One of the season’s biggest fighting game events took place over the weekend, and it was a familiar face who emerged victorious with a character that hasn’t seen many such victories.
The Fall Classic was held in Raleigh, North Carolina and featured tournaments played in 13 different fighting games. As is often the case, the main event for the weekend was the final bracket for Ultra Street Fighter 4.
A number of the world’s top players showed up, with the grand final seeing Evo 2013 champion Ho Kun Xian of Singapore taking on local favorite Darryl “Snake Eyez” Lewis.
Lewis has staked out a reputation as the world’s best user of Zangief, the big and burly grappling specialist who has been subjecting opponents to spinning piledrivers since the days of Street Fighter 2.
As is often the case with that type of character, Zangief hasn’t seen much success at the top of the game. But Lewis has been working to change that.
The latest edition of Street Fighter 4 offered some discernable improvements for Zangief, and with Lewis already making headway against the world’s best players, it seemed only a matter of time until he would take a major victory. Against Xian, he would have that chance.
Coming from the lower bracket, Lewis needed to win two consecutive sets from Xian in order to take home first place. But this would prove to be no issue. Xian, whose main character is Gen, would cycle through multiple characters in trying to find an answer for Lewis’ prowess.
But his efforts would prove futile. A visibly frustrated Xian ran out of gas long before the grand final had concluded in Lewis’ favor, awarding the American with a long-awaited major victory.
As the tournament was an official stop on the Capcom Pro Tour, Lewis’s victory also qualified him for the tour final to be held in December.
The tournament also featured a wild El Fuerte player from Japan, long-time player Sanford Kelly, and Eduardo “PR Balrog” Perez. But none of them were able to able to thwart Lewis’ charge to the top.