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Porn for fighting game fans: Watch the essential matches from EVO 2013

Porn for fighting game fans: Watch the essential matches from EVO 2013

EVO 2013 was a mammoth event with hundreds, if not thousands, of matches that ran for twelve hours a day for the entire weekend. Following that huge amount of content is impossible, but thankfully you only need to catch a handful of matches to understand the greatness of the event.

Here we've collected four of the absolute best games that EVO had to offer that encapsulate the drama, excitement, game mastery, and crowd energy that has come to typify the EVO experience.

There are plenty of amazing games that will not be listed here, so if you've got a favorite that isn't mentioned be sure to link it in the comments.

PR_Balrog vs Infiltration (Super Street Fighter 4)

Coming into this event, Infiltration was considered the heavy favorite to win the title again, but the audience was shocked to see him get knocked into the losers bracket fairly early in the tournament by a top-notch American player, PR_Balrog.

Fatefully, they met again in the semi-finals to settle the score. What followed was one of the absolute best matches of the tournament. It was already great for the first few sets, but became a classic when Infiltration opted to swap out his famous Akuma for a new character that nobody saw coming.



Reynald vs Mad KOF (King of Fighters XIII)

King of Fighters XIII is developing an incredible EVO history. The game has been at EVO twice and both times it threatened to steal the show with some of the best action of the weekend. Something about this game makes it fantastic as a spectator game. It's like a mixture of the chess-like strategy of Street Fighter and the frantic speed and long, technical combos of Marvel vs Capcom 3.

In this series, the crowd had rallied behind the Southern California player Reynald as he faced off against the 2012 King of Fighters champion, Mad KOF. To make things even better, this was a rematch from EVO 2012. From the start of this match, Reynald owned the crowd and gave them a hero to cheer for. His smarmy attitude was endlessly endearing as he slowly nodded smug approval at himself from behind black aviator glasses after every won round. But Mad KOF was the reigning champion and wouldn't be run over so easily.

King of Fighters hasn't been among the most popular fighting games in a decade, but the fighting world stops to watch KoF when it comes to EVO and matches like this are the reason why.



Phish-it vs Swift (Super Smash Bros. Melee)

This match occurred very early on in the weekend when Super Smash Bros Melee was still in the “pools” stage of the tournament and hadn't even reached the quarter-finals, but it stood out to me as one of the most fun matches of the whole tournament. The players aren't well-known, and there wasn't much riding on the match yet, but the play was amazing.

For starters, one of the players was using Donkey Kong, which isn't a character that's seen very often amid a sea of Fox/Falco/Peach/Marth. So it was great to see a new style of play.

Beyond that, I don't think there was a single other match of the tournament that was so close and hotly contested as this one. This set was tense right up until the very last moment and exemplified the very best of what Melee brought to EVO.

Unfortunately, this is such an obscure match that I wasn't able to find an embeddable video, but you can watch the match here.

Justin Wong vs Flocker (Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3)

Justin Wong stole the show at EVO this year. His string of wins in the losers bracket of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 were positively inspirational as he plowed through some of the best players in the world, including the most dominant player in the scene, Chris G.

This is the finals set that captured the internet's attention. It had everything you could ever want from a fighting game series: a tense match, a well-known competitor rising from the ashes of near defeat, and an enormous raging crowd cheering for their favorite player.

EVO kept going after the Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 tournament had ended, but it reached its climax as we watched how Wong's thrilling trip through the loser's bracket ended.

First set:

Second set: 

What about you? What were your favorite games from the weekend?