Daigo Umehara Is First SF4 World Champion

Daigo Umehara Is First SF4 World Champion

In the grand finals of the Gamestop Street Fighter IV tournament, Japanese master Daigo Umehara triumphed over long-time American rival Justin Wong to be crowned as the first SF4 international champion.

Thousands of Street Fighter fans flooded the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion in San Francisco to watch the globe's finest World Warriors take to the stage for the final rounds of the huge Gamestop Street Fighter IV Tournament. East Coast juggernaut Justin Wong (Rufus) - perhaps best known, once upon a time, for his absolute dominance in the Marvel vs. Capcom 2 competitive scene - fought his way past "legendary adversaries like Mike Ross (E.Honda), Antawn Ortiz (Balrog) and Jason "A-Dhalsim" Cole (Balrog)" on his way to claim the US National Title.

But the man couldn't rest on his hard-won laurels - it was time to go international, yo. Wong joined Korean champion Poongko (Ryu) and the Japanese pros Iyo (Dhalsim) and Daigo Umehara (Ryu) for a four-way round robin that would decide the victor.

When the dust settled, only two men were left standing: Wong and the formidable Umehara. The two had a history together - Daigo's famous Ken vs. Chun-Li comeback in the semifinals of the EVO '04 Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike tournament is one of the most legendary moments in all of competitive fighting game history - and Wong seemed hungry for a rematch. Hungry for redemption.

Unfortunately, he wouldn't quite get it. Though Wong's chubby brawler Rufus put up a valiant fight, Daigo isn't called "The Beast" for nothing. The Japanese fighter put his American opponent down 4-0 to claim the international title, leaving Justin Wong to nurse a bruised ego. Capcom's own SF4 community rep Seth Killian tried to offer commentary on the match (as he had the others) but reportedly found himself unable to keep up with the actions onscreen.

Congrats, Daigo. May your reign be a short one - it's a lot more interesting that way. Meanwhile, it's not all bad news for Justin Wong - he might have lost the international title, but he took home a rather large trophy for winning the US title ... as well as a full-sized SF4 arcade cabinet. One wonders how he's going to get that thing back to New York.

You can find some more in-depth commentary, as well as some awesome pictures, over at Kineda.

(Via VG247)

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I could've told Wong exactly how far using Rufus will get you.

I refuse to acknowledge this as an achievement, for Street Fighter is a game where you win by frantically pressing buttons randomly and hoping for the best.

Well that's how I play.

Ah come on he just blocked him in the corner!

And the winner for cheapest moves goes to...

Ollie596:
Ah come on he just blocked him in the corner!

in tournaments there is no such thing as fair play. i think one professional gamer wrote a book saying that if you want to win use every cheeseball tactic you can

Does anybody else find it strange that even the American champion gamer is Asian?

Daigo already was world's best. now he just rubbed it in everyone's face.

Also, i gotta get me that huge screen.

Danzorz:
And the winner for cheapest moves goes to...

Nah, Justin also did some pretty stupid crap that got him killed. Like jumping straight into Daigo's focus attack in the last round for instance. He also could've focus absorbed some of the fireball spam more instead of just blocking them.

I didn't actually know Justin played Rufus, thought he would be playing Sakura.

Woe Is You:

Danzorz:
And the winner for cheapest moves goes to...

Nah, Justin also did some pretty stupid crap that got him killed. Like jumping straight into Daigo's focus attack in the last round for instance. He also could've focus absorbed some of the fireball spam more.

I didn't actually know Justin played Rufus, thought he would be playing Sakura.

He does play Sakura. From what I understand, though, said tournament only had the arcade characters available. Which means no Cammy/Fei Long/Gouken/Sakura/Rose/Dan/Gen.

CantFaketheFunk:

He does play Sakura. From what I understand, though, said tournament only had the arcade characters available. Which means no Cammy/Fei Long/Gouken/Sakura/Rose/Dan/Gen.

Ah, that explains it then.

I'm glad to see that its wasn't a tournament of everyone playing as Ryu.

I've seen something similar once...a while back. Are there hard feelings between any of them, or are they all cool with each other?

Hey! Let's spam ranged attacks! W00t I'm now world champion!

wordsmith:
Hey! Let's spam ranged attacks! W00t I'm now world champion!

*facepalm*

Also, this wasn't really a real real competition, it was more like a glorified exhibition. Daigo technically isn't the Japanese national champion (he's not even ranked #1 in arcade rankings right now, but that's another story), he was just invited to the event because, well, he's DAIGO.

At the event, though, Daigo beat both Poongko and Iyo, as did JWong. So having him and JWong go at it was sorta like the world championship but not really. Anyway, Iyo/Daigo was probably the best match of the night. I had a feeling JWong would get rolled.

Also: you had to be there.

CantFaketheFunk:
He does play Sakura. From what I understand, though, said tournament only had the arcade characters available. Which means no Cammy/Fei Long/Gouken/Sakura/Rose/Dan/Gen.

Some arcades do have Sakura. Maybe just the newer machines though?
Wong was just outclassed that time. If you ask me he had a beasting coming after his less than gracious win against Ross.

Well atleast they aren't wasting their lives and inducing various hand and wrist related injuries. Oh wait.

Oh my god this news makes me so happy. Daigo is my hero. His legendary SF3 Evo '04 comeback has made me love him eternally. Also love the way he won by beating Justin.

Skizle:

Ollie596:
Ah come on he just blocked him in the corner!

in tournaments there is no such thing as fair play. i think one professional gamer wrote a book saying that if you want to win use every cheeseball tactic you can

Cheeseball... Never heard that one before, but it is hilarious.

I'm gonna have to agree with that though. To win tourneys, anything not forbidden is allowed.

I didn't see Daigo do anything "cheap." Congrats to him, Justin Wong always kind of seemed like a douche.

Also, it was David Sirlin who wrote the book "Playing to Win" where he condones the use of whatever tactics are necessary to win.

That fat character did a whole lot of damage with that air-attack, crazy

Well that just sucked.

 

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