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 - AGE|SnakeEyez (Zangief), EG|Justin Wong (Rufus)
Street Fighter x Tekken - KS.CORN|Sethlolol (Law/Kuma), Combofiend (Julia/Marduk)
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike - Mester (Yun)
Super Street Fighter II Turbo - John Choi (O.Sagat, Ryu), ShotosAllDay (O.Sagat, Zangief, Ryu)
As the final qualifier in the United States, the Los Angeles tournament was an intense prospect for players without major sponsors or the means to travel abroad. Evil Geniuses’ Justin Wong, who had been shut out of a grand finals spot twice by Joshua “Wolfkrone” Philpot at previous stops, finally secured his way to Burlingame after an exhausting Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition ver. 2012 set against the champion, Darryl “SnakeEyez” Lewis of Afterglow Elite. Their battle would go all the way down the wire, with Wong resetting the bracket before his eventual defeat by Lewis’ patient Zangief. Earlier in the AE 2012 competition, Northern California’s Miranda “Super Yan” Pakozdi pulled off an amazing upset against Wong’s EG teammate Ari “Floe” Weintraub, proving that even this far into the game’s life, there’s some some surprising competitors moving their way up in the ranks.
Elsewhere in the tournament, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike would be completely dominated by Japanese visitor Tatsuya “Mester” Makino and his competent Yun. While Mester handled all of his competition over the weekend rather handily, it was Canadian MTLSF|Chi-Rithy that would give him his greatest challenge in the grand finals after being swept only a little while earlier in the winners finals.
Street Fighter x Tekken saw a variety of amazing competition make their way to the tournament, including major proponents like Option Select’s Ryan Hunter and Paul “JiBbo” Mattock, Combofiend, and Sareth “Sethlolol” Sok of CORN. Sok’s use of Kuma surprised many who spectated his match, and he was able to walk away with a convincing first place qualifying spot over Combofiend.
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition ver. 2012 - CG|Problem X (Seth), Alioune (Cammy)
Street Fighter x Tekken - Alioune (JACK-X/Lili), Fuzzy (Poison/Cammy)
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike - Gunfight (Dudley)
Super Street Fighter II Turbo - Aero Rockman (Guile, M.Bison, Dee Jay)
The French stop on the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary tour was a special two-part event, made up of the French Cup and the Master Series Europe qualifier. The French Cup was open only to the host country’s citizens, and decided who would join the Master Series Europe bracket to compete for the trips to Burlingame for the grand finals. The Master Series Europe player pool was made up of a very diverse set of individuals from all over the continent, all who had earned the rights to represent their countries in their very own qualifiers.
French native Alioune Camara made a strong showing in both Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition ver. 2012 and Street Fighter x Tekken. He faced very little competition before reaching England’s Fowzi “Fuzzy” Saeed in the grand finals, where the two slugged it out with two very interesting team compositions. Alioune stood fast with his combination of JACK-X and Lili, narrowly edging out Fuzzy’s Poison and Cammy to earn the first of his two qualifying spots.
In AE 2012, Benjamin “Problem X” Simon looked absolutely unbeatable behind his Seth, dropping opponents like Skatan, LDLC|StarNab, and WW.MCZ|Andreas on the way to a victory over Alioune’s Cammy in the grand finals. After losing to Andreas in the top sixteen, Alioune slogged his way to a second-place qualifying spot. He ran the gauntlet against many of the same competitors Problem X worked his way through, eventually earning his trip to Burlingame after a rematch against Andreas in the losers finals.
The two classic titles each saw a single entrant completely demolish the rest of the competition. France’s Benoit “Gunfight” Arquilla lost only a single game over the course of the Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike tournament, using his Dudley to teach everyone who challenged him how the game is supposed to be played. Fellow French competitor Aero Rockman saw similar fortune in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, proving his flexibility with the game and knowledge of his competitors in an impressive fashion. Though his spot has now fallen to Low Land Lions’ Kenpachi Osaid of Belgium, he showed why he deserved to compete with the best in Burlingame.
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition ver. 2012 - MCZ|Mago (Fei Long), EG|Momochi (Akuma, Cody)
Street Fighter x Tekken - EG|Momochi (Cody/Rufus), Kingstonn (Rolento/Ryu)
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike - EG|Momochi (Yun)
Super Street Fighter II Turbo - Fuzzy (Ryu, Cammy)
Much like the Brazil qualifiers, the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary’s stop in the United Kingdom was visited by two foreign competitors looking to use this last tournament to earn their tickets to the grand finals. Evil Geniuses’ Yusuke Momochi and Kenryo “Mago” Hayashi of Mad Catz descended on the qualifier and took four of the six spots, showing the world that they had come to play and deserved their trips to Burlingame.
Ryan Hart, native of the host country, would be shut out of a place in the Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition ver. 2012 grand finals twice, first in the winners finals by Momochi and then again in the losers finals by Mago. The two Japanese players would trade blow for blow in the final sets, but it was eventually Mago who won the first place spot over both of Momochi’s characters.
Momochi would also secure spots in Street Fighter x Tekken and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, with impressive wins over MTLSF|Chi-Rithy and Kingstonn in the former and Billy Kane and Ryan Hart in the latter. Fuzzy, who narrowly missed out on qualifying for Super Street Fighter II Turbo at the Master Series Europe qualifier, made a grand push to the finals match in this tournament and toppled Orf with scores of 3-1 and 3-0.
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.