The latest iteration of the annual Evolution Championship Series (EVO 2017) has finally crowned a new Street Fighter V champion and it was a glorious sight.
Victor “Punk” Woodley, dubbed as the alpha, blasted through his opponents to reach the grand finals without dropping a single game in the entire tournament. Having won two major premier titles this year and coming off an undefeated streak, it was unsurprising to see everyone place their faith in the young professional player.
Earlier in the tournament, Punk sent Taniguchi “Tokido” Hajime into the loser’s bracket. However, unknown to him and fans, the Japanese veteran was on a path of destruction. Tokido endured one of the toughest runs to earn his way back into the finals. In doing so, he managed to get a rematch against the very person who sent him packing before.
The grand finals were an intense trading of blows between Punk’s Karin and Tokido’s Akuma. The raging demon, however, managed to get the upper hand and reset the bracket with a score tally of 3-1. In the second set, Tokido looked more comfortable and rode the momentum to a 3-0 win.
This was the third EVO victory for Tokido, who has come close to winning the championship title multiple times in the past. Despite looking good last year, he failed to finished in the top ten standings. Prior to that, Tokido lost the grand finals in 2013. This year, however, he could not be denied.
“You guys know from my face, I’m so happy now,” said the champion.
With his latest victory, Tokido has moved up in the Capcom Pro Tour ladder as its leader. Punk follows behind from second place.
Many tend to forget the fact that Tokido participates in multiple games every year and manages impressive standings in all of them. Following EVO 2017, Tokido has now finished in the top eight standings of over fifteen different games twenty-five times in his career of fifteen years.
Besides the competitive aspect, Capcom took the opportunity of the event to announce the next character that will be joining the Street Fighter V roster in the ongoing second season. Abigail will be the fourth downloadable character for the game. For those unaware, the hulking brute debuted as a boss in the first installment of Final Fight more than two decades ago.