When the games for Evo 2017 were first announced earlier this year, there was one big omission that everyone noticed: for the first time in the tournament’s history, there was no Marvel vs. Capcom game in the lineup. Happily, the Evo 2017 Player’s Choice donation drive gave players and fans the chance to put a game back in. The community came out in force with an overwhelming response, raising over $70,000 for Make-a-Wish International, and getting UMvC3 back on the roster for Sunday.
In many ways, however, the story of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 at Evo 2017 is bigger than just that of the game getting back in through the donation drive. With this likely being the last year that the game is at Evo, many players are looking to this one final chance to make a name for themselves in the game.
What really makes this special is the fact that, throughout the game’s seven-year history at Evo, no single player has won the tournament more than once. Unlike Marvel vs. Capcom 2, which was pretty much dominated by Justin Wong, every single Evo tournament for the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 series (both “vanilla” and Ultimate) has had a different winner.
Among these previous winners are a number of players considered to be part of the pantheon of “gods” of Marvel. These are players such as Splyce’s Ryan “Filipino Champ” Ramirez, Job “Flocker” Figueroa, Evil Geniuses’ Christopher “NYChrisG” Gonzales, Black Eye’s Nicholas “Kane Blueriver” Gonzales, and of course Echo Fox’s Justin (“Marvelous”) Wong. Among these, there are players who have threatened to win more than once. FChamp had an amazing run in 2013, only to be stopped by Justin Wong in the finals. Similarly, KBR looked poised to win once again last year, before falling to ChrisG. Speaking of which, ChrisG has always threatened to reach the upper echelons of the tournament, only to fall short until his win last year. With these players having only one Evo win each, winning a second would cement their position atop the pantheon.
Aside from these however, there are other players, also considered as “gods” of the game who have yet to win at Evo. Players such as Eduardo “PR Balrog” Perez or Panda Global’s Raynel “RayRay” Hidalgo. Both these players have had amazing runs at previous Evos, but have yet to take the top prize.
It’s not just the “gods” that are on the lookout for the win. There are a number of top Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 players that are out to prove themselves as well. These are players like Vineeth “Apologyman” Meka, Daniel “Clockw0rk” Maniago, Abraham “GoldenBoyNeo” Sotelo, Armando “Angelic” Mejia, Cole “Flux” Tocci, Jan-Michael del Rio, Ryan “RyanLV” Romero, Jonathan “Cloud805” Morales, and more. These players have either had amazing runs at past Evos, or have been putting in some amazing performances in recent tournaments — and most would like nothing more than to reach the same level as the “gods” with an Evo 2017 win.
Their efforts have come on the back of a resurgence in interest in UMvC3, thanks to the current-generation re-releases, the spectre of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite on the horizon, and the Curleh Circuit. Many of the players listed above have gained a lot of momentum thanks to recent tournaments on and off the Curleh Circuit. Meanwhile, the re-releases of the game have brought about a wave of newly-discovered tactics and tools that players can use in competition.
All things considered, it seems that Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 final year at Evo will be a big one. With the donation drive, as well as the champions vying for the chance to be the only two-time UMvC3 champion, the challengers looking to deny a them that while ascending to godhood, as well as the increasing level of competition in the game, everything is in place for a hype tournament this year. The Marvel vs. Capcom series has always been a part of makes Evo what it is, and as such it’s fitting that Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 goes out with a bang.