During the holidays, a hashtag titled #310さんおめでとうコンボ started proliferating among fighting game fans. The tweet identifier, which roughly translates to "310 congratulations combo," celebrates the wedding of Hikaru "310" Sato, a Japanese competitor known for his play in Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-. The challenge: perform a combo dealing exactly 310 damage on Sato's preferred character, the pool ball-slinging Venom. The hashtag has become a phenomenon that now spans multiple games.
Ain, a fellow Japanese player, got things started the night of December 22 with a hard-hitting Leo Whitefang combo incorporating both an Overdrive and the more powerful Burst Overdrive.
— あいん (@ainman0107) December 22, 2016
Sato and Ain's countrymen quickly joined the fun, dropping similarly quick videos for characters like Ramlethal, Elphelt, and May.
— ガムの人 (@1_daiji) December 23, 2016
— ヨーヨーカービィ (@ruubri) December 23, 2016
Thanks to the wonders of social media, the hashtag eventually spread outside of Japan to the United States, where players of various stripes began to celebrate Sato's marriage.
— Bears (@AMurderOfBears) December 23, 2016
— Ryan Hunter (@OSRyanHunter) December 23, 2016
— Shinobi! (@Cluckw0rk) December 24, 2016
A high percentage of the combos shared were performed in Guilty Gear Xrd, but fans of other games didn't let that stop them from congratulating Sato. Giby Zia, a longtime SNK player and fantastic beard-haver, showed just how few hits King of Fighters XIV newcomer Gang-il needs to reach the magic number. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was represented by professional provocateur Carter "Honzo Gonzo" Grey, who mashed out 310,000 damage using just Storm's super. And the tool-assisted Practical TAS brought Super Smash Bros. Melee into the mix with a highly technical Ice Climbers combo.
— Giby 'Dr KOF' Zia (@ManChest) December 24, 2016
— Echo| Honzthrax (@honzogonzo) December 24, 2016
— Practical TAS (@PracticalTAS) December 24, 2016
With debates over what games should be featured at this year's Evolution Championship Series heating up within the fighting game community, it's nice to be reminded that everyone in the scene is connected by their love for the genre. Most of the players wishing Sato well don't know him on a personal level, but a unique kind of relationship exists between each and every fighting game player, from the casual fan to the hardcore competitor. Sometimes, all it takes to bring them together is a simple, heartwarming hashtag.
Ian Walker is a fighting game expert and freelance writer. You can find him on Twitter at@iantothemax