Who Was There: 2009 and 2010 Evo Champion Daigo "The Beast" Umehara, Capcom special advisor Seth Killian, Nicholas "NKI" Inabnit, and Ryan "Fubarduck" Harvey. Inabnit and Harvey had the unique roles of tag teaming translation of Umehara's Japanese and Street Fighter lingo into English.
What They Talked About: Daigo Umehara is arguably the biggest name on the Street Fighter circuit today. The 30-year-old Street Fighter player from Japan, nicknamed "The Beast," may not be a household name in many circles, but he is a mythic figure in the global Street Fighter community. At this year's Evo in Las Vegas, Capcom's Seth Killian, himself a respected figure in the fighting game community, interviewed the veteran player, along with the help of two translators to offer some insight into the gifted player.
The basic thrust of the panel (video of which is embedded below) was analyzing one of Daigo's matches from Evo 2010. While that may sound dry, the panel was anything but. Lots of gamers have a basic understanding of fighting games and their mechanics, but the panel shed light on the thought process, strategy, and overall tactics that go into high-level play. The fascinating discussion broke down Daigo's match and showcased how the skilled player analyzes his opponents and adjusts his play style accordingly. The discussion highlighted how well the expert Street Fighter players know the game and its systems, as well as how quickly they have to think in the heat of battle.
Quote: "Daigo is just like the rest of us and there are things you can do, just like Daigo does, to make yourself into a better player."--Seth Killian
Takeaway: Regardless of one's personal appreciation for fighters, it's almost impossible not to be impressed by Umehara's skill. The panel showcased the unique and universal appeal of watching two skilled combatants trying to outmaneuver each other.