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- This match video. At the time of that match, Rachel Alucard was rated as among the top-tier characters. Whether defense, offense, zoning, or rushdown strategies, she could do it all with flair. Tager, by contrast, was considered one of the bottom-tier characters, with difficult ways to approach almost anyone and few if any ways to reverse the flow of battle by countering the opponent's pressure. About the only character he could fight on even footing was Hakumen, who Tager had demolished in the first round of the tournament. This time, however, he'd be up against a real fight thanks to Rachel...and for most of the first round, that's the case. Pinned, stuck in long combos, little to no way to pull out a victory... and then you realize that Tager's player is Mike Z. Cue REAL SOVIET DAMAGE. And this one provides with perhaps the greatest smackdown Mike Z has ever delivered.
- At EVO 2011, Spark shows off just how much of a Stone Wall Hakumen can be, Made awesome and hilarious by how much of a fan favorite Spark was, to the point that almost every combo and between-match break had a crowd cheering him on. Morever, he started Top 8 from losers and ended up taking the entire tournament.
Crowd: Ay! Ay! Ay! Ay! Ay! Ay! Ay! Ay!
Crowd: Spark! Spark! Spark! Spark! Spark!
- At EVO 2014, it was the Grand Finals, Dogura (Winners) vs. Galileo (Losers), Azrael vs Litchi. Half an hour before the grand finals match, Galileo is completely dominated by Dogura's vicious Azrael in winner's finals; he loses 3 matches in a row. Even though Galileo starts out with the momentum, Dogura out-clutches him every time, culminating in Galileo wasting his Overdrive in an attempt to get back into the game (only to get punished by Dogura and lose the set). In order to win EVO, Galileo must now win three first-to-three sets in a row — two of them against the man who just annihilated him.
Fresh off that psychological devastation (and he looks completely devastated after getting stomped by Dogura), Galileo immediately goes into loser's finals against crowd favorite DoraBang, a Bang Shishigami player who blitzed his way through the loser's bracket. Even though Galileo put DoraBang into loser's, the cracks show as the two fight a close set down to the last match. Down a sliver of health and after having wasted his Overdrive again, Galileo somehow comes back and manages to take Dora down. Galileo comes face-to-face with Dogura again, but in a far more dire situation: he must defeat Dogura in two consecutive sets, and if he loses either set, Dogura takes the tourney.
The first set goes back and forth: Galileo comes up with two matches, but Dogura also wins two matches (and with disturbing ease). With the set tied up, Dogura takes a convincing first round and puts himself at tournament point. In the second (and potentially final) round, Galileo finds himself once again with a sliver of health and no barrier while Dogura sits on a comfortable HP advantage. Galileo whiffs his Overdrive again; from everybody's perspective, it looks like the tournament is over. But Galileo somehow takes it back and manages to finish off Dogura from the absolute worst position possible. Then he takes the third round and resets the bracket. The impossible comeback looks a little less impossible, but Galileo still needs to win the final set to pull it off.
An unfazed Dogura starts the final set by destroying Galileo in two straight matches; Galileo must now win every match from this point on or the tournament is over. Galileo rallies again and takes the next two matches, winning rounds by the skin of his teeth. Dogura looks psychologically shattered after Galileo's latest comeback, which takes the set to its final match. Galileo wins the first round in convincing fashion, which puts him on tournament point for the first time in a grueling twenty-five rounds; Dogura, a Worthy Opponent to the end, fights back to take the second round. With the world watching, Galileo takes the match to its absolute final round — and under some of the most extreme pressure that any fighting game player could ever face, Galileo won the tournament in its absolute final round.
With the largest pot money at EVO ($30,000), a lot was on the line for Galileo. What he pulled off was one of the greatest EVO Grand Final sets of of all time; Justin Wong called it the greatest comeback of all time. This phrase, uttered by one of the commentators at the time, effectively sums it Galileo's insane comeback: "This man is not human right now! This man is a legend! This is the birth of a GOD!"
- Also at EVO 2014: sG having to fight five straight Kokonoe players (Kokonoe being regarded as the best character in the game by many) on his way to being the only American in top 8. The last three players being Lord Knight (one of the best players in America), Tsujikawa (a Super Battle Opera champ and a favorite to win the tournament), and Banana Ken (another one of the best players in America).
Capcom vs. SNK 2
- Justin Wong vs. Combofiend at EVO 2005. Combofiend's Rolento, with his absolutely sicknasty pressure and mix-up game, was out-and-out the star of the show, but Justin put on a good act as well, including baiting Combofiend with his Senpu Retsu Zan feint (giving Haohmaru a go-ahead for some rather impressive Custom Combo goodness) and some nice Vega pressure of his own. To put the icing on the cake, the teams (A-Haohmaru/Mai/Vega vs. A-Rock/Rolento/Eagle) feature characters (Haohmaru, Mai, Eagle) that you almost never see at high/tourney-level play.
- At EVO 2003, Amir had the misfortune of facing Daigo's C-Guile. Daigo scores an OCV, only having to resort to busting out a super once.
- Dr. B gives Daigo's C-Groove team a run for his money at EVO 2003, narrowly losing to him... in S-Groove, no less (to clarify, S-Groove is widely seen as the weakest and least-viable Groove of the regular six, tournament-wise).
- Eric Lee, his team of K-Rock/Cammy/Kim (usually anchored by a positively electric Kim), and his almost-psychic knack for pulling off Just Defends deserve a mention here, not only for his frantic match (and close win) against John Choi at NCR2K, but for giving Combofiend's K-Groove team at hard time, even in a match he ultimately lost.
- And speaking of Choi, we have his second match against Buktooth from the Losers Bracket of EVO West 2007. Buktooth's Hibiki puts in a very valiant effort at the end, but Choi manages to pull through.
- Similar to Amir vs. Daigo above, Justin Wong's A-Rolento went to town on Gief in the 2008 V.G.A. Tournament.
- Daidouraku's Ranbat tourney matches against RCK and Dari (here's Part 2) are noteworthy. RCK's Sakura and Bison sneak in a few deadly Custom Combos, only to be answered by Daidouraku's entire team (with Akuma and Rolento delivering some illusive cross-ups and respectable pressure while Chun-Li scored supers off of good hit confirms), while Dari's Geese is just formidable in general.
- One from the very old-school: the "Motobox". Team 3D facing off against SK. An unorthodox tactic culminates in Moto getting boosted onto one of the crates littering a bombsite on the map Inferno. Whether deliberately or otherwise, Moto - armed with nothing but a silenced pistol - continues to walk until he falls down the back of the crate, landing himself in a concealed spot but completely unable to move. Only able to look out and see two areas - one of which just so happening to be a common location to plant the bomb - Moto elects to try and make the best of the situation. In a predicament that should have had him mopped up (as the last 3D member standing) in short order, he manages to take out four members of one of the best teams in the world at the time and get a humble shipping crate catapulted into legend in the process.
- ESEA LAN 13. Dynamic Swag VS VeryGames. Things are getting desperate when Braxton "Swag" Pierce had to defend the planted bomb against KennyS of VeryGames alone. What does he do when he heard footsteps getting close? He throws his pistol away as a fake flashbang. KennyS falls for it, giving Swag an opening to step in and take the kill.
- TeamX vs NiP. There's a reason this comeback is the sheer definition of epic, and why NiP is considered the BEST FUCKING TEAM OF ALL TIME IN ALL CS. NOT ONLY CS:GO. ALL CS.
- NiP are a team who have done, beyond their tournament successes, what very few - if any at all - Counterstrike pro teams have done. Played against themselves. Specifically, through showmatches at the likes of Dreamhack, fans and viewers are finally able to see what would happen if the modern (2013) line-up - consisting of Xist, Friberg, Ge T_RiGhT, Fifflaren and f0rest - took on the old-school 2005 line-up (Heaton, Ahl, Fisker, Zet and Potti). It's about as awesome as you think it is. And they've not settled for doing this once.
- Here sNax from Virtus.pro demonstrated that in Counter Strike, patience, planning and really, really clear mind are just as important as shooting skill.
- Performing an ace (5 kills in one round) in a professional game? Always an awesome moment. Doing it while being outnumbered? Even more awesome. Acing enemy team in a 1v5 situation and in a match-deciding round? Sounds almost too great to be true, but in Dreamhack ZOWIE Open 2016 semifinals, Neo from Virtus.pro managed to pull it off.
- Na'vi picking Pudge in the finals of the very first International tournament. Consider, for a second, that Pudge is a hero that, until that very moment, has been considered a pubstomp pick that is completely unviable in tournaments; and there's US$1,000,000 at stake. Na'vi did it anyway. Now listen to the crowd roar.
- Alliance picking Ogre Magi in the grand finals of the International 3. Ogre Magi is a hero very reliable on luck, and is considered an unviable support because he is melee instead of ranged. Not that it stopped Alliance, and the crowd shows their approval of it, just like when Na'Vi picked Pudge.
- In the International 2, Na'Vi faced IG in the winner's bracket semifinals. Na'Vi drafts Enchantress, Juggernaut, Rubicknote , Enigmanote , and Shadow Shaman against IG's draft of Tidehunternote , Naga Sirennote , Puck, Dark Seernote , and Lina. In what has come to be known simply as "The Play," IG use a Smoke of Deceit to ambush Na'Vi from behind as they try to push down a tower. Naga Siren gets great positioning and manages to put all of Na'Vi to sleep. Cue a massive Oh, Crap! from the crowd and the commentators. Dark Seer Vacuums four of Na'Vi into tight formation to set up Tidehunter's Ravage. The sleep ends. Two lightning-quick reactions (or, alternatively, Button Mashing) save Na'Vi's life and turn the fight around. Dendi's Rubick uses his Force Staff to get out of the Ravage's range; and LightOfHeaven's Enigma uses his Black King Bar to become magic immune (and therefore unaffected by the Ravage), and then uses his Black Hole to capture and disable three of IG. Dendi steals Ravage.note The Black Hole finishes, Dendi returns the Ravage into almost all of IG, and the rest is mop-up for Na'Vi - they turn what is probably at best a 5 for 1 trade in IG's favor into a 5 for 0 trade in Na'Vi's favor, and can continue on pushing down the tower and the barracks. They get a standing ovation and a locomotive chant from the crowd and ride that wave to the end of the game.
- Dreamhack Winter 2012, Grand Finals – the brand-new team of No Tidehunter (NTH) versus Evil Geniuses. EG wins the first game, but due to some scheduling oddities, there's a two hour delay between the first game and the second two of the best-of-three. One of No Tidehunter's players, s4, along with the captain, EternalEnvy, uses the time to come up with a spectacular trick. At the beginning of the second game, one player from NTH immediately runs down to Roshan and attempts to kill him, which results in his predictable death. Meanwhile, the rest of NTH is waiting, hidden, near the Roshan pit. When EG go to check on Roshan to make sure NTH isn't doing a level 1 Roshan kill, NTH comes up behind them and manages to kill two of EG before the rest can retreat. Everyone watching the play was completely amazed - nobody had ever seen it done before, and this from a very new team.
TobiWan: No one has ever done that! No one has ever done that in the history of Dota!
- The International 2013 has LGD.Gaming facing Team Liquid in a Best-of-One "Loser goes home" fight for at least 8th place (Where you begin earning money). Team Liquid are barely one year old as a team in Dota 2 (albeit with some vets of the scene) facing the team that came out 3rd in last year's International who are only in the loser's bracket because the Alliance were steam-rolling the Winner's Bracket. Team Liquid were definitive underdogs, especially with their inconsistent performance in the preliminaries. They started off with their aggressive tri-lane completely bombing with Gyro having no farm and Crystal Maiden being little more than free food for the carry with how underleveled she was. Fast forward forty minutes and Liquid found the farm, got the pick offs, Bulba found oh-so-many Hookshots and Liquid built up the deeps. It all culminated with a clusterfuck of a Rosh fight including Magnus pulling out a surprise Double RP on Liquid and stealing away Liquid's Rosh. This chaotic fight ended with Crystal Maiden saving the day with a Triple Kill (as well as popping Magnus's aegis) and Liquid scoring a team wipe on LGD. The following three minutes consisted of Team Liquid going all in on a base push to end the game before LGD would inevitably recover, and the commentators and crowd went absolutely insane. It was a sea of continuous screaming, Luminous Inverse going hoarse from trying to call everything and intermittent "USA" chants. Team Liquid, the underdog of the hour, knocked out TI2's 3rd place finisher and made history as THE very first North American Dota 2 team to make it to an International's Top 8!
- In the International 3's winner's semifinals, Na'Vi faced TongFu, a team that had surprised many by placing strongly in the upper half of their group (and thereby making it into the upper bracket). In the first game of the best-of-three, Na'Vi, always ready to please the crowd, drafted Dendi's incredible Pudge, who promptly went to town on TongFu's lineup. The second game, however, saw TongFu crushing through Na'Vi. On the back foot, they drafted Pudge again, along with Puppey's trademark Chen. Despite having two of their best players playing two of their best heroes, the game started to go the way of TongFu, with their powerful Gyrocopter and unconventional Doom picks working well to shut down Na'Vi's lineup. In desperation, Puppey and Dendi conspired to adopt a strategy which, while powerful and effective (both at killing enemy heroes and pleasing crowds), was not often seen in professional play aside from games in which Na'Vi felt like joking around. This strategy was fountain hookingnote . Knowing that outside of this unorthodox technique, Na'Vi had next to no way of killing off enemy heroes, Dendi and Puppey combined to land fountain hook after fountain hook, consistently killing off TongFu's most important heroes, (including the Gyrocopter with a very newly acquired Aegis!). Eventually, the gold and experience swung enough for Na'Vi to gain control of the game, destroy all three barracks, and force out a GG. The crowd went nuts.
- TI3 Lower Bracket, Round 4, Orange vs DK, Game 3. Orange get out to a commanding lead and look to have it in the bag until a couple of teamfights go in DK's favor, and the team starts to turn it around. As DK attempt to go for Roshan, a chaotic teamfight breaks out, and ky.xy, an Orange player who was on Magnus that game, dies and buys back, rejoining his team. As DK go back to finish off Roshan, ky.xy blinks in, catches four of them with an RP, and Skewers them all back to the high ground, securing an eventual teamwipe that forced three buybacks from DK and secured Roshan for Orange. Not even two minutes later, ky.xy would one-up himself and, during another teamfight, land an RP on the entire DK team. This would result in a second teamwipe and lead to Orange knocking DK out of the tournament. The entire series between Orange and DK would legitimize Southeast Asia as a major region for Dota 2 and catapult their mid laner, Mushi, to superstardom.
- The International 3 went out with an enormous bang. After clawing their way past Orange in Loser's Finals, Na'Vi returned to the Grand Finals as they had done for both previous iterations of the International. They faced Alliance, the team that had stomped them into loser's bracket with a 2-0. After the first game in which Alliance obliterated Na'Vi, the determined squad began to fight back, winning the next two games. Alliance won the fourth, though, forcing the series to go the distance. In the final game, Na'Vi racked up a huge early lead, with XBOCT surviving and even managing to get kills in a lane where he often faced down 4 enemy heroes by himself. Na'Vi continued to build momentum through chaotic teamfights, while Alliance seemed to be struggling to keep up. Eventually, Na'Vi started beating down Alliance's middle barracks. Three of Alliance's team members were nowhere to be seen, as they were pushing both side lanes harder and harder towards Na'Vi's base. The captain, s4, despite playing his unbelievable Puck, was dead. Akke was playing the fragile Crystal Maiden and could do little to nothing to stop the push. As Na'Vi besieged the barracks, it became more and more clear that Alliance's push into their base was not going to stop. Frantically, Na'Vi finished the destruction of the barracks and prepared to teleport back to base. They never made it. S4 had bought back, blinked into the whole team, and dropped his Dream Coil to break three teleports and render Na'Vi's base unreachable except on foot. Na'Vi lost both side lane barracks and could no longer stand under the pressure of the Mega Creeps bearing down on their base. Alliance was crowned champion of 2013's International, riding on the back of the Million Dollar Coil. But wait, it gets better! The game wasn't quite over yet, as Na'Vi still had a very fed Templar Assassin who could kill any of Alliance's players with little problem. During Alliance's final assault on Na'Vi's base, Dendi (playing Templar Assassin) attempted to teleport back to base to defend it. However, s4 was nearby and managed to stop Dendi with another Dream Coil... LITERALLY IN A FRACTION OF A SECOND BEFORE DENDI WOULD TELEPORT BACK TO BASE. With Dendi's TP broken, Alliance managed to destroy Na'Vi's ancient with little opposition.
- TI4 was generating awesome moments right from the start, and one of the most amazing stories of the early stages of the tournament was last year's International winner, the powerhouse Alliance, getting knocked out of the tournament... in the group stage. From the beginning of groups, Alliance hadn't seemed to be themselves, losing games to competitors they would have destroyed a year ago. But in the waning matches of the group stage, they started to pull themselves together and finally worked their way up to a win-or-go-home match against Evil Geniuses, looking much like their old selves. In a fitting continuation, EG was content to allow Alliance to have several of their signature heroes, and Alliance entered the battle with Chaos Knight, Io, Lone Druid, Skywrath Mage, and Batrider. Alliance promptly adopted the "rat Dota" playstyle they'd become famous for, using Relocate to jump around the map and take out towers and unprotected heroes while avoiding large-scale teamfights. And yet EG managed to hold them off. Mason's Storm Spirit and Arteezy's Dragon Knight forced and won teamfight after teamfight, and Zai's incredible Enigma provided the lockdown to pick off the tankiest of Alliance's heroes. Both teams lost sets of barracks, and the game went right down to the wire. Finally, EG managed to find a hole in Alliance's defense just big enough to move onto the high ground and go for the throne. Alliance, in desperation, bought back and tried to repuse EG and push back for the victory... but Zai found one last massive Black Hole and managed to snag all three of Alliance's cores. In absolutely incredible fashion EG took down the throne and took down the reigning champions of The International before they even had a chance to get off the ground.
- TI4, Lower Bracket, Second Round, Game 1: LGD vs DK. LGD were now a much weaker team from the year before, having lost superstar carry Sylar to Vici Gaming, and offlaner and drafter xiao8 to NewBee. DK, on the other hand, were the red-hot favorites to win it all going into TI4, with a lineup of BurNIng, who was the greatest carry to ever play Dota; Mushi, a legendary mid player; iceiceice, TI3's 1v1 champion; LanM, who, though not as much of a legend as the others, had already had an excellent Dota career, and MMY, who, along with BurNIng, was a key member of EHOME's all-conquering 2010 team. In this game, DK led LGD 31-14 in kills, and had taken their Tier 3 mid tower, and were also about to take down LGD's mid ranged barracks. It looked all but over, but, in a stunning turn of events, LGD held out, turned it around, and, in a remarkable role reversal from the Liquid vs LGD game mentioned above, engineered arguably the most remarkable comeback in the history of professional Dota. Unfortunately, LGD lost the next two games and were knocked out, but that doesn't take anything away from this incredible performance.
- TI5, Grand Finals, Game 4: Evil Geniuses vs CDEC Gaming. Though EG.SumaiL (as Storm Spirit) had a good start, he got caught out of position by CDEC and killed swiftly, forcing SumaiL to spend some time dead. Having gotten their hands on an important kill, CDEC Gaming heads toward Roshan since SumaiL would be unlikely to snatch the Aegis note . However, CDEC's movement were spotted by a well-planted observer ward, helping EG.UNiVeRsE (as Earthshaker) and EG.PPD (as Ancient Apparition) realize that CDEC is most likely going for a Roshan attempt. While all of CDEC is trying to kill Roshan, UNiVeRsE and PPD heads toward the Roshan Pit and, almost as soon as PPD planted an Ice Vortex right inside the Roshan pit note , performed one of the biggest Wombo Combos of the entire tournament that would be known as "The Six Million Dollar Echo Slam", using a combination of Earthshaker's Echo Slam note and Ancient Apparition's Ice Blast note . Caught by the two-man combo in a moment of surprise, 4/5 of CDEC died with no chances to retaliate, meaning that EG was free to take Roshan without resistance. EG would then go on to win the match and thus the whole tournament. Here's a video of the moment.
- TI5, MVP vs. Empire, Game 1. During a teamfight under Empire's Tier 3 tower, QO of MVP (as Templar Assassin), having gotten a fairly good start to the game, jumps into Team Empire and gets three kills in quick succession, forcing out a buyback from Resolut1on (as Storm Spirit) in the process. However, the rest of MVP then quickly gets wiped out by the remaining members of Empire: Silent (as Razor), yoky (as Queen of Pain), and the aforementioned Resolut1on. Empire then manages to catch and kill QO and then, while QO is resurrecting with the Aegis of the Immortal, they surround him and prepare to kill him a second time - only for QO to curbstomp all three of them and make a clean getawaynote . Summed up thusly by ODPixel: "This man, you - you can't kill him! You don't want to kill him, because he'll turn around, kill you and kill your friends, he'll kill your family!". A video of the moment in question.
- Monkey Business vs Power Rangers. During the match, Io (played by Cr1t) disconnects and fails to reconnect, forcing Monkey Business to play four versus five. Normally, a pro team would lose four versus five. note So what does Monkey Business do? Give control of Io to N0tail, a famed Meepo player, note who's playing Tiny. N0tail's micromanagement skills combined with his mastery of Io note turned what could have been a certain defeat into a victory instead. Here's N0tail's player perspective as he focuses on playing both Io and Tiny at the same time.
- Frankfurt Major 2015 EU Qualifiers, Losers' Finals, Alliance vs Ninjas in Pyjamas, Game 2. Ninjas in Pyjamas is missing their top barracks, but has successfully destroyed all of Alliance's barracks, and even eventually their final towers. This means that Alliance is dealing with a horde of mega creeps constantly descending down on them from all three lanes. So what happens? Alliance pulls off one of the biggest comebacks in Professional Dota 2 history, successfully defending their own base against the onslaught of mega creeps, fending off a few teamfights and successfully defending their own ancient to the point it was standing with less than half of its health left. And then in the final decisive teamfight, Alliance successfully kills all of Ninjas in Pyjamas, with only two casualities. This teamfight allowed Alliance to send almost the entire team in (including Alchemist who has finished building six items, more than enough for him to destroy the enemy ancient). Alliance decisively wins the match, successfully qualifying them for the Frankfurt Major. See the highlights of the match here.
- The grand finals of Nanyang Dota 2 Championships was Team Secret versus Vici Gaming. In the decisive final match, Team Secret had the last and final pick. Having drafted only one hero with hard crowd control so far, everyone thought that Team Secret was going to draft Leshrac or Magnus, as both have strong crowd control capability. Instead, they picked Tiny. Note that Tiny is generally thought of as a mediocre hero who can only truly shine when he's partnered up with Io. What happened instead is that Team Secret DESTROYS Vici Gaming with Tiny (played by Team Secret's w33haa) pulling off impressive plays and kills, ending up with the incredible kills/deaths/assists score of 13/2/11 (which is also the best KDA ratio of the match itself), something that normally wouldn't happen for an Io-less Tiny in professional Dota 2 matches. With 28 kills and 7 deaths, Team Secret soundly defeats Vici Gaming and wins the tournament. You can watch some highlights of the game here. Expect to see some Tiny moments.
- In the upper brackets of the Frankfurt Major, the match between Evil Geniuses and Team Secret had one of the riskiest plays ever that paid off massively in Team Secret's favor. During the first game, Team Secret was struggling against Evil Geniuses and loses one of their melee barracks to Evil Geniuses. In an attempt to come back from this, EternalEnvy, playing Ember Spirit, purchases a Divine Rapier. note Even though it could backfire at any moment, EternalEnvy never dies (excluding the times where he held an Aegis of Immortality) and helped Team Secret achieve a comeback. Eventually EternalEnvy purchased a second divine rapier, and practically became a force of nature in that match. In the last battle when EternalEnvy dies with an Aegis of Immortality and after resurrection, immediately used Sleight of Fist note , baited Evil Geniuses to go over to his Fire Remnant note only to blink away to his teammates, uses his courier to swap one of his items over for a Black King Bar to gain spell immunity, then turns the battle around on Evil Geniuses. EternalEnvy ends the match with a beyond godlike streak, and Team Secret would then go on to win a second match and go on to the grand finals. This match cemented EternalEnvy not only as one of the best Ember Spirit players (if not THE best) but also as one of the best carry players. Watch the game here.
- Team OG deserves a special mention for having one of the greatest underdog stories in the history of competitive Dota. The team was formed a while after TI5 (before picked up by OG, they went by monkey business), and had to go through the european qualifiers to enter the Frankfurt Major while half of the teams received direct invites. After an unimpressive performance in the group stages, Team OG ends up in the lower bracket (where if they lose one series, they're eliminated). Most expected Team OG to be eliminated at one point. Yet despite this, they didn't lose even one series, eventually beating TI5 grand finalists CDEC Gaming, former champions EHOME, TI5 champions Evil Geniuses, and going on to the grand finals against Team Secret, a team widely considered to be one of the strongest teams in competitive Dota. Against all odds and expectations, Team OG reigns victorious with a 3-1 score against Team Secret! Watch some highlights of the series between Team OG and Team Secret here. In fact, during said victory against Evil Geniuses, OG lost the first game of the Best of 3 with just 2 kills all game to EG's 29. The second game started out seeming like a similar stomp, with EG securing First Blood. For a moment, it looked like OG would be eliminated 2-0 and the finals would be between EG and Secret. And then this happened. Moon Meander, a player previously dismissed as cocky and arrogant with nothing to show for it, considered a weak link in OG, who had never really experienced much success in Dota 2, showed up to fight, and put OG on his back.
- Starladder i-League Invitational, Season 1's Grand Final between Natus Vincere and Vici Gaming Reborn started off with a game for the ages. While much of the game was back-and-forth with phenomenal play by both sides, the game-winning play most certainly deserves mention. After killing off Na'Vi's main damage dealer, Dendi's Death Prophet, while his ultimate Exorcism was activenote , VG-R goes straight for the jugular with a full 5-man push against Na'Vi's Ancient with an Aegis of the Immortal on End's Gyrocopter. What makes this amazing is Na'Vi's ability to not only Hold the Line but to then turn the five-man push into a five-man wipe. In particular, the last kill on End is absolutely glorious: Na'Vi's Ditya'Ra, on Nature's Prophet, being completely outgunned by Gyrocopter, manages to kite him by repeatedly trapping him with Sproutnote while poking away at his health, buying enough time to kill Gyrocopter just as the Aegis expires. This clears the way for Na'Vi to take down two sets of VG-R's barracks. Not to be outdone, General (on Faceless Void) manages to later drop a three-man Chronosphere on VG-R which ultimately resulted in yet another teamwipe, securing a Na'Vi victory. Something else awesome happened, as well, as longtime Dota fans heard five words they hadn't heard in years: "GREETINGS AND SALUTATIONS, DOTA FANS!" Aaron "Ayesee" Chambers, one of the most beloved casters in Dota 2's history, came back to call one more tournament, giving longtime Dota 2 fans quite the nostalgia trip.
- TI6, Lower Bracket, Round 2, TNC vs OG. The unfancied TNC had already caused an upset by defeating Vici Gaming Reborn, and would now play against OG, the pre-tournament favourites, who had surprisingly been knocked down to the lower bracket by MVP Phoenix. This was expected to be a Foregone Conclusion in favour of OG, with the official odds on a TNC victory at just 11%, but incredibly, TNC not only defeated them and knocked them out, but did so with a 2-0 scoreline, in arguably the biggest upset in professional Dota 2 history. Here is the highlight video of this historic series.
- The Filipino cast is arguably even better than the English one, and for good reason, as no Filipino team had never gone this far at a Valve tournament (the previous best was by Mineski in TI1, who were knocked out in the same stage that TNC beat OG in).
- In general, TI6 was a CMOA for Southeast Asian Dota. Although SEA had been long looked upon as the Butt-Monkey of Dota regions (Mushi and Malaysia notwithstanding), not one, not two, but an unprecedented three Southeast Asian teams made the top eight of the tournament, with some of their players, such as Fnatic's Midone and DJ, MVP Phoenix's MP and QO, and TNC's Raven emerging as bona fide Dota superstars, thus earning much respect for themselves, their teams, and their region.
- Boston Major Finals Game 3, Ad Finem vs Team OG. Ad Finem had become the darlings of the Boston Major, their story beginning with them sweeping major names like Secret and Liquid just to get to Beantown. Once there, they took games and series from the likes of EHOME, TI4 champions Newbee, and TI6 runners-up Digital Chaos. They then met OG in the Grand Finals, a team that they had already taken a game from before this meeting. For the first two games, OG proved why they're considered one of the best teams in the world, rolling through Ad Finem in two straight. Then Game 3 happened. Supports MaybeNextTime and Spartan ball out, Maybe's Earthshaker landing clutch Fissures and Echo Slams while Spartan's Rubick stole numerous key spells, including Mirana Sacred Arrows and several Juggernaut Omnislashes. It seems as though they can't finish OG's Ancient after a desperate teamfight on both ends of the river, but Maybe manages to get out of OG's base and pull off something truly incredible; slipping past several OG heroes with a combination of Blink Dagger and Shadow Blade, Maybe activates his Black King Bar, giving him spell immunity, hits two rapid, back-to-back Enchant Totems and a single right-click before OG can take him down and destroys the Ancient, giving Ad Finem the game in a nearly eighty minute slugfest. Even though OG came back and won game four, and thus the Boston Major, it does little to tarnish Ad Finem's incredible story and the exclamation point that MaybeNextTime provided it.
- Starladder i-League Season 3 qualifiers, Team Ad Finem vs. Alliance: Game 1 was fairly standard as far as professional Dota 2 goes, except for one particular moment which managed to be equal parts awesome and hilarious. Ad Finem, with a solid lead thus far, has Madara (Lone Druid) go for Roshan, a move which would greatly reduce Alliance's chances of victory due to Madara causing them quite a few problems throughout the game. Alliance's Handsken, playing Pudge, then throws a blind hook into the Roshan pit and manages to hook Madara out from behind his Spirit Bear, netting an easy kill and allowing Alliance to win the fight for Roshan. Ad Finem never fully recovers from what the commentators dubbed the "bullshit hook" (no, really) and eventually lose to Alliance.
- Kiev Major Grand Finals Game 5, OG vs Virtus.pro. This game features what might well be one of the most incredible comebacks of all time. Early game, OG got hammered on by Virtus.pro, reaching a sorry state of 3-18 score. Virtus.pro's Legion Commander has been racking up duel wins, Virtus.pro's Alchemist has gotten farm, and Virtus.pro's Outworld Devourer hits like a truck. On top of that, Virtus.pro had grabbed an aegis from Roshan a number of times. In most cases, this would be game over for the losing team. Not this time. Then two fights happened. One fight, OG manages to take Virtus.pro with a three man stomp from their Centaur Warrunner, killing four of their richest players without suffering from casualties, ensuring that OG could take Virtus.pro's middle melee barracks. Next fight, OG's Troll Warlord proves that he has farmed significantly at this point and outright DESTROYS Virtus.pro's Legion Commander, Alchemist and Outworld Devourer, Virtus.pro's most important heroes. After this, it's a downhill spiral for Virtus.pro as OG proceed to grab the aegis for Troll Warlord and begin demolishing Virtus.pro's base, securing OG's fourth major win against seemingly-impossible odds.
- TI7, Upper Bracket, Round 1, Game 2: NewBee vs Evil Geniuses. In a game that was hanging in the balance, Evil Geniuses grouped up on NewBee's offlaner, kpii, who was playing Bristleback, in hopes of securing an important kill as they attempted to push onto NewBee's high ground. Just before he was expected to die at the hands of EG, his teammate, KaKa, on Earth Spirit, blinked in as soon as the Black Hole ended, then used Enchant Remnant to save kpii's Bristleback from dying to a combination of Epicenter, Reaper's Scythe, and Midnight Pulse, then kicked Bristleback away, sacrificing himself to save the more powerful hero, and freeing up the rest of NewBee to take over and teamwipe EG. EG immediately conceded, falling to Lower Bracket.
- TI7, Lower Bracket, Round 2: Evil Geniuses vs Empire. Before the tournament had even begun, Empire, who were already considered to be one of the weakest teams in TI7, were dealt a major blow when Chappie, their carry, was unable to attend due to visa issues. Because of this, Empire picked up Resolut1on to stand in as their carry; he was only supposed to be there as an analyst, rather than as a player. Despite being a capable player in his own right, even being a member of Digital Chaos' underdog run to second place just one year prior, many people felt that Resolut1on entering on such short notice would disrupt whatever chemistry that Empire had built up and cause them to do even worse than expected. At first, this seemed to be true - Empire endured a dismal group stage, only finishing with the #7 seed. After beating Cloud9, another team that had performed poorly at TI7 to that point, Empire faced off against the powerhouse EG, who were only in Lower Bracket because of the events described above. So of course they comprehensively beat EG, winning 2-0. And to top it off, Resolut1on played arguably his two best games of the tournament to beat EG.
- Game 2 between LFY and Virtus Pro in the TI7 Upper Bracket had a major CMOA from LFY's ah fu, on Earth Spirit. Having lost their earlier lead, Virtus Pro goes for a desperate attempt at Roshan, in hopes of using the Aegis of the Immortal to turn the tide. After being scouted out by an Ice Blast from LFY, ah fu decided to make an attempt at snatching the Aegis (which, as the post-game interview reveals, he fully expected to be a one-way trip). He then makes it into the Roshan pit and snatches the Aegis at the last possible moment before making a clean getaway, only losing the Aegis to a Reaper's Scythe in the process.note This cost Virtus Pro their attempt at a comeback, and they were forced to tap out after suffering several kills and a four-man Chronosphere from LFY.
Fist of the North Star: Twin Blue Stars of Judgment
- This match pretty much sums up the glory that is competitive Fist Of The North Star: Twin Blue Stars Of Judgment play. After getting his ass kicked in the first round by Amiba (Kenshiro), Dora (Rei) gets smacked around some more in the second round, culminating in Amiba using Kenshiro's Hokuto Zankai Ken, a Limit Break that if connected, will automatically knock out the opponent when a timer reaches zero. Dora promptly uses this time to completely thrash on Amiba, winning round two just as the Zankai Ken timer nears zero at 0.08, canceling the Limit Break. What does Amiba do for the third round? Use Kenshiro to hit Dora's Rei with a heavy punch, knocking him back, then immediately bust out the "Fatal KO" Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken, instantly winning the matchnote . This maneuver is even named as "Jizokunote Zankai Ken in the fandom; even better, in the same tournament, Anago (as Kenshiro) beat another player by breaking Go-sama's record of ending a match (within 2 seconds) by doing it in one second.
- These two video compilations should suffice. Thank you, thank you, no applause.
- Here is also a condensed video. Note: awesomeness not condensed. And here's the rematch between isa (Sol) and Buppa (Ky). Accent Core flavor.
- Daigo (Sol) vs. Zakiyama (I-No). Not for the ludicrous amounts of Dustloop abuse ("TEYAH! TEYAH! TEYAH! TEYAH! TEYAH!", etc.), but for the insane Gun Flame > FRC > Gun Flame (rinse, wash, repeat) pressure Daigo puts on Zakiyama at the end after a good read in the corner. Truly, Daigo's fingers must move at the speed of sound.
- While the compilation will come across more as side-splittingly hilarious to those familiar with the metagame, Kusoru (see also his mention in the MvC3 section below) is pretty much the living incarnation of homo-genius when it comes to GG Tournament Play. To quote a YouTuber, he plays so unsafe that he's basically safe. And he manages to somehow throw his opponents for a (Dust)loop with mindgames and win rounds, let alone matches and tournaments, with this strategy. So imagine if Kusoru stopped essentially trolling his competition and played seriously for change. (A breakdown of Kusoru's antics and why he should've failed by all means can be found here. For bonus points, there's some extra Fist of the North Star tomfoolery at the end of the above video.)
- Chipp (Susumu) vs. Jam (Kaleido Star) in Slash, a blindly fast and highly technical fight that goes from the ground to the skies and back again like no one's business. While Susumu ultimately proves why he's one of the best Chipp players in the world (if not the best), Kaleido Star's Jam was able to keep pace with Susumu for the majority of the match, even getting Susumu's number at the end of Round 1.
Heroes of Newerth
- It's Gosu Invitational Grand Finals - tdM vs TiG game 2 ended in what may be THE closest finish ever seen in any video game. TiG manages to pick off tdM's Pebbles after an attempt to sneak a Kongor kill. Knowing this may be their last chance to finish the game, they go straight for the World Tree. tdM, knowing they had no chance at defending 4v5, decide to teleport into TiG's base and attempt to ninja their Sacrificial Shrine before the World Tree dies. What ensues is probably the greatest base race in gaming history, with tdM winning the game with one ONE hit point on their own main structure. ONE. HIT. POINT.
- In the Gosu Gamers World Cup - Pretty much the Hon world cup at the time - Grand Finals game 5 between Fnatic.MSI and team LOAD. After an incredibly close series, LOAD decided to bring out a pick never even seen before in the competitive scene: Balphagore, who was at the time considered to be a weak pubstompy hero who was entirely reliant on his Ult. What followed was perhaps the stompiest game ever seen in competitive Hon. Within the 20 minutes long game, Balphagore ended up going 15-0 against Fnatic.MSI, the other part of the world´s top 2 at the time, completely dominating the game with clever use of his minions and ridiculous pushing power. Within 2 weeks of this match being played, S2 Games nerfed Balphagore so hard that he hasn´t been picked reliably since then.
Kid Icarus Uprising
- Final match at GDC 2012. At first, Light Team ends up doing poorly, to the point where they fall behind, but they start catching up. By that point, though, regular Pit turns out to be in trouble, but luckily, the shown Light team member who turns out to be Master Knight DH heads to the scene ASAP and successfully uses his close range weapon to clobber the responsible opponent. HARD! The opponent in question is left unable to escape and gets KOed, just in time for the Dark Pit player and the third opponent to come by. Both Light team members focus their efforts on the Dark Pit player, probably realizing that the battle wasn't going to last past this skirmish. Ultimately, the Pit player gets the KO with minimal health left. That's right: Light Team won by a thread thanks to teamwork with a timely assist. It had to be seen to be believed.
King of Fighters XIII
- EVO 2012 Grand Finals, MadKOF vs Bala. The word "hype" does not begin to describe this set that goes down to the wire and ends in MadKOF becoming the first player to win an EVO title in KOFXIII.
- EVO 2013 had AS Reynald rampaging through out the loser's bracket and even takes out last year's champion to make it to Grand Finals against an unknown Japanese player named Hee San Woo. After going down two games in the first set, Reynald would go on to win the next six games to claim the title.
- In France, there is a kid only 10 years old who plays like a pro. Wawa's finest performance was probably during the Team Tournament Grand Finals at World Games Cup 2013 where he single-handedly took out over half the enemy team by himself. OH MY DAYS!!
King of Fighters XIV
- EVO 2017 Grand Finals, ET vs Xiaohai. Xiaohai had earlier boasted that he would win the tournament and was making good on that promise, clawing his way up to Grand Final. The match kept shifting momentum until the critical moment when ET landed Daimon's Climax Counter Attack super and finished the job with one last combo.
League of Legends
- The legendary xPeke backdoor at IEM Katowice, where Fnatic's mid laner xPeke "backdoored" (sneaking into the enemy's base and destroying their nexus, the only way to win the game, while the enemy team is absent) SK Gaming. This extremely risky move gave Fnatic the win despite an almost certain defeat if it had failed. This moment is so famous that anyone who has gone for a backdoor since has been compared to xPeke and the strategy itself is often referred to as pulling an xPeke. This event gets referred by Final Boss Veigar in Polish version of the game, as one of his attack quotes:
Final Boss Veigar: When it comes to destroying Nexus, I'm better than Kassadin!
Marvel vs. Capcom 2
- Justin Wong gets a huge Crowning Moment of Awesome in his EVO '07 match against Yipes. At the start of the video, he's down to one character (Cyclops), and Yipes still has three, all with full or near-full life, and two of them (Storm and Magneto) are two of the four best characters in the game. Wong somehow manages to take down all three characters with his one.
- Wong does this again, but with his one character just one chip away from death.
- He also defeats one of England's best Marvel vs. Capcom 2 players using two of the worst characters in the game.
- Neo and Clockw0rk, two of the biggest names in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 history, fighting each other, resulted in this. This has been called "The Final Chapter" for a reason, it happened a month before vanilla 3 came out, meaning it would probably be the last great event in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 history. And it was arguably the best moment in that gaming history.
- Most great tournament matches, especially those with amazing comebacks.
- Combo videos are generally full of this, special mention goes to those by Joo and the Meikyoshisyui team and Mangetro's Variable Atmophere 2.
- Everyone loves the Clockw0rk versus Neo money match, but to many MvC2 fans, Clockw0rk's CMOA was his money match against Dark Prince in 2007. Prior to the match, Dark Prince had been talking trash about several old-school players, including Clockw0rk, calling them washed up has-beens who were only recognized based on past accomplishments rather than relevance in the current competitive scene, and he went on to say that he could beat any one of them. Clockw0rk proved him wrong when he won the money match 11 games to 3, winning the last 7 games in a row. Dark Prince had his Crowning Moment of Funny when he ran out of quarters to put into the arcade machine after the third game, apparently not having expected Clockw0rk to win more than two games.
- MVC2 Will Never Die is a montage of awesome moments of the game. The Amir vs. BB Hood moments are particularly memorable.
- VDO vs Potter at EVO 2009. Not only does VDO do good with an unorthodox team (Rogue/Ken/Colossus), but he does it well against a veteran player and showcases several clutch moments.
- Sanford defeats Justin. Justin Wong is the undisputed king of MvC2; what guys like Chris G are now Justin was an even bigger version back in the day being undefeated in every tournament he entered for a good four years at that point and was referred to as God. At Breakpoint in 2004 Sanford becomes the first person to dethrone him.
- The Sanford vs. Justin exhibition at NEC15. The matches are amazing, and Yipes and Chris Matrix's commentary only add to the experience.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3
- Combofiend got one against Marn at Final Round XIV. With a team of relatively underrated characters, he managed to win all three rounds against his opponent. The most magnificent moment was in the last round, when, reduced to only a pixel of health and against Marn's Sentinel, Combofiend managed to make a comeback using Spencer's Bionic Lancer move. Or rather, his BIONIC AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRMMM!!! The crowd and announcers' reactions are priceless. Combofiend went on to win the tournament, beating Justin Wong in the final round. The entire match.
- An 8-year old named Noah had entered into EVO 2011, and he was astonishingly a very impressive player. Almost everyone in the crowd cheered for him when he did good, and usually boo at his opponent when he's getting beat up. He made it into the top 48 before getting eliminated by Chris G... And then they shook hands.
- EVO 2011 Losers bracket match, PR Rog sent JUSTIN WONG home via perfect. Then he goes on to reset the count by beating Viscant during match point with Tron's level 3 against Dark Phoenix.
- Wong did get some of the glory. Against Richard Nguyen, he managed an incredible Akuma comeback against two characters with no X-factor and the tiniest smidgen of life imaginable.
- Another incredible Akuma comeback by Wong against Filipino Champ at Canada Cup 2011.
- At a Bar Fights tournament on 12/11, Marn fought Combofiend again in another First to 5, with Combofiend absolutely trashing Marn, not losing a single match. And to cap it all off, Combofiend finished Marn's X-Factor Wesker with what else but a BIONIC AAAAAAAARRRRRRM!
- Iron Fist was universally considered a bottom tier character in the Ultimate version of this game. That didn't stop Justin Wong from taking first place in Southern California Regionals with him as the point character.
- Japanese player Kusoru, aka AGEOJOE, joined a tournament with a team of Rocket Raccoon, Viewtiful Joe, and Frank West. Everybody expected this team of three low-tier characters to go down quickly. However, not only did AGEOJOE win the tournament, he also managed to defeat Filipino Champ using Dark Phoenix twice. See the final match of the tournament (Kusoru vs PR Rog) here. Here's the highlight reel. Kusoru wasn't just blowing up the competition at Final Round XV; he was having one hell of a time, laughing all the way to the bank.
- MarlinPie vs. Alukard at Curleh Mustache 2. A high-kinetic battle full of insanity (and commentary courtesy of Yipes and Chris Matrix) is putting it lightly. This is probably the defining moment of it all, but the entire match is a "first to five" set that goes down to the wire.
- MarlinPie vs. Combofiend in SCR where they duke it out in a first to 10. In a high octane battle, Marlinpie throws down insane combos while Combofiend shows off his insane maneuvers. The game also goes down to the last match.
- TA Frutsy places 5th at EVO 2012 using a team fronted by MODOK, a character that quite a few tier lists place low and not many take very seriously. Frutsy goes on to prove just how much of a Lethal Joke Character MODOK can be, getting to Top 8 in the tournament before losing to Combofiend in the Loser's Bracket.
- Chris G vs. Filipino Champ's FT15 at Seasons Beatings: Ascension. As noted on the Fighting Game Community page, these two are coastal rivalsnote , so any time they meet, it's sure to be intense. It is often argued that this is one of the best sets in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 history.
- Kaneblueriver vs Fooblat at East Coast Throwdown 2013 was one of the most memorable first to 15 matches ever. Both famous for using point Hulk and support Haggar, both players abused the use of armor in their characters to both devastating and hilarious effect.
- Chris G vs. Filipino Champ at Apex 2013 deserves mention as well. By the machinations of fate, the two of them met in the Grand Finals at Apex, with F. Champ coming out of the Losers Bracket. F. Champ came dangerously close to resetting with his Phoenix team, and Phoenix was set with a stock of five meters, until Chris G pulled out something never seen before: a combo into Soul Drain, taking away Phoenix's fifth bar, and killing her just shy of transformation into Dark Phoenix!
- Newcomer ApologyMan getting 4th place at SoCal Regionals 2013 with his Skrull/Frank/Doom team. There's no way you can make top 8, let alone top 4, without taking down some heavy hitters along the way (including EVO 2012 champion Filipino Champ). Apology Man's team proved how scary a maxed-out Frank can be!
- ApologyMan would follow this performance up the next year at SoCal Regionals 2014 by taking the UMvC3 tourney, defeating Filipino Champ (again) as well as SoCal Marvel legend Killer Kai in the process. He would perform this feat with a new team, Firebrand/Doom/Skrull, which showed that a Firebrand/Skrull shell (with the right hit-confirm) can lock down an opponent with no opportunity to counter it.
- Filipino Champ would get his revenge later on at Curleh Mustache NorCal, after first being sent to losers bracket, Champ brings out his rarely seen Morrigan/Magneto/Doctor Doom team and absolutely crushing his nemesis.
- He does the same again at EVO 2014, taking his defensive play to another soul crushing level. Even when it seemed that ApologyMan would be able to take Champ out, the latter makes an epic comeback, doing just enough damage right before the timer runs out to give him the win.
- Did you ever expect to see neither Chris G nor Filipino Champ make it to either Losers or Winners Finals in EVO 2013? Well guess what? That happened.
- Justin Wong's incredible performance all throughout the Loser's Bracket. Notably, he comes back from an 0-2 deficit against Chris G and wins three straight to eliminate the man everyone thought would cruise to an EVO 2013 title. He then goes on to Grand Finals and puts up a hell of a fight against Flocker, even managing to reset the bracket in crazy fashion, but eventually lost the second set to him, and Flocker would take the title and not only have Zero win a major, but win the major.
- Their rematch at EVO 2014 was nothing short of astonishing, with Justin pulling out all the stops and beating Flocker in the last set with 6 seconds left on the clock.
- Props should also go to Angelic, who placed third in the tournament using a team with Shuma-Gorath on anchor. Shuma, while hardly a bad character, is often considered a specialist character due to his high degree of execution. Angelic proved just how scary the lord of the Chaos Dimension could be.
- Sometimes, it's not the players who get the moment. At SCR 2013, Angelic faced off against Marn and crushed him 3-0. However, during the first round of their battle, Combofiend (on commentary) proceeded to call every single move Angelic would do two seconds before he actually did them. Needless to say, his co-commenator was both amused and freaked out.
- South East Asia Major 2014's UMvC3 tournament looked to be unimpressive, then came (relative) newcomer from the Philippines, Garret of the Imperium Pro Team. Not only did he wow the crowd with his flashy Spiderman/Rocket Racoon/Dr. Strange team, but also started knocking down a good number of the best players in the region down such as Xian and Kazunoko to the losers bracket before finally falling to Japan's Eita in winners and grand final.
- Justin Wong's absolute clutch comeback against Filipino Champ during Winners Finals of Evolution 2014. During the last match of the set, Justin is down to one character while Champ still has two including Dark Phoenix. At just the right moment, Justin pulls out a clutch super that hits both of Champ's characters, then activates X-Factor to extend the combo and take them both out, winning the match. You can see the entire match here. He then goes on to win against Chris G and his Bullet Hell 3-1. The Marvel God has returned to his throne, indeed.
- Rayray's awesome comeback in his match against K-Brad at Next Level Battle Circuit #100. Complete with Yipes' impression of K-Brad. Worth noting is Rayray pulling off an epic comeback by pulling off Doom's level 3 right when the clock hits 00.
- Filipino Champ had an amazing comeback during the 7-7 NorCal vs. SoCal exhibition at the 2014 NorCal Regionals. With all of his NorCal teammates eliminated, FChamp needed to beat 4 of SoCal's best, including crowd favorite Jonathan "Cloud 805" Morales, Daniel "Clockwork" Maniago, as well as none other than Mr. Marvelous himself, Evolution 2014 champion Justin Wong. Against all odds, FChamp proceeds to beat all of them during the final round, turning what seemed to be a rout in SoCal's favor into a decisive win for NorCal.
- KaneBlueRiver takes Evo 2015. Let's repeat that: KaneBlueRiver takes Evo 2015! Kane, who had never won a single major tournament ever, and could at best be described as a player with an Awesome, yet Impractical team of Hulk/Haggar/Sentinel (none of whom are considered top tier but have very good synergy together) left a trail of bodies in his wake, including Ray Ray, Apologyman and EVO 2014 Champion Justin Wong to take not just his first major tournament, but THE major tournament!
- During Absolute Battle 5 in late 2014, Filipino Champ recieves news that his grandmother has passed away. Anyone who knew FChamp knew how much she meant to him, so he was understandably very distraught for the rest of the weekend. The awesome part? He proceeded to WIN the event's UMVC3 tournament (and perform extremely well in Street Fighter IV) and would proceed to dedicate the victory to his grandmother on Twitter.
- At Winter Brawl X, FilipinoChamp trashes KaneBlueRiver 15 - 10 in a first to 15 exhibition match, complete with all the taunting that a Heel like him could dish out. But that's not the awesome part, this is. Not only does KBR make it to Grand Finals and reset the bracket, he proceeds to win the tournament against FChamp's Magneto/Doctor Doom/Phoenix, a team which has been noted to be one that KBR does horribly against and finally getting retribution for all the taunts he's been enduring online and in the event. Made all the more better by Yipes' commentary, which was unashamedly pro-KBR. And what does he do afterwards? Does he pop off for his victory? Does he disrespect FChamp back? Nope. He simply stays calm, shakes FChamp's hand, thanks his supporters, and graciously accepts his win, a far cry from how KBR was treated the night before. Just sportsmanship at its finest.
- In 2016, after years of coming close only to fail, Chris G finally won Evo. Not only did he do this at the largest stage that the game has ever had at the Mandalay Bay Arena in Las Vegas, but he did so while finally beating his nemesis, Justin Wong who had previously taken Chris G out at Evo 2013 and Evo 2014, and then going on to take a convincing 6-1 victory from losers bracket in Grand Finals against reigning champion KBR to take the crown.
Persona 4 Arena
- This 5 Vs 5, Japan Vs America game from EVO Anime Suite 2013. In a game normally dominated by Japanese players, this amazing sweep by BananaKen's Shadow Labrys is a rare and beautiful sight, especially because no-one saw it coming. It's made even better by the off-the-wall commentary. BananaKen has done other awesome things with Shadow Labrys as well, such as getting to 3rd place at EVO 2013, and clinching his UFGT9 win with an Instant Kill, which is almost never used in tournament play.
- After the pedigree established by UFGT 9's top 8, things could have only gotten better the next year. UFGTX's top 8 did not disappoint. Highlights include Grab-sama vs. MoTheHawk, a Kanji vs Chie set with several big comeback moments from Grab-sama's Kanji, all of the matches involving Ludwig using Naoto's traps, and both bouts between Grover and BananaKen, which went down to the wire with impressive combos, setups, and mindgames from both sides.
Puyo Puyo Tetris
- Have you ever been so good at a video game that you're treated like a real life SNK Boss? Because that's what happened to Amemiyataiyo, who as he shows at AnimEVO 2017, is psychotically good at Tetris (and not half bad at Puyo either) to the point where the commentators, crowd, and Twitch chat all agreed that the grand finals were little else but a skill exhibition for him. For one final show however, he was challenged to a 3 Vs. 1 match between him and some of the best players at the tournament. He initially struggles for a bit and even loses a set at one point, but in the end asserts his dominance as a Tetris god and once he gets the hang of things begins slaughtering his opponents, ending with a 3-1 score. Special mention must go to his opponents for putting up a good fight.
Starcraft and Starcraft II
- Any game which makes SCLegacy's annual Pimpest Plays list is bound to be this.
- If a progamer wins 3 OSLs, he gets a golden mouse. It's more of a crowning moment of awesome than you'd think. In fact, winning any major tournament is HUGE. Look at the freaking crowd with thousands of people.
- Boxer's legendary SCV Rush.
- Ever 2004 OSL Finals- Boxer vs Iloveoov
- Batoo OSL Finals- Jaedong vs Fantasy
- Ever 2008 OSL Finals- July vs Best
- Bacchus 2010 OSL Finals- Fantasy vs Stork
- Every time game gets past lair tech in a Zerg vs Zerg matchup.
- Reach vs. Chojja, 2005 UZOO MSL Semifinals. While the match is mostly known for the awesome game-ending play "Reach's Lockdown", which made it to #2 on the 2005 Pimpest Plays list, but the entire match is awesome and unexpectedly long for a single StarCraft game. Needs a Better Description.
- A western tournament, the TSL3's final round between Thorzain and Naniwanote . After winning a single battle and then proceeding to lose 2, Thorzain pulls off an amazing reversal and holds off two huge all-ins by Naniwa to win the tournament.
- HUK vs Moon Game 5, Dreamhack 2011. After four gruelling matches in a best of five tournament, the score is 2 to 2. The final map is one of the largest in the rotation. Everyone is predicting a long, drawn-out macro-based game. Then the commentators realize that Moon is building no drones, indicating an extremely aggressive "Six Pool" strategy that goes for an early knockout punch at the cost of severely damaging mid-game economy. And then HUK, through sheer luck, scouts Moon's base, seeing the attack coming. What follows is a rapid sequence of attacks and defends, where HUK desperately holds off not one, but TWO all-in Zerg Rush attacks while building up enough forces to counter-attack for a win. This and a CMOF in Game 4 where Moon makes a huge blunder in cancelling his second base under the false impression that HUK had it scouted. The commentators even shouted "Wait a minute!" when they realised what had happened.
- DreamHack Summer 2013, Stardust vs. Jaedong. Jaedong has built up a massive lead in material and is making a huge assault on Stardust's base, but makes a critical blunder and overextends, allowing for Stardust's army to destroy all of Jaedong's structures but one: a desperation extractor placed in the corner of the map. Stardust found it and killed it. With probes.
- Red Bull Battlegrounds 2013, Scarlett vs. Bomber. In a game that Day instantly called "the most incredible game I have seen in ZvT", Scarlett, after starting strong at the beginning of the game with a 1-base Speedling (Zerglings with upgraded speed) strategy, has been fending off a resurgent Bomber for almost half an hour—until a pair of clutch burrowed Banelings (including one that no one saw coming) from Scarlett turns Bomber's marines into sizzling goo and forces him to concede.
DJWheat: "We didn't even see the Banelings get burrowed ... It was freakin' brilliant!"
- Six months later, at MLG Anaheim 2014, Scarlett is down one game in a best-of-three against DongRaeGu, a Zerg so feared as to have gained the nickname "Final Boss". What does Scarlett do for Game 2? She decides to play as Protoss instead of her usual Zerg, stunning the crowds, commentators, and DongRaeGu alike. And she WINS. As in, not just the game, but the entire series (though for the deciding match, she reverted back to Zerg).
Street Fighter Alpha 2
- If there's one story from the annals of competitive Street Fighter Alpha 2 that's well remembered, it has to be that of future game designer David Sirlin vs Thao Duong at East Coast Championships 4. While Sirlin was in the winner bracket, Thao's Chun-Li had reset the grand finals set, taking out two of Sirlin's best characters along the way. Facing a possible upset, Sirlin brought out his Rose, a moves predicated on one thing only, Rose's crouching medium punch (or low strong in SF parlance) beat out most of Chun-Li's attacks at a certain range. However, if Thao got in and forced an actual fight inside that optimal range, Sirlin would actually lose. What Sirlin then does is to keep using Rose' low strong at that specific range, with a specific pattern, forcing Thao to forcus on beating it instead of trying to get in and beat Sirlin, eventually giving Sirlin the win whle rewriting the book on how the Rose vs. Chun-Li match up should be played.
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
- Arguably the most well-known moment in competitive fighting game tournaments is "EVO Moment #37", also known as "the Daigo full parry" from EVO 2004. Street Fighter III 3rd Strike has a defensive system called "Parrying"—any player with good enough timing to deflect a move without taking damage. The risk is high but the reward is great.
In the now-infamous match between Justin Wong and Daigo Umeharanote , Daigo (Ken) is down to a bare sliver of health against Justin (Chun-Li). Justin goes for Chun-Li's Super Combo; all looks lost. Then Daigo proves why he's nicknamed "The Beast": knowing that blocking even one blow would cost him the match (due to chip damage), Daigo goes Up to Eleven for even expert players and parries every possible hit of the Super Combo, including one while airborne, then counters with a Super Combo of his own to win the match. This moment is still considered one of the most impressive feats in all of competitive gaming. The most apt sports analogy would liken this to Doug Flutie's "Miracle in Miami" comeback.
The moment became (in)famous among the fighting game community to an absurd degree. Capcom's release of 3rd Strike: Online Edition even included EVO Moment #37 as an in-game achievement. Things get better when Daigo talks about that match: he needed the sound of Chun-Li's kicks in order to properly time his parries, but the noise generated by the onlookers distracted him. He still managed to pull it off without hearing the sound cues. When speaking of the impressiveness of that moment, Daigo merely commented, "That's just one of my common techniques, really." In other words, it's the fighting game equivalent of a "But for Me, It Was Tuesday" moment.
For more irony, pay close attention to the score during the match. Just before Chun-Li goes in with her Super, Justin has 107000 points. Daigo's score after all of that parrying and his finishing combo? 107500.
- Seth Killian later explained the real reason why this moment is so awesome: anyone who puts in enough practice could pull the full parry off—Daigo's real genius was recognizing what move Justin would use to go for the win, baiting it out, and maintaining the correct distance and timing in order to pull off the full parry. Justin didn't lose when Daigo pulled off the parry. Justin lost the moment he went for the Super, because he'd given control of the match to Daigo.
- To illustrate how hard the full parry is to pull off, Maximilian Dood needed 139 tries to do it.
- English player Ryan Hart repeated the feat in the "Battle of Destiny Tournament"... against Justin Wong.
- At #37 Reloaded—a special tournament held to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Evo Moment #37—Daigo and Justin fought each other in a special exhibition match. They used the same characters, the same color palettes, and the same stage. What less would you expect? Daigo did it again. You can watch their full exhibition match for more awesome, but if you're after The Moment Reloaded, it goes down around the 4:51 mark.
Street Fighter IV
- Daigo and Justin Wong continuing their rivalry into Street Fighter IV has led to some awesome moments.
- In the EVO 2009 Street Fighter IV Finals, Justin Wong (Abel) faced elimination after having been knocked down into Loser's Bracket by Daigo (Ryu). Justin fights his way back into the Grand Final, but loses Game 1. He goes back to the character select screen—while the audience yells "SWITCH SWITCH SWITCH!", expecting to see Justin's incredible Rufus—and picks Balrog with the Stars'n'Stripes hoodie. America vs. Japan. Loud'n'proud vs. stoic fury. "Let's Go Justin!!" And this from a player who's usually vehemently disliked by American audiences.
- Capcom held a Fight Club LA event in 2010 to celebrate the release of Super Street Fighter IV. Daigo Umehara fought a rematch with Justin Wong. Best three-out-of-five matches, Guile vs. Rufus, no switching. During the final round of the deciding match, Justin uses Rufus' Space Opera Symphony Ultra Combo while he has only around 5% health left; he thinks he's made a comeback as he piles on the corner pressure. Justin jumps in for the kill with the Falcon Dive Kick, but Daigo uses Guile's Flash Explosion Ultra Combo at the very last second as a counterattack. The end result? Their rematch ends in a Double K.O. draw.
- At EVO 2010, Justin Wong looked to redeem himself against Daigo in Super SFIV. Standing in his way was the incredible pad Zangief known as "Vangief"—who sends Justin to Loser's bracket—and Taiwan's low-tier Adon-playing hero, "Gamerbee." And yes, that is a ballroom of over 5,000 spectators jumping to their feet. This led to an explosion in hits to the SRK Adon forums, and some funny remixes.
- Sabre vs Alex Valle at EVO 2009. Nobody expected to see a Sakura do this good (Sakura was considered very weak in the early days of Vanilla) or dominate a legend like Valle.
- EVO 2010 also saw the infamous Juicebox Abel vs. Scumbag match. Scumbag picks Blanka against Juicebox Abel's (duh) Abel. In the second match of the game, things look up for Scumbag, so he starts backdashing a few times. He then proceeds to taunt Juicebox. Cue Juicebox making a huge comeback and reducing Blanka's health from full to nothing in about fifteen seconds. After losing, Scumbag slams his stick to the floor and says "fuck you" to Juicebox before storming off.
- Another moment from 2010 was Daigo taking the EVO championship for the second year in a row. (As of 2014, he is still the only person to win the SFIV EVO tournament twice.) The best part? He defeated Ricky Ortiz, Justin Wong's teammate from Evil Geniuses and one of the greatest Rufus players in the world, to do it.
- The first match of the SoCal Regionals grand finals for Super Street Fighter IV saw Tokido (Akuma) vs. ClakeyD (Ibuki). Both players are 2-2, at which point Tokido proceeds to remove his black jacket, revealing his white Godsgarden t-shirt. Tokido gets knocked down to 20% health, but manages to make a big comeback. When he hits Ibuki with his Raging Demon, Tokido walks in front of the projector, which proceeds to shine Akuma's "Heaven" symbol on his back.
- EVO 2011 saw something similar to the Hungrybox vs. Armada Super Smash Bros. example below, only with 801Strider vs. DR Ray. After doing button configuration practice with each fighter's mainstay characters (DR Ray's Fei Long and 801Strider's Akuma, Strider switches to Makoto. After a shaky first round, Strider kicks DR Ray's ass all over the place to the roar of the crowd.
- EVO 2011: Poongko and Latif take down Daigo, sending him home with a fourth-place finish. Poongko sends Daigo (using Yun, one of the Purposely Overpowered character) to the loser's bracket by winning four rounds in a row and getting a perfect on him to end the set. Latif finishes the job after a tough fight.
- In one of the after hours segments at EVO, just when you thought it couldn't get any more hype, the elevator opens. Out comes a guy wearing a horse head mask. Everybody laughs their asses off, especially when the guy starts downing beer and what appears to be energy drink or Sierra Mist. He then appears behind Poongko and Online Tony and sticks his head in between them. They both turn around slowly, then laugh their asses off, too. At this moment, Hype Horse is born.
- At the 2011 Marvel Madness tourney, Justin Wong faced off against Air in the SSFIV Grand Finals. Air picks Ryu, but Justin lingers, making everyone wonder if he'll pick Abel. At the last moment...he moves the cursor over to Dan. Cue Justin (with the crowd behind him due to the fact that he was gutsy enough to pick Dan note ) steamrolling Air's Ryu. Justin even finishes the final set with the Legendary Taunt Ultra, a move that is not only unheard of at high-level play, but was prophesied by commentator James Chen almost a good twenty seconds before it actually happened. Behold the glory of Saikyo!
- At EVO 2012, Infiltration cut a Giga Drill Breaker-sized hole through everyone he faced. He even dismantled Daigo.
- The Street Fighter 25th Anniversary tournament had a $25,000 waiting for the winner. Daigo busted out some new tech and beat Infiltration with a 3-0 sweep in Winner's Finals. Infiltration's answer? A 6-0 sweep in Grand Finals.
- Saying "EVO 2013 was awesome" is an understatement. We had Infiltration (Akuma) facing Daigo (Ryu) again in Top 8 and defeating him (Daigo still managed to reach EVO's Top 8 for the fifth straight year), then taking out Sako as well. He finally has a chance to face "Murderface" Tokido, who is one of the FGC's best Akuma players, in a proper big game. Tokido proves why he has the nickname "Murderface." But even Tokido's walls of Zanku Hadokens couldn't stop Singapore's Xian, who used Gennote to completely steamroll Tokido and take the championship. Back to Infiltration: After being pushed to 1-2 by PR Balrog's namesake character in Losers' Semi-Finals note , Infiltration changes characters to Hakan—a character widely considered low tier but is a strong counter to Balrog. Infiltration plays a comeback game to earn third place in a match that goes down to the final round and receives a standing ovation from the crowd. He even earns a man hug from PR Balrog. The FGC widely thinks of this as one of the greatest matches in EVO history.
- After the crushing defeats at the hands of Infiltration, most players would either learn a new counter character or resign themselves to eternal defeat. Daigo is not like most players. A few weeks earlier, Daigo showed Xian that playing an EVO winner doesn't faze "The Beast" one damn bit.
- The butt of many jokes in the FGC, Canadians hoped to prove to the world that their community was a force to be reckoned with in the 5v5 tournament.. They got their chance in Canada Cup 2013. Down to their last player at Losers Semis against team USA, Chi-rithy managed to turn the tables with Cammy. While already established as one of the best characters at the time, his reverse OCV of Team USA, which included defeating established players such as Justin Wong, Ricky Ortiz, PR Balrog and Filipino Champ, was an impressive achievement in itself for the country... only to be OCV'd by Team NE Asia in Losers Finals. While this was expected, Dakou made it even more impressive by using Dee Jay, seen as the worst character in SSFIV .2012. Made even more memorable with commentary by a bewildered Gootecks and James Chen. To quote from Chen: "You would have been better off losing to team USA with some dignity and take some semblance of honor than to get OCV'd by Dee Jay."
- Daigo used the Grand Finals of DreamHack Winter 2013 to remind everyone watching that he is, in fact, psychic.
- At NEC 14, Sanford Kelly took on AquaSilk in a pre-scheduled money match. Sanford crushes Aquasilk. After the match, the hype of the moment winds down. Then Sanford looks into the crowd...and points to PR Balrog. The two of them proceed to duke it out in a set that goes the full distance and is as hype as hype can get. Then Sanford turns to the crowd and calls out Justin Wong. Their set goes the full five as well; it even runs right down to the wire. Everyone involved lost their minds.
- At SoCal Regionals 2014, a 5-on-5 Super SFIV AE exhibition was held between teams representing Northern California (headlined by Ricky Ortiz and PR Balrog) and Southern California (made up of the best regulars from Wednesday Night Fights). The exhibition starts off poorly for SoCal when NorCal runs out to a 4-0 lead. LPN only needs to defeat the last player standing on SoCal, Snake Eyez, to sweep the exhibition. Snake Eyez manages to beat LPN—then defeats the other four members of the NorCal team in a row. The entire exhibition can be seen on YouTube; Snake Eyez's comeback starts at 49:20.
- EVO 2014's Ultra Street Fighter IV tournament will most likely go down as legendary in the history books. The tournament started Friday with what some called "The Bloodiest Day In Street Fighter IV History": numerous well-known players and EVO winners were eliminated early in the tournament. PR Balrog, Ryan Hart, Justin Wong, Tokido, Infiltration and even 2013 champion Xian were all eliminated before the Top 8. But the most shocking of these eliminations was...
- veteran Ryu player John Choi taking out Daigo Umehara. Despite a list of commendable accomplishments, John has never been considered a top Street Fighter IV player, and he has never taken the game seriously, as he prefers older games. His win against Daigo is due to his sheer fundamental knowledge: He forced a classic Street Fighter II-style fireball war to remove any advantages that the SFIV system gave Daigo's Evil Ryu. Daigo went on record to say that Choi played the better match. He refused to blame his loss on a faulty setup (like some of his fans did).
- Also noteworthy: the performance of French player Luffy (Rose), who had to fight through an absolutely loaded bracket. After being sent to losers' bracket by Xian, he fought — and eliminated — Tokido, Mago, Eita, Momochi, Gackt, Snake Eyez, and 2011 champion Fuudo. He then defeated Bonchan to become the first non-Asian and first European champion for Street Fighter IV at EVO. The real kicker? He used a vanilla PS1 controller.
- Xian vs Snake Eyez was a sight to behold. EVO 2013 champ Xian played a patient-yet-precise Gen against Snake Eyez's Zangief, who can walk players into the corner and do mind games with the Spinning Pile Driver. Their playstyles resulted in one of the closest matches in the tournament—but the Moment of Awesome was in the final match. With ten seconds left, Xian holds a fairly healthy lead on Snake Eyez, who has only a square of health left. The announcers pointed out that Gief's Ultra would take too long to complete. With five seconds left, Snake Eyez nails Xian with two jump-in attacks that bring Gen's health down. In the next second, Xian pulls off his Ultra—not necessarily to kill Zangief, who blocks it, but to get him out of the corner and hopefully beat the clock with more health. Gen passes through Zangief, but at the very last second, Snake Eyez pulls off an EX Banishing Flat. The move hits as the timer runs out...and it brings Gen's health almost a pixel lower than Zangief's, which secures the win for Snake Eyez.
- Some fans of the FGC (as well as competitive players like Filipino Champ) have called Daigo Umehara a washed-up has been, citing a steady decline in his tournament placings. On the 26th of October 2014, he proved all the naysayers wrong by annihilating six of the best USFIV players in the world in the Capcom Pro Tour Asia Finals. (His only loss was by a narrow margin at the end of an extremely close fight with Poongko. Daigo secured a spot in the Capcom Cup and proved once again why he is still "The Beast".
- Daigo used the power of Evil Ryu to assert his dominance in the Topanga A League Preliminaries; he swept his opponents with a total score of 10-1 (only losing a set to Momochi). In the first-to-seven finals, Daigo again destroys his competition and ends with a final score of 5-0 and game differential score of +22. Multiple top players said Daigo was most likely to win the 2014 Capcom Cup.
- This winning streak culminated in a Bittersweet Ending at Capcom Cup. Daigo destroyed Justin Wong in the first round of the finals, but was sent to Losers' Bracket by Xian (who won with a smart counterpick and placed 2nd in the tournament), then eliminated by PR Balrog. The Beast didn't make Top 8, but he gave one hell of a show.
- PR Balrog's phenomenal comeback against Daigo Umehara in Losers' Bracket of Capcom Cup 2014 was nothing short of astonishing.
- The rising player on everybody's mind in 2015 was Momochi. His Top 8 finish at EVO 2014 put him on a hot-streak. He placed first in Capcom Cup, Shadowloo Showdown, and SXSW Gaming Fighters Invitational. He also nabbed second place in Final Round 18, Topanga World League 2015, and Stunfest 2015. He would probably be considered the best in the world...if it weren't for Daigo Umehara, who placed first in Canada Cup Master Series 2015, Stunfest 2015, Topanga World League 2015, and the Norcal Regionals (alongside several Top 8 international placements and wins since 2014).
- Daigo vs Momochi at Stunfest 2015 Grand Final. Witness The Beast Unleashed: 25 hits combo without using Super/Ultra moves.
- EVO 2015 didn't give Daigo and Momochi a chance to fight it out. Instead, the game is a long CMOA for the aforementioned Gamerbee. To begin: he was knocked into the Losers' Bracket by Infiltration and faced Daigo Umehara, of all players, someone he has consistently struggled with throughout Street Fighter IV history. But this time, he knocked out The Beast. He proceeds through the Losers' Bracket and eliminates Nuckledu, Tokido, Nemo and, after claiming sweet revenge against Infiltration, enters the Grand Final against Momochi. With his iconic Adon he gave Momochi one hell of a fight, and though Momochi won the Grand Final eventually, it doesn't diminish any awesomeness from the Taiwanese player. Unfortunately, the game is also ruined by Razer, whose game pad's cable for Momochi broke down during the last set, forcing the pause and maintanence and thus ruining the pace of the Grand Final. No wonder words bashing Razer spread over the internet after the game.
- Alex "Uncle" Valle knocking Bonchan, the 2nd place runner up from Evo 2014, into loser's brackets during Evo 2015. Knocking Bonchan into losers is impressive enough, as he's one of the best Sagat players in the world. Taking him out with Hugo, a character considered trash by the Japanese with a 3/7 match-up against Sagat at best is more so. Doing so in two perfect sets without suffering a loss should be impossible. The cherry on top is that Alex is in his mid-thirties and should be nearing the end of his esports career.
- At Canada Cup 2015, Tokido put on a hell of a performance with his signature character, Akuma. After the tournament, he is interviewed by Mike Ross. Tokido speaks from the heart to say that he feels Akuma has been nerfed significantly in Ultra, but that if he were to stop playing him in favor of a stronger character, he would stunt his growth as a player, and that through thick and thin he plans to stick with Akuma until the very end of the game's lifespan.
- Capcom Cup 2015 was marked by the incredible run pulled off by Kazunoko. His first match was with 801 Strider, who he had beaten twice before earlier in the year and who would push their match to last round of the final game before Kazunoko won again. Kazunoko then went on to beat Problem X, Misse, Daigo Umehara and Xian in clean sweeps to go to grand finals. During this run, Kazunoko won 18 straight rounds without dropping one to his opponents, with Misse and Daigo taking clean sheets and the book-ending round losses to Problem X and Xian being the only ones he would take in those four matches. In grand finals, Kazunoko faced off with Daigo Umehara again - Umehara would finally find his footing and force last game last round in a tense match, but Kazunoko would ultimately triumph to cap off his dominant performance and take probably the last major Street Fighter IV tournament in the game's competitive life.
Street Fighter V
- Marn's performance at Northern California Regionals 2016. Marn is a cocky but dangerous player best known for being friends with Justin Wong, for being the basis for Mr. N in Divekick, and for being the butt of several jokes in earlier places on this page. While Marn has never been one to underestimate, he faded from relevance during the latter end of the Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 life cycle—particularly after moving to Vietnam, far from the American scene that knew him. Marn's stream backers paid for him to fly out to NCR and compete, and boy did they get their money's worth. Despite registering late and being forced into the "Death Bracket"note Armed with some of the craziest and riskiest R. Mika play ever seen, Marn exceeded all expectations and defeated MOV, Filipino Champ, Mago, and K-Brad to get out of the Death Bracket. His impressive reign of terror didn't end there, though, as he then went on to eliminate both NuckleDu and Ricki Ortiz from the tournament! It took nothing less than Marn's own "Demon", Justin Wong, to take Marn out. In the end, Marn finished the tournament in fourth place. An extremely respectable ranking from a guy NO ONE was expecting to do well.
- Both Final Round 19 and NorCal Regionals 2016 saw Korean Street Fighter god Infiltration score two consecutive first place wins, not only qualifying him for the Capcom Cup, but also denying Japanese SF god Tokido in both tournaments' Grand Finals. Though it wasn't for a lack of trying on Tokido's part, especially considering he fought through Loser's Bracket both tournaments to make it to Grand Finals.
- The entire year of 2016 so far could be one for Infiltration. He's consistently won just about every tournament he's gone to, and is almost single handedly the reason why his Nash is considered to be so strong.
- As of CEO 2016, Tokido finally breaks the streak and defeats Infiltration in Grand Finals. This set shows full potential of Ryu's V-Skill Parry, with Tokido using it to stop Infiltration's tactics and countering beautifully, going from parrying Nash's Forward.HK on wakeup after being grabbed, EX Moonsaultnote , and Critical Art. Tokido then ends the 6-1 set ends with a perfect, earning a spot at Capcom Cup, to the cheers of the hyped-up crowd.
- Before the game's release, consensus from the betas pointed many signs to Ken being a poorly designed character, with stubby-ranged normals, and long recovery frames in his moveset. Then at Winter Brawl X, Julio shows the community why Ken was to be feared, with his extremely risky, but rewarding gameplay. Masterfully capitalizing Ken's speed and damage from long strings, Julio went on to take second place and is still performing strongly as of this writing.
- Canada Cup 2016 saw an incredible Top 8 for SFV; John Takeuchi placing in the final four, Phenom's rampage through the Loser's Bracket (including his annihilation of Daigo Umehara, which saw Phenom's Necalli command grab Daigo's Ryu five times in a row to death in one round), and most importantly, Liquid Nuckledu becoming the first American to qualify for Capcom Cup in two years by winning the premier event, by running through Xiaohai not once (3-2, Winner's Finals) but twice (3-0, Grand Finals).
- And for anyone who saw him as a lucky fraud for winning just one premier event, Nuckledu cements his status at Red Bull Battleground as not only the best player in North America, but one of the best in the world. After being sent into Loser's by Japanese SF God Tokido, Nuckledu proceeds to eliminate two of Evil Genius' heavies K-Brad and Justin Wong before taking out the tourney's breakout star ANBU|Punk in Loser's Finals. And to cap it all off, Nuckledu, with his Guile, proceeds to tear apart Tokido, resetting the bracket with a 3-1 lead, before finishing with a 3-1 set.
- Going back to ANBU|Punk, pretty much every commentator said that he was the most slept-on competitor in the entire tournament. Starting with his 3-2 victory over Filipino Champ, Punk proceeds to cut a swath through the Top 16 Finals, sending Chris Tatarian and Justin Wong to Loser's before being sent there by Tokido himself. Finishing the tournament strong in 3rd place, there's no doubt that we'll be seeing more of Punk in the near future.
- Capcom Cup 2016. An event nobody could have predicted.
- Infiltration, Tokido, Gamerbee, Justin Wong, Daigo Umehara, all competitors that were heavy favorites to win the tournament were all wiped out in the preliminaries.
- The end of Day One saw something very rare for a major tourney in that two Americans (Nuckledu and Ricki Ortiz) made it to Top 8. Day Two brought us two things nobody saw coming: Du and Ricki facing off at Winners' Finals, and facing off again at Grand Finals. In the end, Nuckledu capped off his momentous three-month period of dominance by becoming the first American to win at Capcom Cup!
- Here's something on the Professional Wrestling front: Kenny Omega and Xavier Woods went first to 5 at CEO 2016, putting on a show for the crowd.
- After years of failing to win the title, Tokido finally wins EVO 2017 with his iconic Akuma fighting through the Losers' Bracket to Grand Finals, getting a reset and delivering a 3-0 Curb-Stomp Battle in the second set to Punk. The Grand Final is something of legends to be told, including finishing game one of the first set with a taunt combo (the commentators even said it never happened in EVO Grand Finals), a Perfect round after resetting and in the following game, lands a Raging Demon on Karin for the kill, further demoralizing Punk; the crowd obviously went nuts. To Punk's credit, he (who played in EVO for the first time) fought his way to the Grand Final without losing a single game, and came very close to winning America's first EVO SF Championship.
Super Smash Bros
- Every character in Melee gets one in this video, Super Smash Bros. Metagame, a series of compilation vids of amazing combos with every single character in the game, done by various pros.
- WOMBO COMBO!!!
- This video is one of the greatest comebacks ever seen in a game. Ever.
- The stage is Pound V, Winners Quarterfinals. The combatants are Armada, Europe's top player, and Hungrybox, one of the best Jigglypuff players in the world. Armada manages to take down Hbox 2-0, but not with his main, Peach; he instead clinches victory with Young Link. note Moves were shown. Armada would move on to the Grand Finals to face Dr. Peepee. Armada would return to his main, Peach, with Dr. Peepee using Falco having come out of Loser's Bracket. The two would proceed to go at it for nearly forty minutes and tear the goddamn house down. Both players were at the top of their game, combos were being handed out left and right (some of which had never been seen before, and some believe they were made up on the fly), and the action was fast and relentless. Peepee not only resets the bracket at championship point for Armada, he then goes on to win the tournament. Many Melee players consider this one of the best matches in the game's competitive history. Watch the set in its entirety here.
- At Apex 2013, the unthinkable happened: Mew2King, armed with Meta Knight (the poster boy for Tier-Induced Scrappy), lost to Salem, using Zero Suit Samus! To put this in context, this would be like a team of Magneto/Storm/Sentinel losing to Blackheart/Tron/Doom in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. Not only did Salem win at Winners' Finals, he also took Grand Finals as well! In other words, Zero Suit Samus never lost a set the entire tournament!
- EVO 2013 was full of awesome, all around.
- Armada, the then-world champion of Melee, was defeated by Dr. PeePee 2-0, putting him into Losers' even before Top 8!
- Likewise, Mango, the player that most said would have the best shot at taking Armada out, was ALSO put into Losers' before Top 8 by none other than Wobbles, an Ice Climbers player!
- Mew2King, Wobbles, Hungrybox, and Dr. PeePee advance to Winners' Semis, where Wobbles beats Dr. PeePee and Hungrybox beats Mew2King. In Winners' Finals, Wobbles goes down one game to HungryBox and falls down 2 stocks to 1, and he is playing Ice Climbers vs. Jigglypuff, but manages to even the game up with a wobble. Jigglypuff takes out Nana quickly, but Wobbles manages to come back to win the game using Sopo! note Wobbles successfully wins the next game as well to earn a spot in Grand Finals.
- Mango's entire run through Losers' bracket during Top 8 is awesome in and of itself, taking down some of the world's best players, including Dr. PeePee, Armada, and Hungrybox. The craziest part is that he only drops one game during his run through Top 8!
- The Grand Finals were a category of awesome all their own. Wobbles was the person who put Mango in the Losers' Bracket, back in the Top 16. After going 4-0 in his last four games, Mango continues the streak, going 3-0 against Wobbles and forcing a reset. Set 2 begins with Mango continuing his streak yet again, going up 2-0. Just as if it looks like he's about to take Game 3 and go 6-0, Wobbles forces a Game 4 on his last stock! Unfortunately for Wobbles, Mango completed the full comeback and won EVO 2013 Melee all the way from the Top 8 Losers' Bracket, against the person who put him there. Let's stress this: Mango went on a fifteen game winning streak during his run through the Loser's Bracket. It's not often you see such a dominant run through the Loser's Bracket in any competitive game.
- The Return of the King!
- Context: One of the greatest Melee players of all time, Mew2King, has a very poor record of choking against Jigglypuff player Hungrybox. At The Big House 3, one of the largest 2013 Melee tournaments aside from EVO, M2K, after years of losing to Hbox, takes a set off of him in Winner's Finals. And again in Grand Finals! This tournament marked the beginning of an amazing consecutive winning streak in Melee (including two more victories against Hbox at Revival of Melee 6) dubbed by fans as the "Return of the King", culminating in a very respectable second-place finish at Apex 2014 against Dr. PeePee.
- Mew2King's Brawl run during this era was just as impressive, with a similar dominating string of first-place finishes during that time, culminating in a 2nd-place finish at Smash Factor 2, losing to ZeRo, and a 4th place finish at Apex 2014, losing to Nairo and ZeRo. His KTAR 8 performance was especially impressive, consisting of victories over ADHD, Ally, Nakat, and ZeRo (set 1; set 2), who all are capable of defeating M2K. His grand finals victory over ZeRo was particularly impressive given that he lost to ZeRo in Winner's Finals 3-0.
- The return of the king 2.0. After having had a terrible performance for the first half of the year, failing to beat a single top 5 player, going on a massive losing streak against Leffen, and coming off of a particularly dominant defeat at Super Smash Con, Mew2king 3-0'd Leffen twice in a row in Winners and Grand Finals, beating him wiith all three of his characters and ending Sweden's tournament winning streak against the US. From there he went on to take second at Paragon Los Angeles, 4-stocking Leffen and beating Hungrybox in Loser's Finals before losing a very close set to Mango in Grand Finals, and 3-0'd Mango at the Big House 5 to take a respectable 3rd place below Hungrybox and Armada
- ESAM's two sets against ZeRo at Apex 2014 were ridiculous. In Winners' Semis, he 2-0s ZeRo, with his Ice Climbers. This is made even better due to ZeRo having one of the best matchups against the Ice Climbers, period. (He defeated both Vinnie and Nakat, two of the best American Ice Climbers, at KTAR 8, one right after the other!)
- Dr. PeePee's undefeated run at Apex 2014, taking a set off of Mango and two sets off of the then-undefeated Mew2King, finally cementing Dr. PeePee as the best Melee player in the world. This included four-stocking Mew2King, twice!
- aMSa's Apex 2014 performance will never be forgotten. He managed to take 9th place among some of the best Melee players in the world, with Yoshi, a low tier character.
- The match between Mew2King and Kels at Super SWEET.
- Mew2King's victory over Armada at SKTAR 3. Mew2King lost a first close game with his Sheik, putting him down 1 in a best of 3 set. He then switches to Fox, where he makes not one, but two two-stock comebacks against Armada. What makes this epic is that ever since Armada has been competing in the United States as of GENESIS in 2009, Mew2King has not been able to beat him in tournament. That set marked the end of a five year block that Mew2King had not been able to overcome.
- Though there were plenty of hype moments at EVO 2014 for Smash Bros, the battle between Silent Wolf and Axe needs to be mentioned. Axe took the first set in a close battle, while Silent Wolf took set 2 in a match just as close. But the final set? Axe four-stocked Silent Wolf within 1 minute. This was met with a loud "PIKACHU" chant from the sold-out crowd.
- Nairo finally turns the tables against the reigning champion of Smash 4 ZeRo by beating him in the Grand Finals of MLG 2015, thus putting an end ZeRo's win streak. However, special mention does go to ZeRo for holding one of the longest tournament winning streaks in the Smash community, dominating a total of 56 tournaments, including (but not limited to) APEX, CEO, and EVO. And for bonus points, he became the first player in any game to win EVO without losing a single game.
- EVO 2016 Melee: Having to fight through the Losers Bracket and surviving a close call by Plup, Hungrybox nearly finds himself eliminated in the first Grand Final set by last year's champion Armada when he pulls off a comeback with only one stock and a high meter to reset the bracket. After Armada takes it to 2-1 in the second set, Hungrybox again survives elimination and forces one last match. Despite an attempted comeback by Armada with only one stock, Hungrybox gets the last laugh and after coming so close so many times, finally wins at EVO.
- EVO 2017 Smash 4 Finals: the contestants are ZeRo and Salem. ZeRo's Diddy Kong and Salem's Bayonetta seemed to be quite evenly matched; as soon as one lost a round, the other would come back with a vengeance. Salem manged to win 2-3 once already, and then the following comeback round, ZeRo stops fooling around and starts putting his all into the match, leading to another 2-2 final round situation. Salem knocked out the first of ZeRo's stocks with 101% damage and a single stock left, and it seemed like ZeRo would win this one...that is, until an epic recovery from Salem as the next flurry of kicks proceeds to bring ZeRo from 26% to DONE by pushing him straight to the top of the screen, finally ending the long struggle! An epic finish towards an epic final round.
- If there was one standout player from the 2013 World Tekken Championships, it would be Alexandre "AK" Lavarez from the Philippines. Coming in as a virtual unknown (at least to the international community), AK just about dominated most of his matches before finally being stopped at 3rd place by the Koreans. The best part however, AK was only 12 when he entered the tournament (and actually celebrated his 13th birthday at the event).
- 2016 was an amazing year to be a Tekken fan. Considering the newest installment at that time, Tekken 7, had not yet been released for consoles, at the very least, longtime fans of the series were given one hell of a show by the various professional tournaments across the globe, which fans were able to watch live on Twitch or easily find videos of on YouTube.
- The hype all started at the end of the 2015 global tournament, which unveiled the updated title Fated Retribution, along with a completely unexpected character reveal: Akuma. There were no leaks prior to the trailer, and absolutely no hints to this came from Bandai Namco or elsewhere, which is particularly impressive given how information leaks can be a pressing problem among gaming companies in recent years.
- Anakin from Atlanta was one of the earliest 2016 tournament qualifiers for North America; however, he did so before the Fated Retribution update was available in the US. Because of this, and also because he wanted more experience with the game, he gave up his qualifying spot at least twice within the year before deciding to hold on to it until the North American finals. That means he won one tournament to qualify before giving up his spot; won another, qualified, and gave it up again; then won yet another tournament and finally decided to keep his qualifying spot.
- Rip, a pro Tekken player who's also famous as a commentator for and streamer of the game, had to fight hard for his spot in the North American finals. He came close more than a few times (including coming second place against Anakin in one tournament) before finally securing his spot during the middle of the year.
- In large part due to Akuma becoming part of Tekken, several notable Street Fighter players ventured into the professional Tekken scene, including Justin Wong, who participated in several tournaments. The most infamous SF player who did this, however, was Korean player Poongko, who not only participated in a few tournaments across North America, but actually won first place in two events as well. Unfortunately for the North Americans, only native first-placers were allowed to qualify for the North American finals, meaning the second-placers who lost to Poongko were not eligible to qualify. Prior to this year, the highest-placing North American players used to be eligible for the qualifying spot.
- Because of the many spots left open toward the end of the North American Tekken Tour, the Last Chance Qualifier held a day before the North American Finals had a total of nine tournaments back-to-back, which took over 15 hours all in all. It was a grueling experience for all its participants, especially since they were single-elimination tournaments, but a lot of players were still willing to take the opportunity to qualify for the North American Finals the following day.
- The North American Finals itself was quite an experience. The top 3 players, who qualified for the global tournament, included ITS Princess Ling, who qualified at one of the latter events of the tour; Anakin; and Mr. Naps, who qualified very early in the year, but unlike Anakin, chose to hold on to his spot. Mr. Naps's first-place finish in the North American Finals was made more impressive by how close he came to not even making it to the top 8 because of a three-way tie earlier in the tournament, where both his competitors were already one win ahead of him before he managed to move on.
- The 2016 global finals had more than a few highlights even before the Grand Finals.
- In a surprising twist for the North Americans, the only qualifier from the region who made it to top 16 was Princess Ling; both Anakin and Mr. Naps were unable to secure enough wins to make it. Princess Ling didn't last long among the top 16 as well, coming up against more well-versed Korean and Japanese players.
- Famed Tekken players Knee and Nobi were also eliminated within the top 16. Knee has been a longtime Tekken veteran and was one of the more favored players to win; Nobi was the 2015 EVO and global tournament champion, and was unable to defend his title.
- The aforementioned AK, the youngest of the 32 qualifiers at 16 years old, went up to top 8 before losing against Korean player Saint in a heavily contested battle.
- The Grand Finals itself was one of, if not THE most exciting tournament match of the entire year. Chanel's Alisa went up against Saint's Jack-7. Saint was on the loser's side and had to win three matches to reset the bracket, and then win another three matches to win the whole thing. Saint takes three matches and gets the reset, seemingly without any problem. Saint continues winning and gets another two matches with the same apparent ease. The apparent common thread was that the stage they played on had no walls; Jack-7, as noted by the commentators repeatedly, had more of an advantage without walls because he could get the space he needed without worrying about an opponent's offense decimating him against a wall due to his large hitbox. On the sixth match, with Saint apparently on tournament point, the stage changes to a walled stage, and suddenly Chanel manages to fight Saint off and get his first win. On the next match, the stage reverts to a wall-less stage, but Chanel rides the momentum and wins again, tying the score 2-2. The deciding match is set on a walled stage, and both players give their all, taking it all the way to a final round. Saint pulls out all the stops and defeats Chanel with a throwback Jack-2 attack grab to win the global finals. As a bonus, he continued the trend started by Nobi in 2015 of the EVO champion winning the global tournament; Saint was also the 2016 EVO champion earlier in the year.
- ABUGET Cup 2017 Losers Finals - Saint vs Doujin is insane just for the character picks alone. Saint picked Jack-7 and Bob while Doujin picked Gigas (one of the lower tiered characters), Dragunov and Shaheen. Five characters being picked in a tournament match is practically unheard of. In particular, Doujin's Gigas pulled a ridiculous win against Saint's Jack-7. Also notable in that this is the second time Doujin eliminated Saint in a tournament, the first one being at Rage Art 2017.
- GentlemanThief's Jean vs. Itabashi Zangief's Shun in the Losers Finals at Sega Cup 2013 (playing Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown), in what came down to one of the closest matches of the tournament, with Itabashi gaining a lot of momentum and winning two rounds in a row, and then Gentleman Thief pulling off the win to go on to the grand finals. The fact that nearly every single character in the game was used in said tournament, and all used very effectively. It's great to see a variety of characters in a fighting game tournament, as opposed to others where only a handful of top tier characters are used.
- Sega Cup 2014: Newcomer Zekiel displaying some killer skill with his Jacky against Jacko's Jeffry, sidestepping and outspacing and mixing it up nicely with plenty of style. To quote Shidosha, "How well, do you know, your character?!" Also the grand final, with Itazan's Shun vs Fuudo's Lion, an incredibly tense and nerve-wracking match.