I will fully admit that I do not super closely follow the pro gaming circuit, but there are two games that I do keep an eye on and those games are Street Fighter and Overwatch. As I type this I am under 24 hours removed from my countryman, Benjamin “Problem-X” Simon becoming the king of Street Fighter V at Evo 2018.
It was a bit of a shock as he was nowhere near the finals last year. However during Evo 2018, Benjamin “Problem-X” Simon, who played as M.Bison was cold, calculating and he executed his game plan to perfection. It was very exciting to watch as he took down Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi.
The reason that Street Fighter has always been a game I had an interest in as far as pro gaming goes is that back in the 90’s I was quite the competitive Street Fighter player myself. I would spend my lunchtimes during high school battling with two other kids Paul and Gareth to see which one of us would take control of the Street Fighter II arcade machine that the video store down the street from our high school had.
It was intense stuff and 99/100 it would be one of us three on the machine taking on all challengers and it always felt like a huge deal when the three of us would cross paths. Unfortunately, when Street Fighter II Turbo came out for the SNES, I lost interest in playing Street Fighter II at the arcade and instead switched all my focus onto the Super Nintendo version. While I had fun playing with my buddies and my family, it could not match the excitement of standing shoulder to shoulder with an equally skilled opponent at an actual arcade machine.
Fast forward the better part of two decades later and I was very into Street Fighter IV. What I thought was great about Street Fighter IV was that I could play it just like I played Street Fighter II back in the day. Of course, this will only get you so far and if you play Street Fighter IV as if you are playing Street Fighter II against a skilled Street Fighter IV player who knows what they are doing you are going to get your ass well and truly handed to you.
Case in point, a retro video game convention a few years back had a Super Street Fighter IV tournament and I fancied myself in this tournament. I got through the first two rounds playing as Ken in my usual Street Fighter II style. However, I then came against someone playing as Guile who was not a Street Fighter II player like I was. They were an out and out Street Fighter IV player and I had no answer to their strategy!
Still, I had a lot of fun and while I dabble a little in Street Fighter V. Most of the enjoy meant I get is watching skilled players fight against each other. If you have not had the chance to yet check out Benjamin “Problem-X” Simon taking the Street Fighter V crown at Evo 2018, I highly suggest you do as it is a lot of fun.