A look back at earliest days of the East/West fighting game rivalry.
In 1998, Daigo Umehara came to Nickel City arcade in San Francisco (well, technically a ways south of San Francisco) to fight in the Street Fighter Alpha 3 World Championship — and ultimately faced off against Alex Valle in an East-West battle that has become legendary.
At SoCal Regionals 2018, BornFree took some time to watch the footage of this epic event with fighting game OG and Shoryuken co-founder Tom Cannon, who provides lots of insight into how the whole thing went down — because he was there!
Tom Cannon talks about the California competitive scene at the time, how little was know about Japanese players ahead of Umehara’s arrival in the USA — and how much of an achievement it already was for Valle to come out on top against all the other USA competitors before going up against Umehara. He also explains how, very shortly after this tournament, Daigo Umehara gained his title as “The Beast”!