It’s been a couple of weeks since EVO 2012 finished but I promised myself to write a blog of my experiences especially since it’s my first ever EVO! I hope you guys like it!
Despite being involved in fighting games since 2010 with local and regional communities, it’s been now where I am able to fully declare my love for it by going to the biggest event for the genre in the world.
I come from the Sacramento regional community that almost succeeded in being a staple in the community. In 2008, Street Fighter IV hit UC Davis’ arcade and it was one of the most notable spots to play the game in the United States. As the years passed on, the interest for fighting games unfortunately dwindled but at the least not to a near death state. There are a group of folks who keep the tournaments going in Sacramento and the players still come. It’s good that the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 games did bring more folks including two who got top 8 in EVO 2011 for the original version.
After playing so long within this community, I felt it was right to visit the mecca of fighting game events. Despite registering months ahead of time for both Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition Ver. 2012 and The King of Fighters XIII, I had no way of getting their but with the help of friends… I am proud that I went this year.
Thursday - Preparation with some McDonalds
I was grouped up with three other folks from the local community including one of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom’s best Super Skrull players in the world Hi Im Nastyy. We planned everything including flight and hotel stay. Others with us who were doing their own activities were my cousin who also competed and folks from the Stockton, CA area. After dealing with unusual baggage situations thanks some of our arcade sticks, we got on the plane that only took an hour to get to Las Vegas.
While on the plane and observing the landscape, I was thinking my matches in both AE and KOF. For AE, it was against someone from Mexico. For KOF, it was against Poongko. For those unfamiliar, Korean player Poongko became well known for his top three placement in AE for last year’s EVO and easily taking down Daigo Umehara in a beautiful display. He also has long experience in the KOF games. Poongko was my first opponent in a double elimination bracket against me who only got KOF a month before. While I did practice seriously prior, I got motivated to train harder after hearing the news. For both games, I confirmed to myself to not aim to win but have a mentality of just doing the best and have fun at the same time.
After getting off the plane and the airport, me and the crew arrived at Circus Circus, two miles off of the EVO event at Caesar’s Palace. Even if it’s a different hotel and a bit far in walking distance, it had to make do especially since some of us announced they were able to go just weeks before. We all relaxed in the room for a quick bit then we hit the Vegas strip to Caesar’s with everyone getting some pretty pricey McDonald’s. Two mile walk while holding on to food, carrying a backpack with some stuff and under hot weather with so many people around you ain’t really bad. Besides those annoyances, one of my friends gathered cards of “escorts” where by the end of the trip he had a full deck that he could use for a DIY trading card game.
With the help of Nerdjosh of Team Spooky (much love), we were able to find the conference center of Caesar’s where EVO is being held. After some escalators up, we reached the EVO pass area and got mine for the event including a shirt! We saw some folks from our area and the rest of Sacramento. I noticed some notable players that I seen only on the computer screen. Even if I was somewhat at awe at their presence, I continued to act normal as I passed on by.
Even if only staff, volunteers and venues are only allowed at that time, we entered the event floor. It was pretty big with all of the playing stations all on to test before the big day. The staff were doing a judges orientation with the volunteers on the main stage filled with very stylish monitors all over to let everyone have relative ease to view the matches. I then checked the back of the hall where all the vendors and gaming companies are. Out of everyone who had a game on display, Namco with the E3 build of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was actually on. After getting used to the movement system, learning the single and tag systems and fighting some folks in casual play, I am hype to try out more when it comes out!
Me and the crew then went to a practice session in Caesar’s with Marvel and KOF. I was doing terrible in KOF and my match was the next day. My condition at the time was very weak so I made bad decisions in my play. When we got back in the hotel and relaxed with some pizza, I ignored my mistakes and physical pains composed of blisters and exhaustion to think about my upcoming match.
I acknowledged that no matter what happens, I will do my best in my games. The truth would be revealed as EVO begins.
Part two will be coming next week covering Friday!