New York City-based fighting game player Christopher Gonzalez from team Afterglow Elite won both the Super Street Fighter IV AE 2013 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tournaments at this past weekend's Fall Classic, taking out both EVO Street Fighter Champion Ho "Xian" Kun and EVO Marvel Champion Job "Flocker" Figueroa in the process.
"I can't even remember the last time one person won two main tournaments in a major event, especially with a Top eight as stacked as TFC2013 in both games. Chris is further solidifying himself as one of the greatest players of this generation," says TFC Organizer John Gallagher. "I'd like to give a special shoutout to the North Carolina community for being incredibly hospitable to out-of-town players and to us over the past few months."
"Thanks to all of our sponsors (One Frame Link, Capcom, Team Ninja, Mad Catz, Brokentier, Double Helix, Gamester Gear, and AVerMedia), Team Sp00ky, FunkyP, Bifuteki, Kombat Network, and Clash Tournaments (streams), all of our staff, and the players for supporting us over the years," he added.
After being knocked down to the losers bracket in both tournaments, Gonzalez defeated Ho and Figueroa in the losers bracket finals for each Street Fighter and Marvel, and earned himself a spot in the finals for both. There he swept Complexity's Ryan "Filipino Champ" Ramirez 6-0 in Marvel, and coming back from down 0-2 to win 6 straight games against Evil Geniuses' Justin Wong. Gonzalez is one of the few players that has won both Street Fighter and Marvel at the fighting game major events.
"I love combos," Gonzalez said after the event. "I'm just happy I was able to get a runback with Champ and Justin in grand finals after losing pretty convincingly both times," Gonzalez told GameSpot. "I really didn't want to lose that way in Marvel."
Gonzalez first dispatched Figueroa going undefeated, something he never saw coming. "I was actually really scared, just because he has Zero. I had to keep him away, not let him touch me."
Ramirez was the one to send Gonzalez to the loser's bracket to begin with, led by his Phoenix-based team joined by Dormammu and Morrigan. Gonzaelez believes much of the reason for his loss was due to Phoenix.
"I let him successfully get dark phoenix out too much," he says, spending all of his attention on stopping Ramirez from letting Phoenix get the game out of control. "My goal was to stop her quickly, soul draining, and rushing her down if she turned dark."
Watch the TFC Marvel Finals on Twitch at the 5:20:00 mark.
Gonzalez did just that, and turned it into victory. Not more than an hour later, he would attempt his luck in Street Fighter. Although having won major events for Street Fighter previously, it is not the game he expects to win. Just like in Marvel, Gonzalez took out the EVO Champion in losers finals to play Wong in the grand finals.
"I was very skeptical trying to win Street Fighter. The tournament was stacked and Xian has beaten me too many times. Marvel was really the only thing on my mind, but I tried my best. I was actually was ready to throw in the towel, but after beating Xian in losers finals I figured I'd give it another go."
Wong quickly put Gonzalez in a two-game hole, one game away from victory and another championship for the storied multiple-time EVO champion. Gonzalez's resiliency shined through once again, coming back to win three straight games to force a second set. There Gonzalez kept on the aggressive play and never gave Wong time to cover, sweeping him in the final set to cap off six straight game wins to be Street Fighter IV Champion at The Fall Classic.
"I tried to pressure as much as possible," said Gonzalez. "Most importantly, try to not get divekicked."
"In my opinion, Chris has been the best player in the FGC overall for a while now," Gonzalez's teammate Peter "FlashMetroid" Susini says. With the win, Gonzalez has earned a spot at the Capcom Cup, scheduled to take place later this year. He has no personal claim about being the best player, he'd rather leave that to the fans.
"I'm just going to keep doing my thing," he said.