was dominated by foreign visitors Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi of Mad Catz and GamerBee, the country’s savior came in the form of one GR|Breno_Fighters. His road to the AE 2012 grand finals was a bit more treacherous than Tokido’s thanks to an early loss in the brackets, but he eventually stormed back, resetting the bracket on the Japanese legend and edging him out in a close 3-2 match.
This was one of the most hype matches in the tournament series and the best highlight from this qualifier in particular, so be sure to check out the entire thing below. Unfortunately, Breno was unable to secure a visa before the grand finals this weekend, and thus his qualifying spots will be passed onto the respective third place finishers from the Los Angeles qualifiers, AGE|Vangief and KS|JiBbo.
After being relegated to the Super Street Fighter II Turbo losers bracket very early in the competition, Tokido used his Vega to reach the grand finals and eventually demolish OCT|Wall-Garants, the player who had beat him in pools. Street Fighter x Tekken dragged on during its grand finals, where Tokido and GamerBee went down to the very last round in an intense set of matches.
Tokyo, Japan – October 20th (Results)
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition ver. 2012 – MCZ|Daigo Umehara (Ryu), RZR|Fuudo (Fei Long)
Street Fighter x Tekken – MCZ|Tokido (Dhalsim/Cody), Yukimura (Ryu/Kazuya)
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike – MOV (Chun-Li)
Super Street Fighter II Turbo – N/A
Much like the Taiwanese qualifier, Japan’s tournament was the culmination of a number of smaller qualifiers, resulting in a smaller group of players with a more dense level of talent. Unfortunately, due to its pay-per-view status, no replays are available for those who didn’t buy a ticket to watch.
While Mad Catz’ Daigo Umehara has been out of the limelight for a bit, his performance at this qualifier was a sight to behold. After dropping Kinou and Kyoku on the way to the winners finals, Umehara swept Keita “Fuudo” Ai of Team Razer twice, cementing his first place qualifier spot and sending a strong message to those waiting for him in Burlingame.
MOV’s Chun-Li faced a fierce mirror match against Umezono in the Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike grand finals, but he would ultimately take the single qualifier position with a convincing 3-0 finish. Street Fighter x Tekken’s grand finals saw Tokido’s very unique team of Dhalsim and Cody take on the more conservative combination of Ryu and Kazuya played competently by Yukimura.
Those are some of the biggest stories from the first two qualifiers, and you better believe it only gets crazier from here. Feel free to follow the links above to check out the rest of the footage, and let us know in the comments what your favorite moments from these two tournaments were. Special thanks to Capcom and Haunts for the contributions they made to this article and the hard work they’ve put into making these tournaments a success.