This past weekend, we opened the doors to the Gizmodo Media Group offices and welcomed any and all challengers to try their hand at beating a Street Fighter V champion. From young newcomers to surprise upstarts, and even other pros lurking in the waters, here are some of our favourite moments from an incredible night.
In the first block of the night, Bryant "Smug" Huggins held it down as his main, the boxer Balrog. Sanford Kelly stepped up to try and take him down, but when a jump-in doesn't go his way, the match ends with a little bit of salt.
When Justin Wong took the stage, competition had started to heat up. While there were a few notable entrants waiting for their chance, an Ibuki player going by the pseudonym "Option" with some real skill.
Justin Wong would not only face surprises, but the next generation of Street Fighter talent, as one child by the name of Dante approached the stage to play. With a flurry of lightning kicks from his Chun-Li, Dante was a perfect example of the young generation learning the ropes, and executes some combos better than most average players could at twice his age.
In Du "NuckleDu" Dang's block, the Capcom Cup champion faced a very real competitor — fellow pro and NYC local Kevin "Di3mini0n" Landon. Both picked Guile and played out a best-of-three mirror match, where Landon emerged the only victor of the night.
Finally, Huggins came back on-stage for a showmatch against Dang to close out the night. The two had already demonstrated they were some of the top Street Fighter talent around, and have had a bit of a rivalry with each other.
Two young Street Fighter 5 competitors got into a pretty good three-match rivalry across two events over the last couple of weeks, showing flashes of personal and regional pride.
The ensuing bout between the two reinforced the gulf between an average Joe and a Street Fighter pro.