The combos in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 can be so long that a player who got hit by one at the Undefeated of the Southwest tournament this past weekend did some multi-tasking and took out his phone.
It happened in a match between Louis "Readman" Millan and Abraham "Neo" Sotelo. Ahead by a score of 2-1, Readman caught Neo at the beginning of their fourth game, transitioning from an opening Magneto salvo to a lengthy Dante infinite combo. Neo got bored and picked up his smart phone to see if he had any unread messages.
He lost a character but won the game. Unfortunately, he then lost the set. His shot at redemption came later in the pool after Readman was sent to the losers bracket by eventual Undefeated champion Ryan "RyanLV" Romero, but again Neo fell short, ending his weekend tied for 17th. Readman made the finals bracket but bowed out early at 13th place.
Capcom's high-flying Vs. series has been known for time-consuming combos since its inception with X-Men vs. Street Fighter in 1996. The free-form battle systems incorporated by these games often allow for a good deal of self-expression and experimentation, and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3's indefinite attack strings are simply the latest in a long line of such tactics.
Established in 2014, the Arizona-based Undefeated event series has become a bastion of Marvel play. That's thanks to the work of organiser and competitor Armando "Angelic" Mejia, and this year's instalment continued the tradition of providing absolutely crazy moments in a game already known for its excitement.
Angelic managed to place second in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 while also acting as tournament head, defeating Evo 2016 champion Christopher "NYChrisG" Gonzalez en route to grand finals.
The event was full of great moments.
Shortly before the combo feat mentioned above, Readman used Frank West's wartime photography skills to counter one of Dormammu's strongest attacks.
And fighting game legend Justin Wong made a miraculous comeback while representing Northern California in the team tournament.
As Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 battles for a spot at Evo 2017, Undefeated was a shining example of why it deserves to be included at the world's largest fighting game tournament. But in many ways, it was also a testament to the expanding scope of the community in general, showing that competition flourishes when organisers and players come together in pursuit of celebrating their favourite titles.