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Media Notes / FGC Aces

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The Beast In his natural habitat.

This page is a list of Fighting Game Community players that excel far above their peers. Thanks to the success and popularity of Fighting Games in general, as well as the fact that most top players are Competition Freaks, this list is constantly growing.

Capcom Games

  • Daigo Umehara (pictured) is considered, pound-for-pound, the greatest Street Fighter player that ever lived.
    Quote from ESPN interview with Tokido after EVO 2017: "Aliens invade the Earth from the fighting game planet," he said. "If they win, we lose fighting games; we cannot play fighting games. Only one player can fight as a representative of the Earth. Who did you vote for?" Tokido sees only one figure who could take on the challenge: Daigo. Until Tokido can, without hesitation, put himself in those shoes, he will not consider himself the best.
  • Du "NuckleDu" Dang is a young American player who is known for using a PS3 controller rather than an arcade stick. He won Canada Cup, North American Regional Finals and Capcom Cup with its 230k first place prize in 2016. Made even more awesome by the fact that he came close to succesfully commiting suicide earlier that year, but came back extremely strong, indeed.
  • Justin Wong, was seen by many as the best fundamental fighting game player in the United States, and is one of the best fighting game players in the world. Was apart of the now legendary EVO Moment 37 opposite Daigo Umehara which put the fighting game community on the map, and was once seen as a heel within the community during his alleged rivalry with Daigo, much like what Chris G and Filipino Champ are currently seen as. However, he's now become a worldwide fan favorite and one of the most popular members of the scene. Known for the "Wong Factor," where a normally solid player gets nervous when competing against him, and makes a crucial mistake that Justin capitalizes on and wins. This usually happens right when it seems like Justin's opponent is about to win the match. He has recently become a Canadian.
    • At one point in the Marvel vs. Capcom community, the question wasn't who was going to win: It was who would place second behind Justin Wong. Justin has also built up an impressive repertoire in other fighting game series such as Street Fighter, SNK vs. Capcom, and Killer Instinct. These feats have given him the title of "Greatest Fighting Game Player of All Time" amongst the Western community.
  • During Marvel vs. Capcom 2's lifetime, there was a trio of aces: Justin Wong, Sanford Kelly, and Michael IFC Yipes Mendoza. They eventually came to be known as the three gods of MvC2. Their dominance is nicely covered in this article.
  • Poongko "The Machine" (Lee Chunggon) is a Korean player who is well known for his brutal rushdown and high-risk/high-reward gameplay with Seth that involves impossibly difficult execution and amazing guesses. He disappeared from the competitive scene in 2013, and briefly made a reappearance (although not performing to the level he once had) before vanishing yet again. These days, he has a live stream that began in late August, where he plays online against various players in the East Asia region. His most recent placing was 4th at Capcom Cup 2015. Just don't make him take his shirt off. You may not like what happens afterwards.
  • Alex Valle (sometimes called Tio/Uncle Valle or his original handle, Calipower), former US Champion of Street Fighter and owner of Level|Up. Considered one of the "O.G."s of the scene and well-known for being Taught by Experience with very little technical data of the game system but an uncanny ability to make correct decisions.
  • For a while, Christopher NYChrisG Gonzalez was widely considered to be the pound-for-pound best Marvel player. In the 2013 tournament season, ChrisG became as dominant in the Marvel community as Justin Wong was about a decade earlier, only failing to take first place in four major tournaments (including, ultimately, EVO 2013). Despite his EVO loss, Chris's reign continued during the first half of the 2014 season as well. He's so dominant that New York's weekly "Big Two" tournament has been jokingly referred to as his "weekly paycheck", and side betters at events close the bets when he steps up to play. In 2015, he was one of the favorites to win Marvel at EVO and finally have his championship, only to not make it to Top 8. To be just, his rivals, Filipino Champ and Justin Wong also didn't make it to Top 8 that year. ChrisG's prowess has extended to other games, as well, such as Street Fighter IV, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and The King of Fighters XIII. Currently, he's considered the USA's most consistent player, and finally took home a UMvC3 EVO championship of his own in 2016, and placing 2nd the following year.
  • Ryan Filipino Champ (Fchamp) Ramirez has been dominant on the US West Coast, particularly in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. A battle between himself and Chris G was considered Combat by Champion between the two rival coasts before Chris G moved to the West Coast himself.
  • Henri Chi-Rithy Oung is the most dominant player in the Canadian scene, and has won decisive matches against top American players as well.
  • Seonwoo Infiltration Lee is a Korean player who completely dominated the Street Fighter scene from mid-2012 to mid-2013, only failing to take first place in a few tournaments during that time period. He won both EVO 2012 and the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary tournament. And in the latter, he did it by completely shutting down Daigo Umehara 6-0 in Grand Finals. Also of note is his seemingly endless supply of characters to play, ranging from his mainstay Akuma to oddballs like Hakan and Oni, complete counterpicks like Abel, Gouken, Ryu and Chun-Li, completely unfair characters like Decapre and most recently at First Attack PR 2015, Hugo.
    • His 2016 run already looks monstrous. He won Final Round 19, the first major CPT (Capcom Pro Tour) event for Street Fighter V — a tournament that had over 1,000 people competing, the Nor Cal Regionals immediately afterward, then won Red Bull Kumite and then became the first EVO SFV champion (in a tournament with 5000 competitors).
  • Ryan "Prodigal Son" Hart is considered a sheer force of nature within the UK Tekken and Street Fighter scene, and he's been at it even longer than Daigo. He's also recognized by many as one of the best Virtua Fighter 5 players on the planet, and seen by many as the best overall European player.
  • France's Alioune (Alioune Camara), aka "The Professor." Some would argue he has perfected how Cammy should be played — aggressive, in your face and with non-stop and sometimes unfair "unblockable" mix-ups.
  • France's Olivier Luffy Hay continues to dominate most of Europe during the course of his still-running career. His career started when he beat Yamazaki, a former French top Ryu player at a tournament in a local video game shop, despite having no idea who the opposition was & only having picked up the game recently. Things started to snowball from there, and he even won against Daigo during Daigo's trip to France for the WCC. It wasn't until his trip to EVO in 2014 that he reached world fame, though, since most American and Japanese players had no idea who he was before then. He ended up wining the entire tournament with pretty dominating performances, despite facing the best Japan had to offer, Snake Eyez (who he commented to be one of the best player he ever had to face) and many others. His performance was so dominating that messages boards where flooded with nerfs requests regarding his character Rose, who was previously regarded as irrelevant in the game's meta due to lack of damage (though now that things have calmed down, most players do agree that Luffy's talent at playing Rose is making it look a lot easier than it actually is). Should also be noted for playing with an original PlayStation 1 pad.
  • Bruce "GamerBee" Hsiang is the single best Adon player on the planet. Period. A breakout star at EVO 2010 (where he stopped Justin Wong from reaching Top 8), he has since made Top 8 for 5 years in a row, including two 2nd place finishes. He is the most dominant player in Taiwan, has won many majors and has a sponsor in Avermedia.
  • Japan's Hajime Tokido Taniguchi is called "Murderface" due to the Kubrick Stare he often gives. He is an amazingly versatile player — being good at many, many types of games and placing high in most of them, including winning the Street Fighter V grand finals at EVO 2017 out of the loser's bracket, against PG Punk, who dealt him his loss prior to Top 8. He is also a Badass Bookworm, as he was qualified for University of Tokyo (one of, if not the best, university in Japan) before becoming a Pro Gamer.
  • Another of the Japanese "Five Gods," Ushirosako Sakonoko (Sako) Naoto is famed for routinely amazing executing combos — they're simply called "Sako combos" by commentators. He's credited with turning Evil Ryu into a top-tier force of nature with such unfathomable feats like a 5 bar combo (note there are only 4 bars in the EX meter, Sako expended the full 4 meters and gained another bar through the combo string to effectively take the combo up to 5). However, by his own admission Daigo's Evil Ryu is better.
  • Yet another of Japan's "Five Gods," Tatsuya Haitani Haitani is a master of rushdown play and aggressive, overwhelming offense. He reflected this with his character of choice, playing as Makoto in both Street Fighter III: Third Strike, and Street Fighter IV. While his tournament success isn't as great as his fellow Gods, Haitani has qualified for Top 8 in several big tournaments, including EVO 2013, alongside 3 of the other Gods. However, Haitani's success rate started to increase after the jump to Street Fighter V, where he switched to Necalli, taking Japan Cup and Ultimate Fighting Arena 2017. As of 2018, he has switched away from Necalli to Akuma to allow for more diversity in his approaches.
  • Ryota "Kazunoko" Inoue, originally a strong Guilty Gear XX Accent Core player (using Order-Sol), started taking Street Fighter IV seriously beginning in 2011, rising to become the best Yun — a position he then held for the next 4 years, culminating in winning Capcom Cup 2015 and the $120'000 grand prize in dominating fashion. He is still incredibly versatile in newer iterations, as shown at 2017 EVO when he finished 3rd in Street Fighter V and 5th in Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2. He's also made a name for himself as one of the best Dragon Ball Fighterz players in the world, winning its CEO 2018 tournament and its first World Tour Finals in 2019 and is otherwise most distinguished for playing Yamcha on his team.
  • Puerto Rican Eduardo PR Balrog Perez-frangie is a West Coast player with the exceptional ability to switch between orthodox and unorthodox tactics at any given moment. He has developed a very impressive portfolio in much shorter time than most Aces, including an absolutely amazing run at EVO 2013 for Street Fighter IV, defeating Infiltration in Winners' Quarters and nearly defeating him again in Losers' before losing to a risky Hakan pick. He is also a top Marvel vs. Capcom 3 player best known for defeating Justin Wong and getting second place to Viscant at EVO 2011. His unique "random-but-not-really-random" playstyle has caused IFC Yipes to call him "The Daywalker" (a term taken from the film Blade) for having "all of the strengths of a UOP (see below), but none of their weaknesses." On January 10, 2015, PR Balrog revealed he plan to retire from the FGC as a whole after the 2015 season and only plans to compete in some of the biggest majors during that year. He explained that competing is no longer enjoyable and he wants to move on with his life. Has decided to cancel his retirement due to a series of intense matches against Bonchan reigniting his spirit and competitive drive.
  • Singapore's favorite son Ho Kun xian, or simply Xian, known for his ability to dominate with Gen, a character that was considered by many not to be championship material due to his high execution barrier and low damage output. His crowning achievement was winning Evolution 2013, taking out top players such as Sako and Tokido in the process.
  • Darryl "Snake Eyez" Lewis, from Watts, California, is recognized as the best Zangief player on the planet. Many marvel at his great reads and his almost machine like accuracy with his grabs. He was already popular in the West Coast and Japan after winning an EVO title in Super Street Fighter II HD Remix, but it wasn't until his shocking display at SCR 2014 (South California Regionals), where he singlehandedly took out the entire North Cali team, after being the last player representing South Cali, did he become famous in the FGC. He was a regular on Level|Up's WNF (Wednesday Night Fights) and dominated the weekly tournament with only one opponent, Chris Tatarian, able to give him any competition, before both the tournament and the place it was being held came to a shocking end. In late July 2015, Snake Eyez landed one of the biggest sponsorships in gaming. He landed a sponsorship with the Red Bull Energy Drink company. In September 2015, Snake Eyez won The Fall Classic for the second year in a row. He finished off 2015 — and possibly Ultra Street Fighter IV — as consistently the best player for the United States that year. He had the most Pro Tour points of the American players, and he finished in the Top 8 at Capcom Cup 2015, winning 10K of the 250K prize pot. He later returned to the tournament scene in 2023 by winning the Guilty Gear -STRIVE- tournament in the Texas Showdown 2023 event with Potemkin and the Capcom Pro Tour 2023 - US/Canada West Street Fighter 6 online tournament with Zangief. Both characters are examples of The Grappler and were considered as low tier characters at the time.
  • Kenneth K-Brad Bradley has been one of the best Cammy players for the last several years of Street Fighter IV's existence. He's won many majors with her character and is famous for his charismatic personality and having the most sponsors at one time as a player, which was joked about a lot within the community. In 2014, he landed an Evil Geniuses sponsorship which is one of the top professional gaming sponsors.
  • Bryant Smug Higgins is hands down the best SFIV Dudley player on the planet. He became popular during his weekly appearance on Next Level Battle Circuit, the popular East Coast weekly hosted by Team Sp00ky. Like Xian, Smug took a character many people had written off as "not tournament material" because of their high technical execution and low damage, and turned him into a rushdown monster. He dethroned Sanford Kelly's reign at NLBC and dominated for weeks before attending more serious tournaments and eventually winning a couple of them. Now Smug has become a household name in the FGC. In December 2014, he won NEC 15 (Northeast Championship), his greatest accomplishment so far — the USFIV tournament was completely stacked with top players, including Snake Eyez, Justin Wong, PR Balrog, Sanford Kelly, and many others like Pepedey who he beat in Grand Finals. In 2015, Smug decided school was his most important priority and didn't do much traveling. He didn't attend many majors except a few of the most important ones like EVO. However, he still showed up at the weekly east coast tournaments, winning many of them. And he defended his championship at NEC 16 in December, beating Filipinoman in Grand Finals.
  • Yudai Pepedey Furushima is a Japanese El Fuerte player that first made a name for himself by steamrolling the other Japanese competitors and taking the Tokyo Game Show tournament in 2014. He has become THE definitive El Fuerte, showing how scary the character can be in Ultra. He has placed high in many tournaments since, and had another amazing showing at Canada Cup 2014 after destroying Poongko 3-0 in the Winners Final and then mounting a comeback in Grand Finals after being one round away from losing the entire tournament.
  • Yusuke Momochi, one of the gods of Street Fighter III: Third Strike (winning Tougeki 3v3 in 2009) decided to pick up and focus on Street Fighter IV. After winning Tougeki 3v3 in SFIV and getting sponsored by Evil Geniuses, and has since cemented himself as not only the best Ken player on the planet, but after winning Capcom Cup 2014 and EVO 2015, he is now seen by the community as one of the two best players in the world, alongside Daigo Umehara. He started his path to dominance in 2014; He made top 8 at EVO, finished 2nd in the Topanga League, and won Capcom Cup later that year. During that important year ending major, he shocked the community when he beat the favorite Snake Eyez in dominating fashion using Ken. What made it shocking was that Snake Eyez, prior to Capcom Cup, mostly dominated the best Ken player in the US, Chris Tatarian, during Wednesday Night Fights. Momochi cemented his claim as one of the best USFIV players in 2015 by winning EVO in one of the most epic matches in the history of the event. He also came close to getting disqualified when his joystick's cable broke in the final game, however Tokido let him use his joystick and he was able to win an already great match against Gamerbee.
  • Chile's Kane Blueriver (Nicolas Gonzalez) is considered by many in the community to be the real-life version of Ryu. He has traveled the world to hone and perfect his skills, especially in games like The King of Fighters XIII and Marvel vs. Capcom 3. He's well-known to use the heavy-type characters on a fighting game's roster, and his mastery of his Hulk/Haggar/Sentinel team has gotten him an EVO championship in 2015, beating out Raynel "Rayray" Hidalgo in a dominant yet emotional victory as well as his first major tournament victory in the game. KBR's win had a few detractors who claimed that it was a fluke for a number of reasons, but his second major tournament win at Winter Brawl X (over Filipino Champ) and his subsequent success in a number of majors afterward has silenced a large number of them.
  • Jo MOV, (Master of Vampire) Egami, the 2nd-best Street Fighter III player of all time. To understand the gulf between him and lesser players, at the Street Fighter 25th anniversary he annihilated Tokido using one of his pocket characters.
    • He also managed to score a reverse-OCV at Tougeki 2008 with a broken hand, and is known as one of the few people who can consistently pull off Chun-Li's walk-forward Lightning Legs and crouch Jab xx Super.
  • Kuroda. The greatest Street Fighter III player, by a mile. In MOV's own words, his own skill is a 10. Great players (including Daigo) would rate 3-5. Most players rate 0-1. Kuroda? 100.
    • Some of Kuroda's achievements: Nearly winning Tougeki 3v3 with a 2-man team (with Hayao Hugo), humiliating Ricky Ortiz + Justin Wong, being good enough to sell DVDs which are just him beating the best players in Tokyo for 2 hours straight... It's telling when some of his "Best Of" compilations are nearly an hour long.
  • Although no longer a competitor, desk has established himself as THE premier combo video creator/maker of the current generation, and takes pride in the fact that (unlike old-school combo creators) he does everything by hand, inspiring players to use combos like the Chun-Li Loop in actual tournaments.
  • Despite being only known to the wider world in SFIV's twilight years, Brazilian Abel ace Keoma (real name: Keoma M. Pacheco) burst on to the scene in 2015, being the only non-Asian player to defend their home turf in a Capcom Pro Tour event. His range of setups and near-flawless combo execution allowed this Ensemble Dark Horse to finish in joint-7th, tied with Infiltration and ahead of top picks like Tokido, Luffy, and Gamerbee.
  • Victor Punk Woodley is one of the most successful American players in any Street Fighter game, in his case Street Fighter V. First making his breakout performance near the tail end of 2016 at Red Bull Battlegrounds, he placed 3rd after defeating Filipino Champ, Chris Tatarian, and Justin Wong, with his only losses being to Tokido in a close Game 5 set and NuckleDu, the eventual winner of the tournament. His 2017 run would go on to be one of the strongest years a relative newcomer to competitive Street Fighter has ever had, winning NorCal Regionals, DreamHack Austin, ELEAGUE, and Red Bull Battlegrounds. At EVO 2017, he went into the tournament as the favorite and was widely considered to be the best chance for an American player to win a Street Fighter game at EVO since before the Street Fighter IV era. While he would end up making it to Grand Finals without dropping a single game, he would ultimately be stopped short of winning by Tokido, whom Punk had put into losers bracket earlier on in the tournament. This has unfortunately for Punk, become a bit of a curse for him, as while he can consistently take tournaments, he has never won a major on the same level as EVO or Capcom Cup, even losing in Grand Finals of Capcom Cup 2019 when on Winners Side.
  • Fujimura Atsushi is one of the strongest players to emerge from Street Fighter V's competitive run so far. Relatively new to the FGC, the Japanese player made a name for himself first as Yukadon, playing Nash and finishing 3rd place at EVO 2016. However, his real claim to fame came in Season 2 onwards, where he traded Nash for Ibuki, and became infamous for his mix-up heavy play, especially in season 3 with her V-Trigger II, the Fuma Shuriken. This lead to him taking CEO, Stunfest, and Red Bull Kumite 2018, and a 3rd place finish at Capcom Cup 2018.
  • Derek iDom Ruffin, the best Laura player period. While Laura herself is regarded as a mid-tier character for most of SFV's lifespan, iDom devoted himself to mastering the lightning grappler and became one of the most feared U.S players with her vortex and mixup game. Though his tournament performance was never top of the line for the first few years of the game, in 2019 he started to change that, qualifying for Top 8 at EVO, winning Defend the North 2019, as well as adding Poison to his repertoire of characters, showing her potential for massive damage. This came to a head at Capcom Cup 2019, where despite being one of the lower seeded players, iDom consistently stayed in Winner's Bracket up until Winner's Finals, and managed to fight his way back from Loser's side of Grand Finals to take home not just one of his first Major victories, but one of the most stacked tournaments for the game. iDom nearly captured the final Street Fighter V title at EVO in 2022, resetting the grand finals in a 3-0 sweep and sitting on tournament point twice, but was ultimately defeated by Kawano's Kolin in a much-agreed-upon classic set.
  • Saul Leonardo MenaRD Mena II is the only person to have won a Capcom Cup title twice.

Namco games

  • Robert RTD Combs dominated the Soulcalibur scene as the best Mitsurugi before retiring at the end of 2013. Won many major titles, including multiple EVO titles, spanning from Soulcalibur II to Soulcalibur V. Was known for wearing his cowboy hat during tournaments. Regarded by his peers as the greatest Soulcalibur player of all time.
  • In the Tekken competitive scene, South Korea has long been THE dominant force in the metagame with the following being some of the most notable names to come out of the nation:
    • Qudans (Byeong, Mun Son) was a major player in the earlier days of the scene, with his most notable feat from this period being winning EVO 2005's Tekken Tag Tournament title. In 2007, he took a break from the scene to serve in the Korean Military and attend university for several years, but would begin playing again with Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and would regain his place as one of the legends of the scene with an incredibly dominant run with Tekken 7 in 2017 that included winning the 2017 Tekken World Tour finals, with many other wins and top placements since.
    • Knee (Bae, Jae Min), often called The God of Tekken, is a long time fan of the Tekken series who has played since the very first iteration as an elementary school student. Having played the series for fun as much as a serious competitive eSport, he has developed the skills to play an exceptionally large number of characters at the competitive level, having many secondaries to pull out when his current character isn't working. Among his many tournament wins include Tekken Tag Tournament 2 at EVO 2013 and Tekken 7 titles at EVO Japan 2018 and EVO 2022.
    • JDCR (Kim, Hyunjin) is also a notorious name in the Tekken scene. Best known for using Heihachi, Armor King, or Dragunov, he has his own long streak of tournament wins and/or tops, with his crowning achievements being his EVO 2014 Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and EVO 2017 Tekken 7 wins.
    • Saint (Choi, Jinwoo) is a player who became known for his masterful usage of Jack-7 in Tekken 7, with his best run being through 2016-2017 that included wins at EVO 2016, The King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2016, and CEO 2017. While he's struggled more in the following years, he still is seen regularly in Top 8s at major tournaments.
    • LowHigh (Yoon, Sun Woong), best known for his Shaheen, was the champion of Evo 2018.
    • Rangchu (Jeong, Hyeon-ho) has risen to stardom in Tekken 7 for one simple reason, playing Panda, a character long dismissed as low tier, to many top placements in tournaments. While he's rarely won tournaments with her, to the point of wavering confidence in using her and swapping for secondaries at times, he solidified his spot in competitive Tekken history with winning The 2018 Tekken World Tour Finals by sticking with Panda, going on to defeat the previous year's winner Qudans and pulling a win so shocking, even Tekken Creator Katsuhiro Harada was genuinely surprised.
  • In the decades of dominance of South Korea, Japan is just behind them. As Tekken’s place of origin, they are mostly the next dominant force considered difficult to face in major tournaments. From time to time they are either just behind South Korea, equals or slightly above South Korea
    • Daichi "Nobi" Nakayama is one of the top Japanese players that could trade blows with Korea’s excellent players. His Dragunov is considered one of the best in Tekken 7 as he became the champion of EVO 2015 and in the same year he also won The King of Iron Fist Tournament 2015 in which he faced Knee in the Grand Finals.
    • Yuta "Chikurin" Take is a pro player whose skills can attest by reaching 4th place in EVO Japan 2019, winning a major tournament like ROXnRoll Korea 2019 by defeating EVO 2018 Tekken 7 Champion LowHigh from South Korea and entering Top 8 in EVO 2019 and many more tournaments with his Geese or Jin. He also went to Pakistan to expand his horizons when it comes to Tekken 7 and his matches against the toughest Pakistani Tekken players are shown through the Youtube channel Kuro Kuro.
    • Noroma (Hamasaki Takumi) is a Tekken 7 player whose track record is being consistently in Top 8 and his earliest achievements were when he was relatively an unknown name in the competitive scene. Those achievements were defeating Saint and afterwards JDCR in the Grand Finals, winning the whole Tekken World Tour Korea 2017, a tournament which should have been stacked against him as it takes place in South Korea’s turf.
  • Starting in 2018, Pakistan is shaping up to be actually the new Tekken powerhouse as their players compete on the world stage and have “slain” multiple champions of respective countries like Korea and Japan.
    • Arslan Ash (Arslan Siddique), who almost single handedly put Pakistan on people’s radars, first got into competitive fighting games with The King of Fighters. He would become much better known, however, for his Tekken play, where he first started to gain a reputation after beating top Korean player Knee in a tournament in Dubai. He would really establish his name with his performance at EVO Japan's 2019 Tekken 7 tournament, where after days of visa troubles that would lead to him barely making it in time for his bracket, he would go on to take the entire event. Since then, he has won and topped several other major tournaments, including winning EVO 2019 (becoming the first Tekken player to win both EVO tournaments in one year) and EVO, EVO Japan and the Tekken World Tour in 2023, making him the first "Triple Crown Champion" of Tekken, if not, the FGC, solidifying him as one of the absolute best Tekken players in the world.
    • Awais Honey is considered the best Akuma player by many in his homeland. In a local tournament he won a close match against Arslan Ash’s Geese. He is one of the sponsored Pakistani players that went to FV Cup 2019 in Malaysia to play Tekken 7. He came from the Losers Bracket as he reached the Grand Finals. His opponent in the Grand Finals was Knee, one of the best of Korea and he became the victor of their bout, becoming the champion and winning his first major tournament outside his country.
  • While USA is not always known for being a ‘’Tekken’’ country its large size still produces some of the best players that could rival the world’s best
    • Anakin (Hoa Luu) is an American pro-player who mainly uses the character Jack since early 2010’s. Most often his placing in Evo is close to or is in the Top 8. Just like with Saint’s Jack, Anakin’s Jack is another beast by itself that international players have hard time against him.
    • Jimmyjtran or Mr. Naps is a well known US player dedicated to Bryan Fury and Knee himself consider him to be the best Bryan player in the world. If one lists their Top 3 players in America they often add Jimmyjtran behind Anakin or the opposite. His style is said to be cool and calculated, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of Bryan. He is probably the only American player that Arslan Ash considers to be a thorn in his path to the top, if one puts it harshly, starting from Evo Japan 2019 and they fought in WSOE 7, which is before Evo 2019, resulting in Arslan Ash losing in their encounter.
    • Lil Majin (Terrelle Jackson) is the fiercest King player to look out for. A lot of high-level US Tekken players acknowledge him like Anakin and they are often wary how to face him. The only thing holding him back is that he travels less than his peers who travel outside US. In Evo 2018 he gains worldwide fame in facing well-known international players and sending them all to the Losers Bracket starting with Pekos, JeonDDing and Noroma. He reaches from the Winners Bracket the Top 8 and in the quarterfinals he faced JDCR, the defending champion. It ended in victory for Lil Majin. His final placement in the tournament is 3rd place, just behind LowHigh and Qudans and one of the few Americans in the history of Evo to reach Top 4 in 2010's in a Tekken game.
  • The Tekken scene of Philippines has proven itself to be a difficult ground for international players as they faced players that can go toe to toe against them and even eliminate them from major tournaments.
    • AK (Alexander Lavarez) is a Filipino player who made his international debut in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Global Championship 2013. He dominated most of his matches and amazed the audience in the tournament with his dynamic playstyle of his Law/Paul team until he was stopped at 3rd place, by the runner-up of the tournament, a well-known Korean player, JDCR. Note that at the time of the tournament he just became 13 years old and he continues to compete professionally to this day. His most recent achievement as of 2019 is being 2nd Place in Tekken 7 Evo Japan 2019 Tournament as he lost against Arslan Ash, the Evo 2019’s eventual Tekken 7 Champion, in a bracket-reset.
    • Doujin (Andreij Albar) stood out as a player in Rage Art 2017, which was hosted in Manila, Philippines. In the aforementioned tournament he was in the Losers Bracket and his opponent in the Losers Semifinal was Saint, who was sent to the Losers Bracket by JDCR. Their match ended with Doujin as the victor. In ABUGET Cup 2017 Saint was once again eliminated by Doujin. He is a fellow teammate of AK and both of them are of close age. He can be considered a rival of AK as they often meet in the Grand Finals in the tournaments of their country that they join.
  • GO1 (Goichi Kishida) was a relatively obscure player who was sometimes known as one of the "Kings of Poverty" for dominating obscure fighting games. He started coming into the public eye with some strong placements in Street Fighter V, but really made himself famous in Dragon Ball Fighterz, where he absolutely dominated the game's first few months and remains one of its top players, coming second in both CEO and EVO 2018 and rarely places outside of top 3 at any tournament he attends. In 2019, GO1 has been completely dominate in DBFZ winning every major tournament, winning CEO and going on to win EVO 2019 as well. Given that it was revealed in late 2018 that GO1 injured one of his hands and was playing many tournaments injured before deciding to take the rest of the year off to recover, many now believe he may have potentially always been the best at the game, and his injury might have simply opened to the door for SonicFox and Kazunoko to win tournaments that otherwise would have been his.

Arcsys Games

  • Ogawazato (Kenichi Ogata), or just Ogawa for short, is a Japanese Guilty Gear player, and is considered one of the "Guilty Gear Gods" due to his dominant performances with Zato-1. He proved this status at EVO 2015, defeating Faust player Nage in dominant fashion to win the championship. He is also the other part of EVO Moment in the same year that a player called Woshige made a fatal mistake by celebrating too early in the Semifinals even though the game wasn't over yet. Ogawa didn't leave this mistake easily as he destroyed Woshige's defenseless character from full health to zero in very little time, showing leaving yourself open can be deadly to Ogawa and to add insult to the injury, also celebrated in the same fashion as Woshige before.
  • Lost Souls, came out of nowhere. He was a dominant Guilty Gear Xrd player online, who decided to try his luck at live tournament events. Since then, he's arguably proven to be the best Elphelt player in a sea of very good Elphelt players. He dominated team stink bug, the bi-monthly Anime fighting game tournament streamed by Arturo (TS Sabin) of Team Sp00ky and hosted by SKD — one of the top anime fighting game players — before attending the Next Level Battle Circuit weekly and dominating there as well. He entered his first major in December 2015 called NEC 16 (North East Championships). He cemented himself as the best Elphelt player when he beat the GG veteran Elven Shadow in Grand Finals. At EVO 2018, he came the closest any American has ever done, finishing 3rd, further cementing himself as one of the best players in the world, and quite possibly the best player in North America.

Smash Games

    The Five Gods 
Widely considered the five greatest players ever to play Melee during their prime, to the point where normally the only player to take a match against a god is another god. To even take a game against one of the gods is a badge of pride, much less a set (something precious few non-gods have done).

  • Mew2King (Jason Zimmerman) is often called "The Robot" due to his unfailingly precise knowledge of Super Smash Bros. mechanics and methodical playstyle. He is the only player in the scene to play both Melee and Brawl at a top level (despite his "love-hate relationship" with the latter), causing many to regard him as the best overall Super Smash Bros. player. His peak in Melee was considered to be during 2007-2008, while his peak for Brawl was considered to be 2008-2010, though in 2013 he's made a comeback for both, in particular having won 3 major tournaments in a row for the former.
  • Mango (Joseph Marquez) is the EVO 2013 and 2014 Melee Champion and was the best player in the United States from 2008-2014. He is widely considered the most popular of the Five Gods due to his charisma and his aggressive playstyle, though this can sometimes result in some Unsportsmanlike Gloating, where he will occasionally taunt in-game or not go for the kill in favor of whaling on his opponent more to add salt to a woundnote .
  • Armada (Adam Lindgren) is the only one of the Five Gods to hail from Europe (Sweden, more specifically) and is without a doubt the best European Melee player, having defeated Mango on multiple occasions, went 4 years without dropping a set in Europe, and is universally recognized as the best Peach player to ever touch a controller. In 2015, Armada won EVO, cementing himself as the best Melee player for that year. Despite the fact that he placed 2nd at EVO 2016 to Hungrybox, Armada's consistency throughout the year was enough for him to be ranked as the best player once again, solidified by winning the 2017 EVO Melee tournament. Also the first Fighting game pro to be inducted into the Esports Hall of Fame. Retired from Melee singles in September 2018, sparking a conversation over whether the Five Gods era was coming to an end.
  • Hungrybox (Juan DeBiedma) is widely considered the greatest Jigglypuff player on the planet. He was known for a time to be a "Silver King" due to the fact that he could regularly make Top 8s but did not have many major tournament victories to his name. This has changed in 2016, which has shaped up to be Hungrybox's year, and his rise culminated in him finally becoming the EVO 2016 Melee champion. Was the #1 ranked Melee player 2017-2019. Would star in, of all things, a Campbell's Soup Commercial with his mom in 2019. He’s also the winner of the Esports Awards 2022 Content Creator of the Year.
  • PPMD/Dr. Pee Pee (Kevin Nanney) was the last member of the Five God to break out. Currently he is on hiatus due to health issues following the Battle of the Five Gods. Known as a talented Falco and Marth player, He won several high-profile tournaments in his career, including breaking onto the scene by defeating Armada in two sets in the Pound V Grand Finals, in a match many consider to be one of the best in Melee's competitive history.
  • Ken (SephirothKen) Hoang is called "The King of Smash" for absolutely dominating the Super Smash Bros. Melee scene during his prime (2003-2007), traveling internationally and defeating top-ranked foreign players, inventing the metagame for Marth in the process. Although he was retired for years, he would later return to the scene, and while he hasn't been able to return to his former glory, he's had some respectable results and his history in the scene still earns him a large amount of respect. He also makes occasional appearances to represent the scene in wider culture, such as famously appearing on Survivor or an early 2019 episode of React.
  • Isai (Joel Alvarado) was also a notable Melee pro from the early years, and was a Captain Falcon main who pioneered much of his playstyle. During this time, Isai was rather infamous for sandbagging note  in singles, as when he played seriously, he managed to be among the few to defeat Ken in his prime, made a nigh unstoppable doubles team with Ken, and even almost defeated the entirety of the then best East Coast players in the FC Crew battle by himself. He has since retired from Melee and has mostly devoted his time to Smash 64, where he is so utterly dominant in the scene that he has placed very high (and even won) major tournaments exclusively using his relatively low-tier secondaries. He was undisputably the best Smash 64 player in the world up until 2016 and is often considered the best Smash 64 player of all-time, with only wario (the best player in Japan and the current World Champion of Smash 64), Jousuke (the second best player in Japan, and the only person to ever beat Isai in a twelve-character battle), wangera (the only player who has ever been able to win a tournament set against Isai's Pikachu, albeit only for one game), and Gerson (one of the best players in Peru, who has the distinction of being the only person to ever four-stock Isai's Pikachu) being able to contest his best character(s).
  • Leffen (William Hjelte) is another big name Melee player out of Sweden. His earlier abrasive behavior made him a villain of the scene, to the point of being banned from European smash tournaments for a year in 2013, since which, while he's still not above some trash talk and speaking his mind, he has mellowed out dramatically. After his return to the scene, he started to make a name for himself with scoring wins against the 5 gods, eventually defeating each of them and earning his nickname “The Godslayer”. His crowning achievement in Melee would come with winning EVO 2018, becoming the first player besides one of the 5 gods to win it since its return to the venue in 2013. Also, in an unusual move for a Smash player, he's branched out into other fighting games as well, most notable in Dragon Ball FighterZ, where he scored an invite to the Summit of Power and is most famous for a very hype and close set against GO1 at CEO 2018 that he ultimately lost. Owing to issues he's had with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and its netplay in addition to travel issues borne from the COVID-19 pandemic, Leffen has transitioned into playing more traditional fighting games than with Smash, most notably Guilty Gear -STRIVE-, winning EVO 2023 for the game to the same old decisive reception he's famed for.
  • aMSa (Masaya Chikamoto) is an incredibly well-known and beloved Melee player, due to him playing Yoshi, a character who is regarded as Difficult, but Awesome, and dragging him out of his Low-Tier Letdown status as well as managing to do incredibly well on the national level, having taken sets off three of the Five Gods (Mew2King, Hungrybox, and Mang0) and managing to place 4th at GENESIS 6, losing only to Hungrybox, Axe, and Plup. Following this performance, he would have issues in placing higher than 4th at major tournaments but still a competitor able to consistently make Top 8 at any given tournament. 2022 would see aMSa finally outplace his Genesis 6 run at Pound with a 3rd place finish, including wins over Leffen and IBDW, and a runner-up placement at Double Down a couple of months later, which included a win over Zain. At The Big House 10, built up as the hardest Melee tournament to win, aMSa would finally win a supermajor tournament, notably beating Hungrybox and Mango twice to win it all without dropping a single set, marking the first time a Yoshi had won a major tournament in Melee's history and becoming the first Japanese player since Captain Jack in 2004 to win a North American major.
  • ChuDat (Daniel Rodriguez) is a long time Melee veteran and one of the best Ice Climbers players to come out of the west coast. Although having been in the community for years, it wasn't until 2017 where he took his rise and placed high at many big events, notably taking down many greats and gods such as Axe and Mang0 at Smash Summit and Mew2King at DreamHack.
  • KoreanDJ / KDJ (Daniel Jung) was heralded as one of the best Sheik and Fox players ever throughout 2006 and 2007 as his consistent top performance at the MLG Pro Circuit and his infamous money matching garnered him the respect of Melee players across the nation. He would cement his status by defeating Ken by 3-1, and being the only player in the 2006-2007 era to uphold a positive record against the King of Smash. KDJ would go on to play decently for Team Liquid in following years in both Melee and Project M before resigning and retiring from competitive Smash in 2015 due to hand pain, although he briefly came out of retirement to play singles at Shine 2016 and to money match the 34 top players at Shine 2017. He has become quite notable for the public image of competitive Melee, being one of the seven key figures in the Smash Brothers documentary and having appearances in several Nintendo-sponsored events.
  • Axe (Jeffrey Williamson) has long been a well liked player in the Melee scene for playing Pikachu, a character previously dismissed as a low-mid tier character after justifiably severe nerfs from its 64 iteration. First making a name for himself with a less than 1 minute 4 stock against Fox player SilentWolf in Evo 2014 Top 8, he has consistently been a top 10 player in the world since, and would score his biggest achievement yet in 2019 by winning Smash Summit 8.
  • Zain (Zain Naghmi) has taken up the torch as the best Melee Marth. While he started playing competitive Melee in 2014, it wasn't until 2018 that he started to win majors, rising to finally usurp the last of the Melee Gods (Hungrybox) to officially claim the top ranking in 2022. He's also known to sandbag in online tournaments under the tag "DontTestMe" playing Roy, and beating other top players with him.
  • Wobbles (Robert Wright) is another noteworthy Melee player, as he is the one who discovered the one trick that took Ice Climbers from Low-Tier Letdown to nightmarishly difficult to face. This trick was named after him, and is referred to as Wobbling, in which the Ice Climbers would wave-dash into a grab and headbutt loop, which would stagger their animations so that Pop and Nana would alternate hits and keep the opponent stun-locked, allowing them to build up damage over time, before flinging their critically-wounded opponent from the arena at their leisure. This enabled him to come in 2nd with Melee’s return to EVO in 2013. Overall, he is a middling professional player, among his other best moments being his 4th-placed finish in Battle of the Five Gods (losing to Mango in the Losers Semifinals).
  • ZeRo (Gonzalo Barrios) is almost universally considered to be the best Smash 4 player in the world. Shortly after the game's release, from November 2014 to October 2015 he went on incredible streak of 56 tournament victories, including the major events like Apex, CEO, The Big House 5 and EVO — and in the last one, becoming the first player in any game ever to go through the tournament without losing a single game. His streak was finally broken during MLG World Finals 2015, when he lost to Nairo in Grand Finals. He would drop competing in favor of going to full time streaming when Ultimate came around. He was exposed for serious sexual misconduct in July 2020 (see his Wikipedia page if you need more details). He later would return to making Smash Content in November 2021, but the scandal has left him as a pariah from the broader Smash Community.
  • Nairo (Nairoby Quezada) is a long-tenured and popular player, having played since the days of Brawl when he was in his early teens and becoming known as one of the best Meta Knight players in the world, all of which eventually culminated in a victory against the above-mentioned ZeRo at Apex 2014. When Smash 4 rolled around, Nairo picked up Zero Suit Samus as his new main, and would eventually become the one to snap ZeRo's notorious winning streak of 56 tournaments at the MLG World Finals in 2015. Over the next few years, he would score other accomplishments, including back-to-back victories at Super Smash Con in 2016 and 2017, defeating both ZeRo and the aforementioned MkLeo for the latter year. When Ultimate was released, Nairo switched to Palutena and despite initially taking some time to get used to the game compared to Smash 4, he would soon reestablish himself as a top player, defeating MkLeo to win Mainstage 2019 and winning Let's Make Big Moves in 2020. Mid-2020 would see Nairo tangled in a scandal involving younger Smash Pro CaptainZack, which he apologized for and would get him banned from Twitch and most tournaments. He later successfully contested the allegation and was unbanned from some tournaments (but not Twitch, see his Wikipedia Page for further details) but has since retired from competition and gone exclusively to Youtube streaming.
  • MkLeo (Leonardo Perez) was another top player in Smash 4. Previously a child prodigy, with his first Smash Bros tournament win at the age of 8 in his home country Mexico, he would later rise to be the nation's undisputed top player in Smash 4, and first became famous for decisively defeating Evo 2015 runner-up Mr. R at Smash Factor 4. He would further establish himself internationally with a win at 2GGT: Zero Saga and solidified himself as one of Smash's best with several major wins, such as winning 3 Genesis Titles in a row (third being in Smash Ultimate), winning Evo Japan 2018's Smash 4 tournament, and winning Evo 2019's Ultimate Tournament. He's so good, he occasionally proves the competitive viability of characters all by himself to the point where most people consider his former main, Joker to be top tier, if not the best character in the game, and forced people to re-evaluate the viability of Byleth after initially being dismissed as low-tier.
  • Tweek (Gavin Dempsey) was yet another top player who rose into prominence with Smash 4. Initially entering the scene as a Bowser Jr. Main, where his best result was a top 32 finish at Evo 2015. He later dropped him for Cloud and rose to be one of the best players in the scene. His star would rise higher in Ultimate, being ranked as high as 2nd in the first PGR. Since then he's become one of the more volatile top players due to struggling with a character crisis which is further not helped by his struggles with Crohn's disease. Still, he remains a feared competitor with the potential to defeat anyone.
  • Gluttony (William Belaïd) is a Wario character Specialist from France who had solid, but not especially notable, results. Then came Smash Ultimate, where Wario was buffed into Top-Tier status and has allowed Gluttony to become the best player in Europe by far. Even after nerfs to his main, he’s only become an even bigger threat, having beaten MkLeo several times in 2022. He’s so good he managed a 3rd place finish in the North American PGRU v3 despite being from Europe.
  • Sparg0 (Edgar Valdez) is much like MkLeo a player from Mexico who entered the Smash Scene as a young Prodigy. Best known for his Cloud, he had some decent results in Smash 4 and early Ultimate, but was better known as a Wifi Warrior (Online Play). This became much more apparent during the Covid Lockdown where he became the player to beat in online Ultimate. As tournaments went back to in person Sparg0 would prove his online dominance was no fluke, winning several majors and putting himself below only MkLeo on the PGRU V3 for North America.
  • Skyjay (Juan Pablo) is an Ultimate pro who’s gained a reputation comparable to Tekken’s Rangchu for playing Incineroar, a character many dismissed as bottom 3 before his rise. He may not be the most consistent player but he has claimed an impressive list of upsets over many of very best players in the game, with his crowning achievement to date being a second place finish at the incredibly stacked Collision 2023.

Other Games

  • Perfect Legend (Carl White) has been dominant in both the Dead or Alive and Mortal Kombat series for years. He's considered to be one of the best Mortal Kombat 9 players. He won back-to-back EVO titles in 2011-2012, and he's won multiple majors and side tournaments. and then, this happened. Whoo boy.
  • SonicFox5000 (Dominique McLean) is as prodigal a player the community has ever seen. They'venote  been completely dominant in most fighting games they've chosen to compete in, especially games by Netherrealm, and as of 2022, has won six EVO championships across five games. To list their championships won since 2013 would take a trope page onto itself (you can get the full list here), but in short, they won Injustice: Gods Among Us at EVO 2014, Mortal Kombat X at EVO 2015 and 2016 (along with three titles in the game's pro league), Dragon Ball Fighter Z at EVO 2018, Mortal Kombat 11 at EVO 2019, and Skullgirls 2nd Encore at EVO 2022. What's remarkable about their dominance is their simultaneous mastery of games; at EVO 2019, they won MK11 while also finishing second in DBFZ, and in 2022, won Skullgirls while finishing fifth in MK11 and top-24 in Guilty Gear -STRIVE-. They won The Game Awards 2018 Best Esports Player Award, becoming the first fighting game player to win it. SonicFox is notable for cultivating a large fanbase for not just their success, but their very public openness of being non-binary, queer, and a furry (their signature headpiece often is worn onstage during tournaments, an Exactly What It Says on the Tin mash-up of Sonic the Hedgehog as a fox). Their continued success and fan admiration is generally cited as an important stepping stone towards increased LGBT+ acceptance in the fighting game community.
  • Lord Knight is a FGC gamer, sponsored by Team Sp00ky, the same group that streams one of the major weekly east coast tournaments on Twitch. He's one of the top "Anime" fighting game players that won many majors and recently won an EVO 2014 title for Persona 4: Arena. He's usually dominant in most games he plays, including BlazBlue.
  • BananaKen is known for his excellent technical Ken play in Street Fighter games, but he really shines in ArcSys titles like BlazBlue, Persona 4: Arena, and Guilty Gear.
  • Bala (Armando Velazquez) dominated the The King of Fighters XIII North American scene during a whole year. He defeated guys like Tokido and won events like MLG and the EVO 2011 side tournament. Even after being beaten by Mad KOF from Korea at EVO 2012 Grand Finals, he is considered one of the best KOF players in the world and the best Mexican e-sports competitor ever. He has been absent at tournaments in USA due to migration issues.
  • CDjr. was always a solid fighting game player, but would always fall to someone else in a major, placing second most of the time, especially Mortal Kombat 9 where he suffered some heartbreaking loses. All that changed, however, when the Killer Instinct remake came out with the release of the Xbox One. Over the next several months CDjr. has been completely dominant in every major he's competed in, until he finally won that elusive EVO title in 2014. It wasn't surprising to anyone that he became very emotional after the victory. He continues to dominate in the game, completely mastering every character, so that even counter picks won't work against him. Throughout 2014, he was considered to be the best Killer Instinct player.
  • RZR|Fuudo (Keita Ai) is considered one of the best all-around fighting game players, on par with Daigo and Justin Wong. In addition to big wins on the greatest stages (such as EVO 2011), he's also dominant in the Virtua Fighter scene, to the point that his Shun Di is considered "invincible." In Street Fighter V he has become known for coming in at second place...a lot.
  • Shidosha is an American Virtua Fighter player renowned for his prowess in that game. Despite the U.S. not having as strong as scene in VF as other games, he has consistently placed Top 10 in international competitions like Sega Cup.
  • Kayane (Marie-Laure Norindr) is the Guiness World Record holder for the most successful female professional fighting game player, having started young and gone on to win or place high in tournaments for Street Fighter, Dead or Alive (from which she got her stage name, a Portmanteau of Kasumi and Ayane), and especially Soulcalibur, where she dominates as Xianghua. She's even had success with Soulcalibur VI, making Top 8 at EVO 2019 with her combo of Xianghua and 2B.
  • NinjaKilla (Jarrad Gooden), one of the newest kids on the competitive Mortal Kombat scene, making an impressive tournament debut in 2019 and giving SonicFox serious challenge, eventually best them in a close match at Dreamhack Montreal. At the Final Kombat 2020, NinjaKilla went toe to toe with some of the best MK players on the scene and even knocked Fox to the losers' bracket, but ultimately lost to them in the finals. NinjaKilla captured the North American MK11 title for the online-only EVO 2021, but would take the next year off from tournament play. Upon returning in 2023, he won the big one at EVO, coming from losers side to knock out prodigal twins ScorpionProcs and Nicolas to capture the final Mortal Kombat 11 championship at EVO.
  • ScorpionProcs & Nicolas, the other new dominant kids on the Mortal Kombat block, Chilean twins born 2005 (to put that in perspective, in-between the releases of Mortal Kombat: Deception and Mortal Kombat: Armageddon). They have quickly garnered a reputation as a dreaded and literal Bash Brothers on the circuit, bursting on the scene at CEO 2021 finishing 1st (Procs) and 2nd (Nicolas), followed by another 1-2 finish at Combo Breaker 2022 (Nicolas taking the gold this time). That merely set the stage for their EVO debut at the 2022 event, with the twins facing off in Winners Finals, and Procs sending Nicolas to losers. However, Rewind was able to knock out Nicolas before losing to Procs, winning the MK11 title at age 17 (barely old enough to meet the game's ESRB recommendation!). After another 1-2 finish at Combo Breaker 2023 (with Procs as the victor), the duo met again at Winners Final during EVO 2023, this time with Nicolas sending Procs to losers. Despite fan support for the duo to run it back in the Grand Finals as a The Only One Allowed to Defeat You match on the biggest stage, NinjaKilla ran the gauntlet, defeating Procs, resetting Nicolas, and then taking the tournament on a "final-final" (2-2 set pushed to round 3) match. With the advent of Mortal Kombat 1, the community awaits if the wonder twins can continue their simultaneous success.

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