DM.MCZ|Xian Is Your Street Fighter IV Evo 2013 Champion

By on July 14, 2013 at 10:29 pm
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Singapore’s MCZ|Xian is the Evo 2013 Street Fighter IV Champion at Evolution 2013, beating MCZ|Tokido in the Grand Finals to take the championship.

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You can read a full rundown of each top eight match below. Results for this and other games can be found in our Evo 2013 coverage hub.

Top 8 Losers: MCZ|Daigo (Ryu) vs. Infiltration (Akuma)

Round one starts with Daigo landing an early crossup combo; Infiltration closes the gap with smart pokes, and Daigo widens it with smarter ones. Daigo slowly builds a lead with brilliant fireball timings to take round one. Both players start out cautious in round two, and Infiltration pushes Daigo into the corner and wrecks him with mixups. Infiltration presses his aggression into the third round as well, landing combo after combo, dizzying Daigo, and taking the first match. 1-0 Infiltration.

The second match starts out with full-screen fireball play from both sides; Daigo comes out the clear winner at first, but Infiltration’s smart sweeps give him the edge. Daigo takes a very close first round with an anti-air Dragon Punch, and continues into the second round by building a lead with more solid sweeps and footsies. Daigo takes the second match; 1-1.

Infiltration starts the third match by aggressively pushing Daigo into the corner. Both players are landing hits, but Infiltration is dictating the pace and takes round one. Infiltration continues to push Daigo into the corner for the second round, reading Daigo’s DP attempts and beating him pretty effortlessly. 2-1 Infiltration.

Infiltration opens the fourth match strong by focus-absorbing through Daigo’s fireball and punishing; Daigo retaliates with some knockdown mixups of his own. Both players continue to trade pokes and fireballs, with Daigo at the slight disadvantage; Daigo turns it around with an excellent DP that almost kills, but Infiltration dodges the fireball chip and retaliates with an anti-air DP of his own to take the first round. In the second round, Infiltration pushes Daigo into the corner and lands a 50% combo off a crumple stun focus attack; Daigo pushes back but loses each exchange. Infiltration wins 3-1, knocking Daigo “The Beast” Umehara out of Evolution 2013.

Top 8 Losers: AvM|GamerBee (Adon) vs. Haitani (Makoto)

Haitani pushes GamerBee’s Adon into the corner early on, but ends up taking more damage than he deals. Still, Haitani is the busier player of the two, and ends up finding a hole in GamerBee’s defense to take the first round of the first match. The second round starts out as more of the same, as GamerBee is content to punish Haitani’s openings — and he finds plenty of them, winning the second round. Haitani ends up scoring a key knockdown early in the third, dizzying GamerBee’s Adon and finishing him off. 1-0 Haitani.

GamerBee starts out the second match a little bit more aggressive, and a few key pokes and an anti-air Jaguar Knee into Ultra II give him a commanding lead that he uses to take the first round. Both players are neck-and-neck well into the second round, with non-stop aggression on both sides; GamerBee takes it with a combo into Ultra. 1-1.

GamerBee’s movement and poking are both much more aggressive in the third match, and it pays off in the beginning — until Haitani finds a series of command grabs to take the first round. Both players trade relentless mixups and attacks in the second, but GamerBee wins out. The third round is all Haitani’s though, with nonstop Makoto attacks winning the match. 2-1 Haitani.

Haitani’s endless attacks continue into the first round of the fourth match, though GamerBee is quick to punish whenever possible, meaning things are neck and neck for the entire round. Haitani goes for a half-screen EX dash punch; GamerBee snuffs it with a standing RH. Both players go into the second round trading attacks, but GamerBee’s superior pokes win it. 2-2, down to the last match.

Both players are neck and neck until Haitani scores a critical knockdown, which he uses to set up a command grab into Ultra to win the first round. GamerBee simply can’t withstand Haitani’s attacks in the second round, and loses handily to Haitani’s Makoto. 3-2 Haitani.

Top 8 Winners: DM|Xian (Gen) vs. HORI|Sakonoko (Ibuki)

Both Xian and Sako enter the first round with fairly tentative footsies; Xian lands a throw and turns into some damage, but Ibuki manages to make it out of Gen’s knockdown hell. Xian goes in for his usual blocked combo into the hyakuretsu handslap; Sako punishes with Ibuki’s Ultra, but it’s not enough, and Xian takes it. Sako comes out hard in the second round, though, landing a series of mixups to dizzy and knock Gen out. In the third round, Sako manages to grind Xian down gradually, taking the first match. 1-0 Sakonoko.

Xian lands a crumple focus attack early on in the second match to do some damage, but Sako answers with a combo of his own. It’s a back-and-forth brawl between the two players, but Gen baits an Ibuki DP and punishes to take the first round. Xian finds his groove in the second round as well, establishing a commanding lead early on and holding it to tie the series 1-1.

In the third match, Sako switches to Evil Ryu, and manages to hold his own in a series of back-and-forth exchanges that leave Sako with a slight lead. Xian starts being more aggressive, landing an excellent crumple stun focus into Ultra and finishing it for the first round. Xian came out of the gate swinging in the second round as well, hitting Sako hard but eventually getting pushed back as the two players continue their nonstop dogfight. Xian lands it with an excellent anti-air into super to take it. 2-1 Xian.

The fourth match starts out slow and tentative, but Sako takes a lead with good footsies and puts Gen away in the first round. Sako opens the second with a series of crouching medium kicks into fireballs to start a lead, and then a series of mixups to finish Xian. 2-2.

Xian opens the final match with a solid crumple stun focus attack that he turns into three combos and a dizzy, then a mixup to take the first round. The second round goes much the same way, though Sako is able to escape Gen’s vortex and reset the momentum. Xian turns up the aggression and gets punished by Sako’s footsies to even the health count; the two of them gradually whittle each other down until Xian lands a poke into super to put Sako away, 3-2.

Top 8 Winners: EG|PR Balrog (Fei Long) vs. MCZ|Tokido (Akuma)

PR Balrog’s Fei Long pushes Tokido’s Akuma into the corner early on but doesn’t do much damage, then Tokido pushes back and takes PR Balrog out with a relentless series of mixups. PR Balrog continues the aggression in the second round and does some damage before getting pushed back; both players trade punishes and pokes until Tokido takes it. 1-0 Tokido; the crowd chants for PR Balrog to switch to Balrog, and he does so to applause.

Balrog pushes Tokido into the corner early on, but doesn’t take a damage lead out of it. Both players are even until Tokido lands a solid combo, then zones with air fireballs. Balrog tries to Ultra through an air fireball; it doesn’t work, and Tokido takes the first round. Tokido’s Akuma seizes control of the second round, punishing Balrog over and over; Balrog lands a combo, but Tokido answers with another one to take the second match. 2-0 Tokido.

PR Balrog is still aggressive going into the third match; key footsies and a counter-hit focus attack let him finally take a round. The second round begins with PR Balrog landing a series of important sweeps, but Tokido comes back to outplay PR Balrog and win it. Balrog opens the third round with a key super to punish Tokido’s blocked sweep, but ends up eating mixups and Akuma’s Ultra 2 to lose it. 3-0 Tokido.

Top 8 Losers: Infiltration (Akuma) vs. HORI|Sakonoko (Ibuki)

Sako takes an early lead with some great footsies, putting him up about 85% halfway into the first round. Infiltration lands a knockdown but is unable to capitalize; first round to Sako. Infiltration answers in round two with some solid damage, but Sako comes back and takes it handily. 1-0 Sako.

The second match starts out fairly even until Infiltration lands a key knockdown to win the first round. Sako answers by dominating the second round; Infiltration perfects Sako in the third. 1-1.

Infiltration finds his groove pretty quickly in the third match, pushing Sako’s Ibuki into the corner early and winning the round without taking much damage. Sako is far more careful in the beginning of the third, and the two trade damage until Sako pulls ahead with a clutch corner combo into Ultra. Sako can’t stop Infiltration’s attacks in the third, and Infiltration takes the second game 2-1.

Sako rallies in the first round of the third; Infiltration wrecks him in the second round. (Each round is seriously going by so quickly that it’s hard to catch detailed notes.) Sako is unable to keep Akuma out, though, and Infiltration wrecks Ibuki to take the set 3-1.

Top 8 Losers: PR Balrog (Balrog) vs. Haitani (Makoto)

Balrog catches an early lead with a series of knockdowns, but Haitani’s Makoto pushes back to even the score and lands a command grab into Ultra to do the damage. (The audience yells “Seichusen Godanzuki”.) The two continue the dogfight into the second round, with Balrog being the aggressor; this time, Balrog dodges a command grab setup and lands a counter hit focus attack to take the second round. Balrog continues to land focus after focus in the third, pushing Makoto to the bring until Haitani punishes with a raw reversal ultra, then a grab, The two are both one hit away when Balrog lands an EX Dash Punch to win by chip. 1-0 PR Balrog.

Both players go into the second match trading pokes and combos, but Haitani takes the first round by baiting a reversal Ultra and punishing. Neither player is able to gain a clear lead at first in the second, and while Balrog is on the ropes for a while, he pulls through to take the second round with headbutt into Ultra. Haitani whiffs several air kicks; Balrog doesn’t take the bait until he can get a solid Ultra punish to get a lead and then wins the second match with an anti-air headbutt. 2-0 PR Balrog.

The nonstop slugfest continues into the third match; Balrog comes out ahead in the first round,  and starts the second with an early lead thanks to some excellent hit-confirmed pokes. With a sizeable lead, Balrog slows down the attacks — and Haitani is able to hit with an Ultra punish. But it’s not enough; Balrog puts Makoto away with an anti-air headbutt, winning the set 3-0.

Winners Finals: MCZ|Xian (Gen) vs. MCZ|Tokido (Akuma)

Tokido opens with several defensive air fireballs that make it hard for Xian to attack, though only a few manage to connect. Tokido managed to score a knockdown and turn it into 80% of Gen’s health, which then turns into 100% of it. The second round starts out similarly slowly, though this time Xian is able to land a few key anti-airs to take a massive lead; Tokido hangs in there but is unable to get anything started, and Xian takes the second round. Xian starts the third round by landing a combo into super that does about 60%; Tokido responds with corner pressure that evens the life count. Xian retakes control; Tokido tries to punish with a Raging Demon but whiffs; Xian tries to punish with Gen’s dash Ultra but whiffs; Tokido takes the round with 9 seconds left. 1-0 Tokido.

The second match starts out like the first, except Xian lands an anti-air jumping fierce to push Akuma into the corner and uses that momentum to build up a lead. Tokido continues to throw air fireballs, but Xian appears to be figuring out the timing on jumping in safely, doing damage and winning the first round. Tokido misses a crucial anti-air DP early in the second round and eats a short combo; Tokido then goes for an ill-advised jump-in and eats one EX Gen anti-air kick, then does it again and eats another. Tokido lands a high-damaging crossup combo to put Xian close to death, then throws a poorly-timed air fireball that Xian punishes with a full-screen Ultra. 1-1.

Xian is slowly turning up the heat; Tokido is forced to retreat and teleport away early in the first round, but Xian punishes each one. Xian’s excellent spacing keeps Tokido in the corner, and he wins the first round of the third match easily. Tokido’s zoning efforts start working better in the second until he gets hit by another full-screen Ultra punish; Xian takes out half his life with that combo, then hits him with a super combo to take the third match. 2-1 Xian.

The fourth match once again starts with Xian pushing Tokido into the corner and gradually eating his health more and more. Tokido does get a key knockdown and puts Xian in the corner, but doesn’t capitalize and isn’t able to start his attack before Xian counterpokes his way to win the first round. Tokido rallies in the second and manages to win it with a series of brutal mixups, and he’s clearly doing more work to attack than he was before. But Xian is able to block all of Akuma’s corner mixups and dash out to swap positioning; eventually Xian pokes his way into a super combo to win it 3-1.

Losers Semifinals: Infiltration (Akuma) vs. EG|PR Balrog (Balrog)

PR Balrog rushes in and pushes Infiltration into the corner, getting a life lead — and while Infiltration pushes back, it’s not enough to stop Balrog from winning the first. Infiltration isn’t so easily bullied in the second, though, and he starts out controlling the momentum with plentiful fireballs and a few good sweeps here and there. Balrog continues to go in undaunted, but it’s not enough; Infiltration takes the second round. In the third, Infiltration scores a few key knockdowns that he turns into an 80% life lead, and then a victory. 1-0 Infiltration.

Balrog takes an early lead in the beginning of the second match, boxing Infiltration in with pokes and converting into headbutt combos to win the first round. Balrog continues to push Infiltration around with better footsies and a super combo punish off a blocked Akuma sweep, putting Akuma away. 1-1.

The third match starts out fairly even, with both players trading blows; Infiltration pulls ahead in each exchange but Balrog pulls out an excellent dash punch into Ultra to win the first round. Balrog continues his assault in the second, putting up a quick 50% lead that he turns into a quick win. 2-1 PR Balrog. The crowd chants U-S-A; Infiltration switches to Hakan.

Yes, you read that right — Hakan. Time to get oiled up.

Infiltration goes in heavy and both players end up trading roughly evenly. There’s no break in the action, just nonstop trades. Infiltration manages to take the first round by punishing a poorly-placed dash punch, and opens the second round with some excellent reads. The action just isn’t stopping; Hakan lands a super, Balrog lands an Ultra, and it’s back and forth until Balrog breaks out to take it. Balrog opens the third round with a quick super to take the lead and push Hakan into the corner, but Hakan gets another grab punish to reset the momentum. It’s neck and neck down until the end, where Hakan squeaks by to take it. 2-2.

The mad pace continues into the fifth and final match; PR Balrog has started anticipating some of Infiltration’s command grab setups, and manages to stuff him in the corner and win the first round by a large margin. That momentum carries him into an early lead in the second round, but Infiltration is able to keep his poise and work his way out of the corner at only a slight disadvantage. Balrog edges his way back in, then does a dash punch that Infiltration catches with a grab Ultra to win the second round. Last round, last match: It’s a dogfight. Balrog starts with momentum but gets caught by Hakan’s anti-air grabs; Hakan tries to go for an Ultra grab setup but misses; it’s all the way down to the wire until Infiltration manages to dodge each of Balrog’s attack attempts and put him away. 3-2 Infiltration.

Losers Finals: Infiltration (Akuma) vs. MCZ|Tokido (Akuma)

Both players started the first match tentative, though Tokido landed a few early pokes to do some damage. After several fireball exchanges, Tokido managed to take the life lead with a solid combo; Infiltration was unable to pin him down, and Tokido won the first round. Second round began with more of the same, as Tokido kept winning each exchange ever so slightly until Infiltration had nothing left. 1-0 Tokido; the crowd started to chant “Oil Up.” Infiltration didn’t oil up.

Tokido opened the second round with an early lead thanks to a well-placed demon flip combo that pushed Infiltration in the corner; Infiltration was able to push back but couldn’t keep Tokido in his corner. Tokido’s setups proved too much for Infiltration in the first round, but Infiltration rallied in the second with a few key reads to take an early lead and win it. Both players were more tentative in the beginning of the third, but Tokido caught a few well-placed low attacks to catch Infiltration, dizzy him, and put him away. 2-0 Tokido; Infiltration took a pause at the character select screen to collect himself, and then decided to stick with Akuma.

Tokido took an early lead again in the beginning of the third match, though Infiltration was more up to the task of trading fireballs and sweeps to stay competitive until he was able to break away and take the first round. But Infiltration wasn’t able to keep up in the second, and Tokido won it with barely a scratch. But Infiltration pulled ahead in the third round, and Tokido couldn’t break away before letting Infiltration build a 70% life lead and suffocate him with fireballs to win the set. 2-1 Tokido.

Infiltration opened strong in the fourth match as well, with his momentum carrying him to win the first round without taking much damage. The nonstop fireball exchanges slowly came closer and closer until both players were slugging it out; Tokido took the second by a near margin. (Around this point, the audience started mocking Akuma’s air fireball grunt, but the players didn’t seem to notice. Ono-san found it amusing, though.) Both players exchange pokes and fireballs equally until the very end; Tokido pulls ahead to win it 3-1.

Grand Finals: MCZ|Xian (Gen) vs. MCZ|Tokido (Akuma)

The Street Fighter IV finals came down to a MCZ vs. MCZ match, as Xian came from the winner’s bracket to take on Tokido from the loser’s bracket. The two met previously in the finals of the winner’s bracket, where Xian won their set 3-1; Tokido was unable to avenge his loss.

Xian started the first match by taking an early lead, dodging fireballs to land a key knockdown and combo; Tokido retaliated but was unable to sustain the momentum. Tokido started out the second round significantly better, putting Xian in the corner and doing damage, but Xian was able to respond in kind, effectively leveling the playing field and resetting the spacing. Xian wasn’t able to dodge fireballs in the second round, though, and Tokido tied it up. Tokido’s zoning successfully kept Xian out for the beginning of the third round, letting him build an early lead. But Xian hit a clutch Ultra to get a lead that Tokido couldn’t come back from. 1-0 Xian.

Tokido’s zoning fared better in the beginning of the second match, getting him an early lead — which Xian then eliminated with another Ultra to keep things neck and neck. Xian took the first round with an awesome poke punish that caught Tokido before he was about to get hit with an air fireball. But Tokido couldn’t keep Xian out so well in the second, and Xian converted a poke into super combo to win the second match. 2-0, Xian.

By the time the third set started, Xian appeared to have Tokido’s defensive patterns read; he quickly made it through and won the first round. However, Tokido started attacking more in the second, and it worked out well, winning him the second round. But Xian made a statement in the third, punishing an air fireball with an incredible crouching poke into super that just edged under an air fireball to take the lead — and then put Tokido away to win it all. MCZ|Xian is your Evo 2013 Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition 2012 champion.

(Pics by Karaface & Kineda)