From two X-Mania events in Japan, X-Mania Europe, Capcom’s 25th Anniversary of Street Fighter tournament series, and TOURNAMENT OF LEGENDS at EVOLUTION 2012, to the resurgence of Super Turbo at nearly every major in the United States, 2012 has proven to be an amazing year for Super Turbo players all over the world. Now that the year has passed, and a new year of Super Turbo madness is set to begin, we’d like to look back and give recognition to the players that fueled the amazing events of 2012..
MATCH OF THE YEAR
In this category we want to call out a battle that really reminded us of our motivation to watch and play Super Turbo. Comebacks, upsets, hype, emotions, this fight had it all, and anyone who had the pleasure of watching it can understand why this game has stayed alive for so long.
There have been many legendary fights since the start of the 2012 Super Turbo season, but nothing seems to compare to the match that concluded the Tournament of Legends. Kusumondo started as an underdog due to his well-known loyalty to E.Honda, and MAO was considered to be the favorite to win for the same loyalty to his character Vega (Claw). During the tournament, however, MAO’s 3-1 and 3-0 wins over his opponents were completely overshadowed by Kusumondo’s hard-fought wins against America’s strongest players (DGV, Damdai, and AfroLegends). And after a convincing 3-0 victory over MAO in the semi-finals everyone’s attention was solely on Japan’s flagship E.Honda player. Alongside a large crowd of supporters and spectators, more than 28,000 stream viewers, and top players from all over the word, MAO and Kusumondo went head-to-head in what we consider the most epic battle in 2012 for Super Turbo and quite possibly the most epic ST finals of all time.
Honorable Mention(s): AfroLegends vs Damdai Money Match EVO 2012
PLAYER OF THE YEAR (JAPAN)
Awarded to the player who has consistently placed in the upper-tier of major tournament results all over his home country, as well as overseas. As a true embodiment of competitive Super Turbo, the player makes every match exciting and shows us the level of discipline necessary to be truly great in any game.
Evaluating the field of Japanese ST masters is such a difficult task both because of the large number of players worthy of this award but also because of the single elimination/team format that is common in most Japanese tournaments that produces such varied results. Individual players typically do not dominate tournaments over the course of the year. Choosing ToL runner-up Kusumondo over ToL Champion MAO may seem like a strange choice and it was a very difficult choice to make but Kusumondo overcame bad matchups all throughout the ToL tournament defeating MonGoloRoboKop (Chun-Li), DGV (Ryu), Damdai (Ryu), AfroLegends (Dee Jay) and MAO (Claw), knocking him into loser’s bracket. Kusumondo also made the long trip to X-Mania Europe and put on a great performance there as well. With his performances at TOURNAMENT OF LEGENDS, X-Mania Europe, as well as local tournaments at Game Center A-Cho, and consistently exciting game play in all of his matches, Kusumondo has shown us that character loyalty and dedication can be a recipe for success. His inspirational performances this year will remind us all that playing the game the way you want can lead to success even when the odds are against you.
Honorable Mention(s): MAO, Kurahashi
PLAYER OF THE YEAR (USA)
Choosing between Damdai and AfroLegends was no easier than choosing between Kusumondo and MAO. Both Damdai and AfroLegends are both at the top of their game and have dominated the US Super Turbo scene all year long but in the end one player had to be chosen and Damdai won by a hair. From the start of the year until its conclusion, Damdai has won ST majors all across the Midwest and East Coast (Winter Brawl, Final Round, both Season’s Beatings events, ECT, NEC and he became the Capcom SF 25th Anniversary ST champion by defeating AfroLegends in the Grand Finals. In addition, Damdai was able to place significantly high in the events where he was unable to pull a victory (2nd, 3rd, and 7th place finishes at X-Mania Europe and 5th place at Tournament of Legends). The only blemish on his record was losing the high stakes money match to AfroLegends 10-4 at EVO 2012. However, the overall achievements along with significant contributions to the community put Damdai at the top of our list for this category this year.
Honorable Mention: AfroLegends
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER (JAPAN)
Our final category is important to the survival of any game. Through determination, practice, and a genuine enjoyment of the game, this player has climbed from the novice ranks to a level that most players spend years to achieve. We encourage anyone, of any discipline, who is still working their way up the competitive ladder to use this player as an example of what can be achieved with enough motivation.
Once again, this was a difficult selection to make as there are many up and coming players in Japan and for the same reason listed above trying to evaluate players based on Japanese tournament results but we decided to go with Fei Long master, Hanashi.
Hanashi doesn’t enter many tournaments but often enters and does well in the weekly Versus team battles as well as the Versus Danisen, where he has advanced to the rank of “Superior Player”, with the likes of Muteki, Nuki, YuuVega, Kurahashi, and so on. You can view his incredible performance at the recent kumite he participated in below:
Honorable Mention(s): Muneo
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR (USA)
DNGR S PAPERCUT first became recognized in HDR as one of few dedicated T.Hawk players. Despite a lack of success in HDR, Papercut was able to maintain his motivation into the revival of Super Turbo. In 2012, all of his hard work began to pay off as his T.Hawk play reached an amazing level, and his reputation as the best Hawk in SoCal grew with every tournament. His transition from novice to semi-professional was proven when he upped his game at the Super Arcade ToL Qualifiers. He fell short qualifying there, placing 2nd in both tournaments but he made it known that he was going to be a force to reckon with in ST and he proved it by winning the Box Arena Qualifiers in June. Papercut is surely one to be watched in the upcoming 2013 tournament season for Super Turbo!
Honorable Mention(s): ultracombo, Shotosallday