You may be wondering why I’m posting way earlier than normal. Well, there are a couple of reasons for that. One, I’ll be busy for most of the week so I don’t know if I’ll be able to post on my regular day. Two, EVO is happening right now! While I do suck at most fighting games like Tekken, Guilty Gear and DragonBall FighterZ (but somewhat decent in Street Fighter V), I do enjoy watching the pros show me and viewers from all over the world how it’s actually done! So, this week, I decided to write a post regarding who I am predicting to take it all during the fighting game tournament equivalent of the Super Bowl and Wrestlemania combined into one.
But, since this will be a prediction list, it didn’t make sense to schedule the post to be released after EVO has ran its course. It’s only fair to put up my predictions before the finals happen. Even with that, I am cheating quite a bit as I’ll only be predicting the winners of Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ and Street Fighter V as those tournaments haven’t ran their course yet. Also, I’ll only be predicting from the guys who made it to Top 8 for their respective games; I didn’t want to make a prediction out of the thousands of entrants after all!
So, let’s get on with the predictions!
Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2
I will be honest and I don’t really have that much knowledge about the Guilty Gear tournament scene because I don’t understand Guilty Gear games all that much! They just seem so complicated. They’re fun to watch but half the time I really don’t get all the terminology and the action that’s happening on the screen! In spite of this, I have played the game and I’ve seen some tournaments streamed and, while I don’t fully get the game, I do know that I’m really scared of Faust, the lanky doctor with a paper bag on his head. In this year’s Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 Top 8 at EVO, there appears to be only one Faust left. The man who’s controlling him is Nage. And it just so happens Nage is really good at using Faust! I mean, he did win the inaugural EVO Japan tournament!
Although Nage will be coming from the Loser’s bracket, it would be dumb to count him out. In fact, if you look at his EVO run during the Guilty Gear Top 32 matches, his Faust tore through the competition with surgical precision, beating everyone he came across 2-0. Still, he may seem like a long shot as he’ll have to face more people just to make it to Guilty Gear’s EVO finals but I think he’ll be able to eke it out.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
Next to Guilty Gear, the fighting game that I’m least into is Super Smash Bros. Melee. Most of the reason why is because I’ve never played on Nintendo’s platforming/fighting game and the rest is because… it’s just so different from other fighting games out there. I get the rules and all, punching and kicking your opponent until they fly across the screen. But I’m more of a life bar kind of gal.
Even so, I do have some understanding why there is a hardcore Smash Bros. audience out there. I mean, it looks simple enough to get into but it’s probably incredibly difficult to master… just like other fighting games. I do watch the tournaments and I have a good idea who are the top players as they usually revolve around the so-called “Five Gods” of Smash Bros., which include Hungrybox, Armada, Mango, Mew2King and PPDM/Dr. Peepee and the scene’s “villain, Leffen. Three of the six people I mentioned are in the Top 8, making it only logical to pick one of the three remaining. If I had to pick (which I do since this is a predictions list), I’ll go with Hungrybox since I actually like the guy.
If I were being honest with myself, I do think Armada is the better skilled Smash Bros. player over Hungrybox but, well, I think Armada takes himself too seriously. It’s just not fun to watch him play! Hungrybox wears his heart on his sleeve so when he wins or loses, you can see it on his face. It just makes for a better viewing experience. This is why I’m hoping and predicting he’ll win his second EVO this year.
Now we’re getting to the games that I’m more familiar with and, sadly, the guy that I usually root for, Jeodding didn’t make it to EVO’s Tekken Top 8 this year. Even Saint got booted out of this year’s Top 8 as well! Who’s left then to conquer this year’s Tekken tournament then? The favorite definitely has to be JDCR as he’s the fourt best Tekken player in the world according to the current Tekken World Standings. But I’m going on a limb here and say that LowHigh will actually take it this year. Granted, his run hasn’t been flawless the past few days, even having a few close calls so far.
The reason why he has some close shaves during this year’s EVO is because he has been willing to experiment with some other characters that aren’t used all that much. Although I’m sure the likes of JDCR and Qudans have had some practice against most of the roster, they may be taken aback by the character unfamiliarity somewhat. This is what LowHigh can use to give him the slight edge to sneak in the EVO championship this year.
Dragon Ball FighterZ
When’s Mahvel? Not anytime soon apparently! It’s sad that this is the first EVO that I’ve watched that doesn’t have a Marvel vs. Capcom tournament. Thankfully, we found a worthy replacement with Dragon Ball FighterZ. This newbie game has become a great staple in the fighting game tournament scene and it’s easy to see why. While Street Fighter will always remain the king of EVO, there’s a chance that Dragon Ball FighterZ will be the rambunctious prince from now on.
The biggest problem that the game is facing, however, is how the scene is dominated by only a few faces. With HookGangGod out of the running, the favorites are definitely either SonicFox and Go1. The two have been going back and forth between each other on who’s the best in the game. While SonicFox is the current king, I’m putting my money on Go1 this year.
Honestly, it’s a tossup between the two of them in my opinion. SonicFox has the upper hand actually, using Fused Zamasu, someone relatively new so most people are unfamiliar with his setups. But Go1 has two factors going for him: super solid defense and his team of basic characters. His strong blocking skills can easily frustrate his opponents and force them to try to get more creative, causing errors.
This leads to his rather basic character selection of Bardock, Cell and Vegeta. While having a very standard team may be a hindrance, this team’s lack of gimmicks actually makes them strong as Go1 can just pour on the pressure until his opponent cracks. In the end, this is what Go1 will need to win the very first Dragon Ball FighterZ tournament at this year’s EVO.
Street Fighter V
Ah, Street Fighter V. As much as I have a love/hate relationship with the game, I just can’t quit you! This year’s Street Fighter V Top 8 is missing some favorites of mine, such as Infiltration, Daigo Umehara, Bonchan, Dogura, Punk and Xian. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any heavy hitters in the finals. Right now, I’m torn between three competitors now: Tokido, Problem X and Fujimura. All of them are killers and I would love to see any of them win it all. But deep down in my heart, I really want Tokido to win and become a back-to-back Street Fighter V EVO champion.
Tokido has been one of the strongest veterans of the fighting game tournament scene for years and he’s still going strong. He’s proven he’s still got what it takes even after all these years and he’s still developing new tech and finding ways to get into his opponent’s head. His Akuma is one of the most frightening versions of the character I’ve ever seen, making this top tier fighter seem like the toppest of tiers. He’s going to have to go through a few tough opponents to get to the top of the mountain. But if anyone can do it, it’s Tokido.
Who do you think will will this year’s EVO? Let me know in the comments section below!