Evo 2011: Inside the mind of 'The Beast': Daigo Umehara exposed

Seth Killian interviews the 2009 and 2010 Evo Champion on the tactics and strategy behind his most recent victories.

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.

Daigo Umehara.

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.

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Discussion

63 comments
woonsa
woonsa

@Nightmareboosta lol haters gonna hate.

Santesyu
Santesyu

would be cool if Alex Valle got top 4 atleast.

EPaul
EPaul

I'm a fan of Daigo but i was happy to see him get blown up. ssfiv was getting kinda boring with him being so dominating. Maybe this will motivated him to get even better and go back to maining ryu

Nightmareboosta
Nightmareboosta

@Shinta1988 Well sir, I'm a 3rd strike fan, and honestly nowadays what goes around in the sf4 community i hardly give a crap. I'm just waiting for my OE and then start playing a "real" fighting game. Thank you, i bet you comment and support daigo because you could never see yourself challenging or beating him in that matter. Well at least i am very confident in my 3rd Strike skills.

Shinta1988
Shinta1988

@Nightmareboosta: I'm a fan of daigo, but nowhere near retarded. It's a very common thing what you're doing. When one with inferior intelligence or lacking facts can't counter with arguements, instead of accepting the FACTS, they resort to petty insults. Good job showing your true colors.

Nightmareboosta
Nightmareboosta

@Shinta1988 Note to self, ignore retarded daigo fanboys, because they clutch onto his nutz a bit too much.

Shinta1988
Shinta1988

As for EVO, I'm extremely happy Fuudo got it. He's been the 2nd best Ryu player in vanilla and 2nd best Fei Long in AE. Finally took the throne. MAD respects to Latif for defeating all the monsters he faced. Poongko completely and UTTERLY destroyed Daigo. Amazing play, but Fuudo had his number. His OS Ultra in the last round was amazing! All in all, this was the best EVO I've ever watched. I remember them begging the viewers to invite their friends to the stream so they'd get 20000 viewers in 2009. Yesterday we reached 81000 viewers. INSANE!

Shinta1988
Shinta1988

@nightmareboosta: Sorry but I stopped reading right after you said "Daigo didn't win any majors in SF4 vanilla." You're either a new player to the fighting game scene, a hater in disguise, or have been living under a rock since 2009. So EVO 2009 is not a Major? Season's Beatings 4? Also, you can disagree all you want, but unlike you, I listed HARD FACTS. Not my opinion. Since you seem completely ignorant about Daigo's accomplishments, here's a link for you to educate yourself: http://beastnote.blogspot.com/p/about-daigo-umehara.html

Nightmareboosta
Nightmareboosta

Just came back here to say. Latif took out J.Wong followed by Tokido,Daigo,and Poongku. Gamespot why don't u make a new video, "Inside the mind of the "beast" Daigo Umehara while playing against PJS Latif" Trust me the video wouldn't even be 5 seconds long lol.

nini200
nini200

Ok, all I did was watch the 4th video and saw the projectile SpamFest. Not interested in this anymore.

Super_Sonikku
Super_Sonikku

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

beastcuit
beastcuit

lot of respect for Daigo! A true legend indeed! hands down for Latif! for beating the most solid Evo competitors Daigo, Poogko, and Tokido

LazyPenguin1989
LazyPenguin1989

Diago lost to Poongko, he even got a perfect against him, congratz to him.

Kid_Black_Star
Kid_Black_Star

@woonsa: Maybe one day i might play Daigo maybe i Adon will get blown up but i'll probably give it my best.

Kid_Black_Star
Kid_Black_Star

@Nightmareboosta: Oh yes i forgot about that, Justin is good at MK9 as well. Shame on me. :| but yea A.E. i think he well place up at least maybe top 16. I hope Top 8 at-least is Poongko,PR Balrog Daigo (Of Course) :P Wolfkrone and maybe if im lucky that amazing Fei long player form France. (I never remember his name though) The rest is up for grabs.

Nightmareboosta
Nightmareboosta

@Kid_Black_Star Bro i agree with you, J.Wong is pretty solid at any fighting game he touches,i was shocked how good he was playing MK9 and didn't even put that much time into it, as evo is going on as we speak i do hope he takes the mvc3 tournament home, because he deserves it (Y). But for A.E and 3rd Strike, i'm not sure if those were the best games he was at, international level.

Kid_Black_Star
Kid_Black_Star

@Nightmareboosta: Air's Ryu is godlike. Too bad he or Justin doesn't like A.E. both of them would be on the leader-boards. I mean i know that "Lets go Justin" incident happened but Justin is pretty solid in any fighting game he touches that revolves around capcom.

Kid_Black_Star
Kid_Black_Star

@HeadExploder: Their are going to be similarities to any player. So for example. One similarity both Diago and Mike Ross have the support of there parents. Difference Diago plays Ryu Mike Plays E.Honda there has to be similarities when you compare something. Even the smallest detail.

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

excellent insight into pro gamer tactics, nice to see gamers of Daigo calibre giving insight to the overlooked nuances in this game, and even better he seems like a very humble champ.

Nightmareboosta
Nightmareboosta

@shinta1988 And one more thing about A.E this was quoted by Air (Ryu) of what Kuroda did when he played ssf4 ( a game he dislikes) " kuroda made it to the semis of one of the SBO qualifiers, he's only played the game about 10 times and all he did was SRK with godlike reactions and throw mixups/frame traps, knowing nothing about matchups" That is when you know someone is talented. And we could trust Air's point of view because he is probably one of the best Ryu players in A.E right now.

Nightmareboosta
Nightmareboosta

@Shinta1988 Well, Daigo the king of 2-D fighting games is very unlikely,first of all daigo won no vanilla 4 tournament if i'm correct or if he did than its one because i'm pretty sure he didn't win any major sf4(vanilla) tournament, second of all Daigo won sbo 2006 because of Nuki otherwise that tournament belonged to KO and Kokujin. As for alpha 3 yes i do agree with you, he is and was a top notch player i really loved his Guy. But to call him the god of 2-D fighting games? Then i'm sorry i completely disagree with you there. It is true he has the most accomplishments in the SF franchise but remember Kuroda only remained in Japan, so did RX, Deshiken, KO, MOV, and the other top japanese players. Right now Daigo is very well known and is sponsored by alot of companies since that "Lets go justin" incident. Sorry to say it but he didn't win that evo, but that's when daigo blew up. Soo all in all, Daigo is a top notch player. But i can't agree when people say he's the best, and don't forget Daigo goes all over the world, where most japanese players that are better than him without a doubt don't or can't always afford to go because they don't have sponsors like Daigo has.

Shinta1988
Shinta1988

As I said before, the only player that currently could stand up to him in AE is Poongko, and his long time partner Inoue(Kazunoko.) Kazunoko has proven he can easily beat Daigo, but we're still yet to find out if The Machine can do it too.

Shinta1988
Shinta1988

@Nightmareboosta: That is baseless and wrong. I dare you to name a SINGLE player that has done more than Daigo has in the entire SF franchise. I'm a HUGE Kuroda fan and I think NO ONE comes close to him in 3s. He's reached semi-finals of SBO every time he's participated, and with low-tiers no less. However, Daigo has been the pioneer since SFII days. The only player who is remotely close in terms of accomplishments, is in fact his old partner, Nuki. He wasn't the original fighting game god before the making of the rest of the 5 gods. Have you watched any of his old ST matches? How about his a3 matches? You say he is milked in America? In Japan, he is called "2D kakutou geemu no kami." Which literally translated means "The God of 2D Fighting Games." As for you claiming Mago, Momochi, Latif and Sako being better than him. He has dominated every single one of them(aside from Latif) in AE. What you are saying are your opinions, don't throw them around as facts.

vxxbm21
vxxbm21

He is the best Street Fighter player in the world and his stats proved it. He may not be the best in all Street Fighter games.

Nightmareboosta
Nightmareboosta

Its funny how a lot of people think daigo is the best, i don't hate him, but he's definitely not the best. Maybe in the eyes of the americans yeah he is the best, because he milks you guys like no tomorrow. As for the best Street Fighter player is definitely Kuroda, that's a true genius at his game, because he actually mastered the only fighting game where not many people could master. Street Fighter 3rd Strike. As for ssf4 A.E i think mago,momochi,latif,sako are probably the best players at that game.

DBZKING1234
DBZKING1234

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

RicardoT
RicardoT

@RealHarry Thanks dude! It's been super fun. Just wish The Rio's internet wasn't quite so spastic...

RealHarry
RealHarry

Props to GameSpot for covering Evo.

hoplayletsplay
hoplayletsplay

If PoongKO takes his jacket, belt and pants off during his match against Diago, he might has a chance to win.

GameMaster1995
GameMaster1995

@GAMBIT1551 You can't deny it turns into that after a while though. I respect and play Street Fighter, but I tend to lean toward Tekken a little more because more skill and it is a little more refined. But hey, they are coming out with Street Fighter vs. Tekken (and vise-versa) so....

woonsa
woonsa

@Uesugi-dono If you play Daigo, you'll understand. Appropriate timing is everything in competitive matches. I dare say you won't be able to pull off your "variety of techniques" against him.

GAMBIT1551
GAMBIT1551

For the people saying Street Fighter is senseless fireball spamming and takes no skill...well you really no absolutely nothing about the game, street fighter takes a lot of skill to be a great player. Hey, I'm a casual player and don't really focus on being fantastic at the game but I know the game does take loads of skill lol.

harryikem
harryikem

Playing against him 100 times would make me a better player.. after loosing 99 times

Uesugi-dono
Uesugi-dono

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

dom28
dom28

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Uesugi-dono
Uesugi-dono

I'll never understand why people worship him like they do. These 'top' streetfighters are boring as hell to watch. Just endless fireballs. There's no art to this; no beauty. They may call the rest of us scrubs, but our matches are far more exciting to watch because there's variety in our techniques.

spytheman1
spytheman1

i would love to challenge umehara san..

HeadExploder
HeadExploder

@Kid_Black_Star: comparing players makes them the same?

Kid_Black_Star
Kid_Black_Star

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Kid_Black_Star
Kid_Black_Star

@Shinta1988: The people here don't know the fighting game scene like that. :roll: But if you realize this Mike Ross And Diago are the same because of one word. Dedication there both extremely good. Different styles different reasons why they play but they both have Dedication. :D so if you compare them they are same. :P

woonsa
woonsa

haters gonna hate, but Daigo is still the best.

chrono_wind
chrono_wind

And no, Daigo isn't god, I think Poongko has a good shot..His Seth is menacing. However, Daigo's Yun is very efficient. It'll be interesting to watch his Marvel team this year too.

chrono_wind
chrono_wind

ZZzz who cares... Its' that freaking hard to counter fireball spamming? Missles no longer fuel gauge fixed... Then watch his Yun or rather, play the game competitively then see how tough things become. It's what sets amateurs from pros.

megakick
megakick

ZZzz who cares... Its' that freaking hard to counter fireball spamming? Missles no longer fuel gauge fixed...

LilRoss2k3
LilRoss2k3

wow...10 minutes of fireball throwing.