The Echo Fox esports organization pushed hard to become one of the big names in the fighting game community in the past year, and the results seemed to pay-off this weekend at EVO, as the team won the marquee Street Fighter V tournament thanks to Tokido's relentless evisceration of Panda Global's Punk.
But EVO also dealt a massive disappointment for Echo Fox as Dominique "Sonic Fox" McLean lost in the quarterfinals of the Injustice 2 tournament. That would be a fine placement for anyone other than the player who has basically had the NetherRealm fighting games on lockdown for the past couple years. He was apparently under the weather this weekend, but he has yet to really establish his position with Injustice 2 the way he did earlier games.
For me, however, it was the Tekken 7 final that stood-out over this EVO weekend, and it was an all-Echo Fox show. Teammates Hyun Jin "JDCR" Kim and Jin Woo "Saint" Choi had one of the most pitched-battles of the entire tournament. It was the kind of final that makes you decide, "I am going to buy this fighting game because it looks awesome and I will definitely put the time into learning it."
JDCR and Saint had massively different styles that made for a mesmerizing competition. Saint's Jack-7 was a hulking bruiser who needed to keep JDCR's Dragunov boxed-in and preferably stunned on the ground. And for much of their final, it seemed to be working as he pulverized Saint at the outset.
But one of the things that amaze me about fighting games is the way some players can just figure out their opponents over the course of a match. And that's exactly what JDCR did. You could see it happening. Saint started to struggle just a little bit to hit the same timings, and started to get punished here and there as JDCR started pulling apart his style. And then suddenly the tables had turned: Saint looked hopeless as JDCR parried and interrupted every move he could make, knowing his timing down to the frame and his placement down to the pixel. It was fascinating, if increasingly lurid, as JDCR carved-up his teammate.
It was definitely my favorite match throughout EVO, though I think maybe the best thing I saw all weekend was this defeated player offering his opponent money to show mercy and finish his endless combo.