Evolution Championship Series (EVO) 2016 Results
EVO 2016, the world's largest Street Fighter tournament, is over and as is the case every year it was quite the spectacle! Over 5,000 players from around the world competed at EVO 2016, which may actually be a world record. Befitting such a grand event was an equally grand Top 8 Finals, held in a grandiose stage at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. This year even ESPN got involved, broadcasting Sunday's Finals live on ESPN2, which is truly a sign of how much competitive Street Fighter is growing. The energy and matches were truly incredible, and now we have the Evolution 2016 results.
RZR|Infiltration wins Evolution 2016!
It was an absolutely amazing Grand Finals between South Korea's RZR|Infiltration and Japan's RZR|Fuudo, with Infiltration having to win 2 sets in a row because he was coming out of the Losers Bracket. Infiltration did just that, defeating RZR|Fuudo and becoming Evolution 2016 Champion!
No Capcom Cup Automatic Qualifying Player
Because Infiltration is already qualified for Capcom Cup, having done so by winning Final Round 19 earlier this year, there will be no player for Evolution 2016 which gets the automatic qualifying spot for Capcom Cup. Instead, according to the 2016 Capcom Pro Tour rules, another spot opens up to qualify via Ranking Points on the leaderboard.
If you missed any of the action, be sure to visit our videos page.
Evolution 2016 Results: Top 16
Photo courtesy of Chris Li @RealChrisLi.
Evolution 2016 Highlights
The Evolution Championship Series (EVO for short) is already renowned for being the largest fighting game tournament in the world, but this year has shattered records. This year almost every aspect of the event has leveled up beyond the incredibly high bar we already expect. Over 5,100 players competed in Street Fighter V alone during the event, with of course players coming from around the world. The size and scope of EVO 2016 was such that the Top 8 Finals would be broadcast live on ESPN2.
To accommodate that tremendous turnout, the venue and event organization had to scale with it. A huge congratulations has to be given to everybody involved with running EVO 2016, from the very top to the very bottom. With such a herculean task before them, the event seemed to run like a well oiled machine that handled it all with ease.
Pools to Top 8
The pools for EVO 2016 were held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which is a huge hangar-like building. It really is a marvel to think that the EVO organizers were able to get over 5,100 players down to just 8 in two days in a double-elimination tournament! As you would expect there were matches before Top 8 which could have been Grand Finals in other events. There are far too many individual highlights to show, but here are a few. If you would like to see more, please visit the Capcom FIghters Youtube channel for pools play all the way through to Grand Finals!
BST|Daigo Umehara vs Tokido in top 64 was one of the best Ryu mirror matches we've ever seen!
DNG|Itabashi Zangief (Japan) vs EVB|Chris Tatarian (USA)
With so many eyes on the event, especially with the live broadcast on ESPN2 part of the equation, the Top 8 Finals had to really go bigger than it ever has before and the organizers at EVO were up for the challenge. The Finals were held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas in their cavernous event hall. The center stage on which the players competed was spectacular, with an EVO logo shaped platform with enormous screens overhead and programmed lights and graphics being projected down onto the platform. It was a presentation worthy of a big pay per view boxing match, and it was here at EVO 2016 representing the fighting game community!
As you can see from the top 8 results below, the Top 8 was donimated by players from the Asian region, particularly Japan.
LI Joe the US’ Hometown Hero
LI Joe was the USA's last player standing going into Top 8 and he was obviously a crowd favorite every time he played. His passion and excitement for being part of this grand event was impossible to miss. His father cheered him on from the sidelines, which made his journey through Top 8 even more moving. He was focused and determined when it was time to play but the moment the round ended you could see his feelings show through. He played his heart out, eliminating Japan's HM|Eita before being eliminated in a heart-stopping match against Japanese newcomer Yukadon. It also needs to be mentioned that LI Joe went out of his way to show his reverence and respect for the other top 8 players from Asia, holding up Eita's hand in a shared celebration when he won that match and gave a short speech about his respect for the players he was surrounded by after his elimination.
Yukadon: Out of nowhere and onto the World Stage
Almost every year there is at least one player who comes out of virtually nowhere and yet makes top 16 at EVO. This year’s surprise is Japan’s Yukadon, whose only previous placement in the Capcom Pro Tour was taking 2nd place at the Tokyo Button Mashers Ranking Tournament in early June. At EVO 2016 he was a force to be reckoned with and Yukadon was literally one hit away from eliminating RZR|Infiltration in Losers Finals. What's as impressive as his Nash play, however, was that he seemed to be completely unaffected by the pressure. Even in is most stressful matches, his close victory against LI Joe and his narrow defeat by RZR|Infiltration, he had the same serene look on his face. We hope to see Yukadon again in Capcom Pro Tour events soon.
Yukadon vs RZR|Infiltration in Losers Finals. I know we are highlighting a loss for Yukadon here, we have already featured one of his victories above. This match, an epic Nash mirror match, shows just how close he came to Grand Finals. He was one hit away.
RZR|Fuudo: So Close
Japan’s RZR|Fuudo has been consistently good all year. In the three Premier Tournaments he took top 16 in this year, he took 2nd at Stunfest in May, 2nd at Dreamhack Summer in June, and 4th at G-League in July. As we said with Tokido earlier in the season, it’s only a matter of time before Fuudo takes that last step and takes the top spot. His R.Mika is different from most, relying more precise spacing and using her normal attacks to great effect and not as much on being random or crazy. There is some of the latter in there, as Fuudo does some great corner mix-ups, but if you watch closely it’s amazing how well he can back an opponent into a corner often almost exclusively with normal attacks.
When Fuudo faced off against RZR|Infiltrations in Winners Finals and landed that command throw to win the final match and move on into Grand Finals, he jumped up and pumped his fists in elation and rightfully so. After all, he was not only in Grand Finals but he was coming from the Winners side, which meant that whomever he faced would have to beat him in two sets to take 1st place away from him. He would face off against Infiltration once again in Grand Finals (more on that below) and did end up taking 2nd place, but don’t’ forget that Fuudo got to Grand Finals in an EVO that had over 5,000 players and defeated a seemingly unbeatable Infiltration in Winners Finals. He is indeed one of the best players in the world right now and there is a lot of time in the 2016 Capcom Pro Tour season for him to get his victory.
EVO 2016 Winners Finals: RZR|Fuudo vs RZR|Infiltration
RZR|Infiltration: EVO Champion once again
South Korea’s RZR|Infiltration has been an absolutely dominating player for many years and this year is no different, starting the Street Fighter 5 in the same fashion in which he left Street Fighter 4; winning event after event. So far in the 2016 Capcom Pro Tour season he has taken part in 3 events prior to EVO, all of which were Premier Tournaments. He got 1st place in Final Round and NorCal Regionals and got 2nd at CEO, losing to Japan’s Tokido. So going into EVO he was favored to win, but it’s EVO so anything can happen to even the best player.
Interestingly, early on in pools he played as F.A.N.G. instead of his usual Nash. Last year, the last year of Street Fighter 4, one of his great strengths was that he knew how to play most of the game’s characters at a very high level, giving him the ability to pull out a character that best fit the situation or matchup. We are starting to see early signs of that progression again, and that is not good news for his opponents.
He got into Top 8 on the Winners Bracket and Infiltration had to work hard for his EVO Championship. Infiltration was put into Losers by Fuudo at Winners Finals by a very narrow margin and had to face the relatively unknown phenomenon from Japan, Yukadon, who also played Nash. As soon as he lost to Fuudo he knew he had a tough road and Yukadon didn’t make it easy. You’ve already read about Yukadon above and know that the match came down to whoever landed that last hit. It was that close. Then he once again faced Fuudo, and because he was in Losers Bracket he would have to win 2 sets in a row to get 1st place.
In Grand Finals Fuudo took an early lead 1-0 but Infiltration came back strong, getting several perfect rounds and ended up winning the first set 3-1 using the Nash’s forward and back dash to hit and run as he is known to do. In the second set he won the first 2 matches, making it 5 straight match wins in a row after Fuudo’s initial win of the first set. Fuudo then made had a great match getting a much needed win, getting more aggressive, breaking Infiltration’s streak and bringing the score to 2-1. The final match between Infiltration and Fuudo was another great match but Infiltration kept making great reads, doing lots of damage with hit and run normal moves, and escaping from the corner. Infiltration would go on to win that last match, eliminating Fuudo 3-1. He has now claimed his second EVO Championship for Street Fighter and has won the very first EVO for Street Fighter 5.
EVO 2016 Grand Finals: RZR|Infiltration vs RZR|Fuudo
After the match in an interview, which is surely to become one of the great moments in EVO history, Infiltration was asked what adjustments he made in order to defeat Fuudo. He smiled, as he always does, and said “…OK I can explain this.” He paused and finished “Download complete.” The crowd went wild and if you know Infiltration’s great sense of humor, it was a great moment and was characteristic Infiltration. You can see this in the Top 5 Moments of EVO 2016 below.
Top 5 Moments of EVO 2016
Here are some of Capcom's Top 5 Moments for EVO 2016!
More Amazing Photos from Evolution 2016:
Would you like to see more of the incredible photos that were taken during EVO 2016? Here are some great photo albums to enjoy!
Carlton Beener, official EVO 2016 Photographer: Album