EVO 2016 is a wrap, and as expected, South Korea’s RZR|Infiltration took home the SFV gold. It was great weekend, but with over 5,605 players competing in matches it’s impossible to watch ’em all. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite matches from pools and the top 32 for you to check out. We left out matches from top 8/Grand Finals since we figure you’ll be watching those regardless – and you can watch them below. Enjoy!
RZR|Xian (F.A.N.G) vs. AW|NEMO (Vega)
Xian is one of the only pro players using F.A.N.G., and his uber-aggressive playstyle is amazing to watch. From the ambiguous cross ups to the space he controls with his poison projectiles and ground traps, there’s almost too much going on at once to figure out. Almost as fun is seeing how fast NEMO adapts to Xian’s play.
RZR|Infiltration (Nash) vs. ROM (Vega)
Infiltration is the #1 ranked SFV player and the odds-on favorite to win EVO, while ROM is a 10+ year FGC veteran, though not considered one of the world greats. Superb blocking, great space control, and some smart shimmies from ROM allow him to get the first game off Infiltration. Unfortunately, Infiltration changes the pace up for the second game and you can see ROM struggling to adapt. The corner pressure and shimmies from the first game start vanishing, and he starts using unsafe moves. It’s a great example of a player realizing when their opponent is feeling themselves, and how important it is to change up your playstyle and force them to adapt.
Gamerbee vs. ESR|Wugo Oil King
As the commentators mention, Rashid is the only SFV character to not place top 8 in an SFV pro tournament ever. This match is fun as it illustrates Rashid’s ability to be both a super random El Fuerte mixup type character, and a solid character with defensive fundamentals. It’s also a nice illustration of how a less mobile character like Necalli can deal with a faster character with only a few well executed punishes.
DNG|Itabashi Zangief vs. EVB|Chris Tatarian
Traditionally, playing against a good Zangief is like playing a different game. You play keep away so as to not get piledriven on your head as you chip away at Zangief’s health. SFV is different though, and you can get away with putting some pressure on the big guy. After an absurdly aggressive first round from Chris Tartarian, watch Itabashi Zangief, a legendary Japanese player, adapt to the aggression and show everyone why he’s got Zangief in his name.
BST|Daigo (Ryu) vs. Tokido (Ryu)
Ryu is generally the North Star of any game he’s in, representing the game’s mechanics in their purest, most well rounded form. Diago is the king of Ryu, and Tokido’s the king of Akuma. Since Akuma’s not in SFV (yet?), we get this gem of a Ryu mirror match. These are two of the best players in the world having just an incredible match. Watch the absurd movement as they dance juuuust out of reach of one another, trading fireballs, parries, and insane dash-up attacks.