Spotlight on the Evolution 2K4 Fighting Game Tournament

On July 29th the world's fighting game elite began converging on Cal Poly University in Southern California for the biggest tournament of the year: Evolution 2004.

By Stephen Kleckner
Design by Marty Smith

On July 29th the world's fighting game elite began converging on Cal Poly University in Southern California for the biggest tournament of the year: Evolution 2004. Approximately 700 participants from over 30 nations are competing. The prize pot for this event might not be as huge as other sponsored "professional gamer" events, but the tournament and its organizers have a very long history of hosting some of the end-all-be-all matches in the Street Fighter community--and in the end bragging rights tend to be more important here than the monetary rewards.

Most of the hardcore fighting game fans out there already know about this event. For those who aren't familiar with it, this yearly gathering has been unofficially going on for a fairly long time. If it wasn't called Evolution, it was known as B4/B5. If it wasn't B4/B5, it was just some other excuse to show up in California and battle it out...sometimes involving planeloads of the international elite literally taking over someone's house in Sunnyvale. If you think you're the man on your block when it comes to fighting games, you are probably already present at the event. For those of you who want to be brought up to speed on some of the competitors, rules, and maybe a little history--keep reading.

This Year's Setup

The Shoryuken, Tekken Zaibatsu, Virtua Fighter Dot Com, Game Combos, VGO Network, Guard Impact, and Video Opera crew have rigorously made preparations for an entire year in order to squeeze nine titles into the tight four-day schedule (July 29th to August 1st). The games chosen are considered the best competitive fighting titles available in this country today, and they have been scrutinized by either the number of players that turn out for miscellaneous tournaments every week (gauged via systems like Shoryuken's Apex) or by logistical issues (such as whether the hardware to run said game is going to be difficult to run or get a hold of). If your favorite game isn't on the official list, it is because it probably did not meet one of those two major requirements.

Luckily, if you absolutely have to get in some Vampire Savior or Garou: Mark of the Wolves, the staff is opening up a BYOC (Bring Your Own Console) area. The great thing about this is that even if your favorite fighter isn't showcased, you still stand a good chance of finding like-minded competition. The BYOC area has even prompted some people to try to organize unofficial attendee-run events and gatherings to take place during the same time as official Evolution 2004 competition (namely a big SNK gathering being put together by FierceSlash).

Round-Robin/Double Elimination vs. Strictly Double Elimination

In an attempt to create both an easier situation for the Evolution staff and hopefully give the participants more total play time, the pure double-elimination bracket style has been scrapped for a round- robin/double-elimination pool system this year. For those that don't know, double elimination is a system where players are either placed randomly or seeded into a bracket system. The first entry in the bracket will fight the second entry; the third entry will fight the fourth, and so on. The losers of this first round of competition will be sent to their own little bracket system called, appropriately, the loser's bracket, while the winners move along in the main bracket, which is known as the winner's bracket. Once you are in the loser's bracket, you cannot risk losing a second time or else you will be knocked out of the tournament.

This created situations where competitors who may have traveled hundreds of miles just to play in, say, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, found themselves going home after playing two people. It also has an uncanny way of making certain tournaments drag on unnecessarily.

Round-robin on the other hand, while not without its own controversy (no tournament system is 100% foolproof, especially in round-robin where ties aren't just likely, they are expected), is much more player friendly. Competitors are seeded into pools of players (five) who huddle around a group of machines and play each other once. When everyone is done, the wins/losses are counted and the top two players move onto a "winner's" pool, where a double-elimination bracket style is played out until the last player is left standing. This situation makes the preliminary stage of the tournament much easier to manage and allows even the worst player to face off against nine other people.

Arcade or Console?

Perhaps the biggest controversy this year, especially for some in the Capcom community, was Evolution's decision to go entirely console. This is especially true since every Evolution tournament in the past relied, in one way or another, on arcade hardware. Some see it as some sacred tradition that is being broken. Others seem to think it is cheapening the entire experience.

Realistically, arcade hardware has always had some major drawbacks. First of all, it has proven difficult to pull together enough arcade equipment to run all nine featured games. Back when the Shoryuken staff used to run Capcom games exclusively, CPS-2 hardware was still the platform of choice for the latest games, and admittedly it was an easier-than-usual platform to get a hold of (throw a rock into a crowd consisting of regular Efnet #capcom idlers on IRC, and 7 out of 10 times you'll probably hit someone who owns a CPS-2 setup). This has changed with today's list of titles. While Super Street Fighter II Turbo is easy enough to get a hold of (being CPS-2), everything else is on completely different and expensive platforms.

Arcade hardware also consistently offered up technical difficulties. Sticks would constantly break and buttons would spontaneously fail during key matches. The fact that the staff would have to hire and pay a trained technician to be on call for the tournament did not help matters on a financial side either. This isn't to say that console sticks are somehow bulletproof in comparison, but an entire tournament isn't going to get held up because one PlayStation 2 stick happens to break. Unlike arcade hardware, where replacing a stick requires at least 15 minutes of downtime, you spend mere seconds replacing a broken console joystick.

There is also the "excuse" factor. Legitimate or not, because arcade hardware relied on using only one style of control panel, there was a whole lot of room for excuses and accusations. It was not uncommon to overhear someone complain about the button layout being different, or the buttons not being the same style as they are in another part of the country, or the sticks being of one particular brand rather than another in the loser's bracket. Although preparations were made to accommodate the Japanese players by hooking up a Japanese cabinet, it was impossible to accommodate every other control panel style.

The Evolution staff is hoping to eliminate all of these problems with the all-console system and the "bring- your-own-stick rule." Everyone is competing on the same exact controller they have been practicing on at home, with the same exact version of the game that will be at the tournament, and no one to blame but themselves when they lose. It is a win-win situation.

The only exception this year is that Street Fighter III: Third Strike is going to have to go the "super gun" route because of Street Fighter Anniversary's release date being pushed back. As of right now, it is the only title using arcade hardware at Evolution 2004.

Team Tournament

On top of the regularly scheduled singles tournaments, this year the Evolution staff decided to take an otherwise traditionally exhibition-style event and turn it into an official part of the tournament. Three mini-tournaments, two of which are specially seeded team tournaments in Capcom vs. SNK 2 and Marvel vs. Capcom 2, consisting of teams created by people in specific regions of the world (a Northern California team, for example, would consist of three players from the Bay Area), and a special Pair Play team tournament for Tekken Tag Tournament. There is a wealth of history behind why these sorts of team tournament events are so entertaining. Without going into excruciating detail, suffice it to say a lot of it has to do with certain rivalries (West versus East anyone?).

The Games

Super Street Fighter II Turbo

With Marvel vs. Capcom 2 coming in at a distant second, Super Street Fighter II Turbo has to be the game in this year's lineup with the most history. Seeing a consecutive five years just in Shoryuken-staffed tournaments alone (and being a staple of the Capcom tournament scene since its release), it is one of those rare games that the competitive community has a difficult time turning its back on.

Last Year's Results:

1st--Daigo Umehara (Ryu)
2nd--Ohnuki "Nuki" Shinya (Chun-Li)
3rd--John "ChoiBoy" Choi (O-Sagat)

Street Fighter III: Third Strike

Third strike was once dropped from the yearly event, citing poor tournament turnouts and what appeared to be a dying interest in the game. Eventually, a group of enthusiasts preached this title's worth to the competitive masses, which slowly but surely started filling Third Strike tournaments across the state back up to a respectable mass. Now it is back in the lineup, showing that any fighting game can be added to the yearly event if advocated in the right way.

Last Year's Results:

1st--Kenji "KO" Obata (Yun Super Art 3)
2nd--Daigo Umehara (Ken Super Art 3)
3rd--Keisuke "KSK" Imai (Alex Super Art 2)

Marvel vs. Capcom 2

While the "versus" series has always been a part of the competitive scene, none has been as ferociously dissected by the American players as this one. After all of these years, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is still considered the definition of a team-based fighter, where getting the slightest detail wrong, such as your team's order or when to use or even sacrifice a character to gain ground, can produce a devastating loss.

Last Year's Results:

1st--Justin Wong (Magneto/Cable/Sentinel)
2nd--Ricky Ortiz (Storm/Sentinel/Captain Commando)
3rd--Rodolfo "Rowtron" Castro (Sentinel/Cable/Magneto)

Capcom vs. SNK 2

The latest 2D fighting game to come out of Capcom--and before Capcom Fighting Jam was announced at E3, many feared their last--is as close to an official SNK-related event as Evolution is going to get this year. Featuring a who's who of Capcom and SNK characters with six grooves to choose from, Capcom vs. SNK 2 allows for a large and varied combination of teams and techniques, which, in turn, creates some fairly exciting final matches.

Last Year's Results:

1st--Tetsuya "Ino" Inoue (K-Groove Blanka/Cammy/Sagat)
2nd--Daigo Umehara (C-Groove Guile/Cammy/Sagat)
3rd--Kenryo "Mago" Hayashi (C-Groove E.Honda/Chun-Li/Blanka)

Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution

This game has been critically acclaimed among the press, highly praised in the competitive circles, yet strangely it is one of the most lacking events when it comes to registered players this year. Perhaps it is because of the intense guessing game that this title requires in top-level play that scares so many people off?

Last Year's Results

1st--Eiji "Chibita" Komatsu (Lion)
2nd-- Masafumi "Ohsu-Akira" Yoshioka (Akira)
3rd-- Ryan Hart (Kage)

Guilty Gear XX

Sammy's marquee fighter combines bucketloads of style with a mind-boggling amount of depth and strategy. Many have considered it an example of the steps Capcom and SNK need to start taking with its own 2D-fighting franchises. Don't let the exclusive use of Sol by the top three players fool you--the character used in this competition, along with the strategies employed, is highly eclectic.

Last Year's Results:

1st-- Daigo Umehara, Japan (Sol)
2nd--Soh "Miu" Miura (Sol)
3rd--Saif "ID" Ebrahim (Sol)

Soul Calibur II

Released around the same time as Virtua Fighter 4, which made for a strange mass desire to post comparison articles throughout the Web, Soul Calibur II trumps its Sega competitor, at least in registered players, in this year's tournament. As with its highly regarded prequel, Soul Calibur II offers some very exciting matches whose predictability can be compared to a random coin toss.

Last Year's Results:

1st--Dan :"The Nightmare" (Nightmare)
2nd--Will "Semi" Johnson (Astaroth)
3rd--Ari "Floe" Weintrab (Taki)

Tekken 4

It looks like this will probably be the last year for Tekken 4, as Tekken 5 is making the preview rounds (including a showing at this year's event). This chapter dumps the tag-team setup of Tekken Tag Tournament for a more traditional one-on-one battle. Unlike the other Tekken titles, however, boundaries have been implemented (as opposed to seemingly infinite arena sizes of previous titles), adding a new level of environmental control to Tekken 4's strategy.

Last Year's Results:

1st--Josh "Jinkid" Molianro (Jin)
2nd--Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran (Jin)
3rd--Wiley "TreyPhoenix" Adams III (Jin)

Tekken Tag Tournament

A lot of players seem to prefer the Tekken 3 roots present in this Tag Tournament chapter of the series. As the title suggests, players must form a two-character team that complements each other both offensively and defensively. Unlike Tekken 4, which might be in danger of being replaced by Tekken 5, Tekken Tag Tournament might become one of those titles that the competitive community refuses to put down.

Last Year's Results:

1st--Kim Bong Min (Jin/Devil)
2nd--Ryan Hart (Jin/Heihachi)
3rd--Kenbou Kawakami (Lei/King)

Players to Keep an Eye On

Realistically, the list of potential impact players at this year's event is about 10 times longer than the one presented here. Instead of bogging you down with too much player history, however, we're just going to sprinkle your brain with some of the top finishers of last year's event (with the occasional wild card or two). Some of these players have been in the top spot for years, while others were surprise competitive machines that came out of nowhere. In either case, none of them are to be taken lightly.

Daigo Umehara--Tokyo, Japan

Daigo became the most feared player among the Capcom competitive circles when he defeated Alex Valle during an official Street Fighter Alpha 3 world championship in 1998 (creating a legion of copycat V-Akuma players overnight with his infamous Demon Flip Vism combo). Since then, his fierce reputation has not diminished, as he consistently places in the top three in the majority of the 2D games he enters. If you want to be considered the best in the world, you have to be able to defeat this guy consistently (sorry...lucky flukes don't count).

Tetsuya "Ino" Inoue--Tokyo, Japan

Ino quickly became a crowd favorite last year when he knocked Daigo Umehara, who was seen as a favorite to take first, into the loser's bracket. Ino then followed up with a repeat performance in the finals, beating Daigo again and claiming first place in Capcom vs. SNK 2. Although Ino is looking to defend his Capcom vs. SNK 2 crown in 2004, he also has his sights on the Street Fighter III: Third Strike competition, in which he placed just below the top three spots in 2003.

Ricky Ortiz--New York, NY

The East Coast's prodigal son has returned to New York after a short stint in California, making him a well-rounded player that has experienced both shores' style of gameplay in a wide variety of games. Last year he walked away with second place in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and was just shy of the top four in Street Fighter III: Third Strike. If you're into that whole West Coast versus East Coast rivalry, he is definitely one of the guys to pay attention to.

Justin Wong--New York, NY

Justin Wong is a solid East Coast player who tends to do fairly well in just about every game he competes in, except for Marvel vs. Capcom 2, which he has ruthlessly locked down for three consecutive years. Can he pull off a fourth Marvel vs. Capcom 2 championship at Evolution 2004?

Alex Valle--Westminster, California

A Southern California player who was considered damn near undefeatable during the Street Fighter Alpha series' run in the tournament scene, Alex Valle is known for having a highly adaptable play style that keeps even the most strategically flexible opponents on their toes. Even though he did not place in any of the top three spots last year, he is still lurking just under the radar, ready to snag another victory if the opportunity arises.

John "ChoiBoy" Choi--San Jose, California

John Choi is another highly respected player from California that has been competing in the Capcom tournament scene for years. He is an aggressive, take-no-prisoners-style player who has a history of adding a lot of pressure to the best of the best in certain games, which often promises very exciting showdowns.

Jason Cole--Los Angeles, California

A two-time Super Street Fighter II Turbo champion, Jason Cole should be looking to shake off last year's fifth-place standing and come back for another championship (not that fifth place is bad). No matter what game he's playing, opponents should watch out for his Dhalsim game--it is world famous for being one of the toughest.

Rodolfo "Rowtron" Castro--Seattle, Washington

Rodolfo Castro is a tough and innovative Marvel vs. Capcom 2 player who is no stranger to placing in the top three at Evolution. Last year he couldn't quite make it through the East Coast blockade of first and second place set by Justin Wong and Ricky Ortiz, respectively. Hopefully this year he can go the distance and land an Evolution championship.

Sooyoung "SooMighty" Chon--Los Angeles, California

Sooyoung Chon is perhaps the only player we recommend paying attention to for something he didn't do in official competition. During a Marvel vs. Capcom 2 exhibition match against Justin Wong, someone unlocked SooMighty's cage and unleashed a beast, leading to a shocking offensive rampage that left the East Coast players stunned and made the West Coast crews go absolutely mad (it's a match we're sure Justin Wong will want redemption for). Hopefully in 2004, someone remembers to unlock SooMighty's cage during the official tournament, as opposed to afterward.

Ohnuki "Nuki" Shinya--Tokyo, Japan

Ohnuki Shinya is another strong Japanese competitor that is traditionally known for being a calculative powerhouse when it comes to Capcom vs. SNK 2. Yet last year he managed to walk away with second place in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, which surprised some people who didn't think it was his strongest game. Either way, Ohnuki Shinya proved that he is definitely a legitimate threat, no matter what game he happens to be playing.

Kim "Bong-Bong" Bong Min--Daegu, South Korea

If you find your name sitting next to Kim Bong Min on the tournament brackets, then you better make sure your game is flawless. Kim Bong Min walked away with both Electric Cancel and Evolution 2003 Tekken Tag Tournament championships with a play style devoted to mercilessly punishing even the smallest mistakes made by his opponents. If you drop the ball on this guy, he'll pick it up and run you over with it.

Dan "The Nightmare" Vu--Paris, France

That nickname is a lot more fitting than you'd think...and we don't mean because he happens to prefer a character with an arm growth and a giant sword. Dan Vu has a reputation for being a very intimidating Soul Calibur II player who is known for being highly adaptive and incredibly ruthless no matter whom his opponent is. We look forward to watching him play this year in an attempt to defend his title.

Ryan Hart--United Kingdom

Ryan Hart is considered one of the premier fighting game competitors representing England. During Evolution 2003, Ryan Hart had his fingers on two championship titles, but just narrowly had them slip out of reach. In Tekken Tag Tournament he was squeezed into second place by Kim Bong Min and had to settle for third place in Virtua Fighter 4 when he ran into Chibita during the finals. Ryan Hart isn't going to settle for a repeat of the same situation this year, and he plans on earning that first-place victory one way or another.

Will "Semi" Johnson--Lakewood, California

Will "Semi" Johnson is a longtime Soul Calibur player who is known for taking full advantage of the ring, hogging up as much of the arena as he wants, and shoving his opponents off if they happen to bug him. In 2003, Johnson's ring-out tactics were enough to snag a solid second-place finish. As for what character he likes to use, we'll just quote him: "Jesus would use Astaroth."

Eiji "Chibita" Komatsu--Tokyo, Japan

Chibita started playing Virtua Fighter at the age of 13 and has since then earned a reputation worthy of having himself dubbed "God of Virtua Fighter" by some. His highly developed talent for reading opponents was enough last year to fight his way out of the loser's bracket to upset Ohsu Akira for first place.

Ari "Floe" Weintrab--Chicago, Illinois

One of the top players in the infamous Chicago Soul Calibur scene, Floe used an incredibly elusive Taki to score a third-place finish last year. Hopefully with a year to hone his skills, he will be able to upset players like "The Nightmare" and walk off with the 2004 championship.

Ohsu Akira--Tokyo, Japan

Ohsu Akira is a very strong Virtua Fighter competitor who placed first at the second national tournament, and had the Evolution 2003 championship taken away from him last year by Chibita. Ohsu Akira is known for playing an extremely intimidating Akira that patiently breaks apart his opponent's gameplay.

You don't have to be a fighting game nut to appreciate this amazing play

This was easily one of the best moments during the finals of Evolution 2K4. Daigo Umehara (Ken) from Japan, one of the best Street Fighter players in the world, was looking at a possible defeat from Justin Wong (Chun-Li) of New York. With only a sliver of health left, Daigo Umehara proves to the world why he is nicknamed "The Beast" and Justin Wong ends up on the butt end of another Evolution trailer. He was featured in a DVD trailer last year taking a beating from SooMighty in an exhibition Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Match. Could this be the beginning of a Justin Wong trailer curse?

The tournament of course, featured a lot more action than just Daigo's amazing reversal. Click a game name below to see detailed results from that event, as well as video from a featured Match in the finals. Many thanks to the Evo staff for graciously allowing us to post selected videos of the finals.

For more on the Evolution 2K4 tournament, including information on how to order a DVD that covers the event, please refer to the official Evo 2K4 Web site.

Super Street Fighter II Turbo
Street Fighter III: Third Strike
Marvel vs. Capcom 2
Capcom vs. SNK 2
Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution
Guilty Gear XX
Soul Calibur II
Tekken 4
Tekken Tag Tournament

Super Street Fighter II Turbo

Super Street Fighter II Turbo was, in our opinion, the most entertaining finals session of the event. While Daigo's insane super-building Balrog and John Choi's projectile-dominating O-Sagat provided a lot of intense confrontations all the way up to the grand finale, it was Kuni's Zangief mastery that made him a crowd favorite from Round 1. Justin Wong also proved that you didn't have to be 25 or older to understand Super Turbo's unique old-school flavor by fighting his way to a respectable fourth-place finish.

1st: Daigo Umehara
2nd: John Choi
3rd: Kuni
4th: Justin Wong
5th: Alex Valle
5th: Wes Truelson
6th: Jesse Howard
6th: Seth Killian

Finals Video

Game 1 Match 3: Alex Valle (O-Sagat) vs. Daigo Umehara (Balrog)

Footage from Evo2K4 finals

High-level Balrog players have always been a tough obstacle to get past in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, but what do you do when that Balrog player also happens to be Daigo Umehara? In this third Match of Game 1, Alex Valle's Sagat is doing what he can to keep Balrog on the opposite side of the screen, but, in the end, it's Balrog's fireball immune super that once again claims another Sagat player.

Finals Breakdown

All games were the best two out of three Matches, except for the grand finale, which was the best three out of five. Each Match was set for the best two out of three rounds.

Game 1

Match 1: Alex Valle (Ryu) vs. Daigo Umehara (Ryu) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Match 2: Alex Valle (O-Sagat) vs. Daigo Umehara (Ryu) Winner: Alex Valle

Match 3: Alex Valle (O-Sagat) vs. Daigo Umehara (Balrog) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Game 2

Match 1: Wes Truelson (Ken) vs. John Choi (Guile) Winner: Wes Truelson

Match 2: Wes Truelson (Ken) vs. John Choi (O-Sagat) Winner: John Choi

Match 3: Wes Truelson (Ken) vs. John Choi (O-Sagat) Winner: John Choi

Game 3

Match 1: Justin Wong (O-Sagat) vs. Jesse Howard (Ryu) Winner: Jesse Howard

Match 2: Justin Wong (O-Sagat) vs. Jesse Howard (Ryu) Winner: Justin Wong

Match 3: Justin Wong (O-Sagat) vs. Jesse Howard (Ryu) Winner: Justin Wong

Game 4

Match 1: Seth Killian (E.Honda) vs. Kuni (Zangief) Winner: Kuni

Match 2: Seth Killian (E.Honda) vs. Kuni (Zangief) Winner: Kuni

Game 5

Match 1: Daigo Umehara (Balrog) vs. John Choi (O-Sagat) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Match 2: Daigo Umehara (Balrog) vs. John Choi (O-Sagat) Winner: John Choi

Match 3: Daigo Umehara (Balrog) vs. John Choi (O-Sagat) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Game 6

Match 1: Alex Valle (O-Sagat) vs. Kuni (Zangief) Winner: Kuni

Match 2: Alex Valle (O-Sagat) vs. Kuni (Zangief) Winner: Kuni

Game 7

Match 1: Wes Truelson (Ken) vs. Justin Wong (O-Sagat) Winner: Justin Wong

Match 2: Wes Truelson (Balrog) vs. Justin Wong (O-Sagat) Winner: Justin Wong

Game 8

Match 1: Kuni (Zangief) vs. Justin Wong (O-Sagat) Winner: Kuni

Match 2: Kuni (Zangief) vs. Justin Wong (Chun-Li) Winner: Kuni

Game 9

Match 1: Kuni (Zangief) vs. John Choi (Guile) Winner: John Choi

Match 2: Kuni (Zangief) vs. John Choi (Guile) Winner: Kuni

Match 3: Kuni (Zangief) vs. John Choi (Guile) Winner: John Choi

Grand Finale

Match 1: John Choi (O-Sagat) vs. Daigo Umehara (O-Sagat) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Match 2: John Choi (O-Sagat) vs. Daigo Umehara (O-Sagat) Winner: John Choi

Match 3: John Choi (O-Sagat) vs. Daigo Umehara (Ryu) Winner: John Choi

Match 4: John Choi (O-Sagat) vs. Daigo Umehara (Balrog) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Match 5: John Choi (O-Sagat) vs. Daigo Umehara (Balrog) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Street Fighter III: Third Strike

While the now-infamous Daigo Umehara (Ken) vs. Justin Wong (Chun-Li) Match is probably the only confrontation you've heard people talk about when it comes to the Third Strike competition, it was simply the cherry on top of a very exciting finals. KO played a tough Yun, who took full advantage of his Super Art 3, constantly juggling opponents across the screen while an enthusiastic crowd shouted "hit" for every move that connected. Justin Wong was also on a roll coming into the loser's finals, running over both Kokujin and Raoh just to get "beasted" into third. This left Daigo and KO in the grand finale, which saw KO's juggling Yun upset by Daigo's intimidating Ken game.

Finals Video

Game 4 Match 1: Kokujin (Dudley 3) vs. Mike Watson (Ken 3)

Footage from Evo2K4 finals

In Game 4, both Kokujin and Watson were fighting for survival, because the loser would earn a second loss and end up being eliminated from the tournament. While Kokujin's unorthodox Dudley play would eventually come out on top, Mike Watson's Ken proved to be a huge hurdle to overcome, as seen in this video.

1st: KO
2nd: Daigo Umehara
3rd: Justin Wong
4th: Raoh
5th: KSK
5th: Kokujin
7th: Hsien Chang
7th: Mike Watson

Finals Breakdown

All games were the best two out of three Matches, except for the grand finale, which was the best three out of five. Each Match was set for the best two out of three rounds.

Game 1

Match 1: KO (Yun 3) vs. Justin Wong (Chun-Li 2) Winner: KO

Match 2: KO (Yun 3) vs. Justin Wong (Chun-Li 2) Winner: KO

Game 2

Match 1: Raoh (Chun-Li 2) vs. Daigo Umehara (Ken 3) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Match 2: Raoh (Chun-Li 2) vs. Daigo Umehara (Ken 3) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Game 3

Match 1: Hsien Chang (Ken 3) vs. KSK (Alex 2) Winner: KSK

Match 2: Hsien Chang (Ken 3) vs. KSK (Alex 2) Winner: KSK

Game 4

Match 1: Kokujin (Dudley 3) vs. Mike Watson (Ken 3) Winner: Kokujin

Match 2: Kokujin (Dudley 3) vs. Mike Watson (Ken 3) Winner: Kokujin

Game 5

Match 1: KO (Yun 3) vs. Daigo Umehara (Ken 3) Winner: KO

Match 2: KO (Yun 3) vs. Daigo Umehara (Ken 3) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Match 3: KO (Yun 3) vs. Daigo Umehara (Ken 3) Winner: KO

Game 6

Match 1: KSK (Alex 2) vs. Raoh (Chun-Li 2) Winner: Raoh

Match 2: KSK (Alex 2) vs. Raoh(Chun-Li 2) Winner: KSK

Match 3: KSK (Alex 2) vs. Raoh (Chun-Li 2) Winner: Raoh

Game 7

Match 1: Justin Wong (Chun-Li 2) vs. Kokujin (Dudley 1) Winner: Justin Wong

Match 2: Justin Wong (Chun-Li 2) vs. Kokujin (Dudley 1) Winner: Kokujin

Match 3: Justin Wong (Chun-Li 2) vs. Kokujin (Dudley 1) Winner: Justin Wong

Game 8

Match 1: Raoh (Chun-Li 2) vs. Justin Wong (Chun-Li 2) Winner: Raoh

Match 2: Raoh (Chun-Li 2) vs. Justin Wong (Chun-Li 2) Winner: Justin Wong

Match 3: Raoh (Chun-Li 2) vs. Justin Wong (Chun-Li 2) Winner: Justin Wong

Game 9

Match 1: Justin Wong (Chun-Li 2) vs. Daigo Umehara (Ken 3) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Match 2: Justin Wong (Chun-Li 2) vs. Daigo Umehara (Ken 3) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Grand Finale

Match 1: KO (Yun 3) vs. Daigo Umehara (Ken 3) Winner: KO

Match 2: KO (Yun 3) vs. Daigo Umehara (Ken 3) Winner: KO

Match 3: KO (Yun 3) vs. Daigo Umehara (Ken 3) Winner: KO

Marvel vs. Capcom 2

Ask any hardcore Marvel vs. Capcom 2 player about what he or she thought about this year's finals, and he or she will tell you that Justin Wong getting first place was predictable. This isn't to say that the other contenders were weak, but--being honest here--this is as much Justin Wong's game as golf is Tiger Woods'. Sooyoung "SooMighty" Chon didn't make it past Tong "Genghis" Ho, so a Wong/SooMighty reMatch wasn't going to happen (at least not in the official brackets). Genghis went on to suffer an upset against Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney, who, in turn, worked his way to David Lee, who made him settle for third place. David Lee then faced Justin Wong, who shut Lee's game down 3-0 and locked his fourth Marvel vs. Capcom 2 championship.

Finals Video:

Game 1 Match 1: Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney (Sentinel/Storm//Captain Commando) vs. Justin Wong (Storm/Sentinel/Captain Commando)

Footage from Evo2K4 finals

The very first Matchup of the Marvel vs. Capcom 2 finals saw two of the winner-bracket dominators going at it to try to put the other into the loser's circle. Unfortunately for Desmond Pinkney, the person he was trying to put into the loser's bracket was Justin Wong.

1st: Justin Wong
2nd: David Lee
3rd: Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney
4th: Chris Schmidt
5th: Tong "Genghis" Ho
5th: Randy Lew
7th: Sooyoung "SooMighty" Chon
7th: Harry Potter

Finals Breakdown

All games were the best two out of three matches, except for the grand finale, which was the best three out of five.

Game 1

Match 1: Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney (Sentinel/Storm/Captain Commando) vs. Justin Wong (Storm/Sentinel/Captain Commando) Winner: Justin Wong

Match 2: Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney (Captain/Cable/Captain Commando) vs. Justin Wong (Storm/Sentinel/Captain Commando) Winner: Justin Wong

Game 2

Match 1: Chris Schmidt (Sentinel/Storm/Magneto) vs. David Lee (Magneto/Cable/Sentinel) Winner: David Lee

Match 2: Chris Schmidt (Storm/Magneto/Pshylocke) vs. David Lee (Magneto/Cable/Sentinel) Winner: Chris Schmidt

Match 3: Christ Schmidt (Storm/Magneto/Pshylocke) vs. David Lee (Cable/Sentinel/Cyclops) Winner: David Lee

Game 3

Match 1: Tong "Genghis" Ho (Storm/Sentinel/Captain Commando) vs. Sooyoung "SooMighty" Chon (Magneto/Storm/Sentinel) Winner: Tong "Genghis" Ho

Match 2: Tong "Genghis" Ho (Storm/Sentinel/Captain Commando) vs. Sooyoung "SooMighty" Chon (Magneto/Storm/Pshylocke) Winner: Tong "Genghis" Ho

Game 4

Match 1: Randy Lew (Sentinel/Cable/Captain Commando) vs. Harry Potter (Storm/Magneto/T.Bonne) Winner: Randy lew

Match 2: Randy Lew (Sentinel/Cable/Captain Commando) vs. Harry Potter (Storm/Sentinel/Captain Commando) Winner: Randy Lew

Game 5

Match 1: Justin Wong (Sentinel/Storm/Cable) vs. David Lee (Sentinel/Storm/Cable) Winner: Justin Wong

Match 2: Justin Wong (Sentinel/Storm/Cable) vs. David Lee (Sentinel/Magneto/Cable) Winner: Justin Wong

Game 6

Match 1: Tong "Genghis" Ho (Storm/Sentinel/Captain Commando) vs. Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney (Sentinel/Captain Commando/Storm) Winner: Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney

Match 2: Tong "Genghis" Ho (Storm/Sentinel/Captain Commando) vs. Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney (Sentinel/Captain Commando/Storm) Winner: Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney

Game 7

Match 1: Chris Schmidt (Magneto/Storm/Pshylocke) vs. Randy Lew (Sentinel/Iron Man/Cable) Winner: Chris Schmidt

Match 2: Chris Schmidt (Magneto/Storm/Pshylocke) vs. Randy Lew (Sentinel/Cable/Captain Commando) Winner: Chris Schmidt

Game 8

Match 1: Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney (Sentinel/Storm/Captain Commando) vs. Chris Schmidt (Magneto/Storm/Sentinel) Winner: Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney

Match 2: Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney (Sentinel/Storm/Captain Commando) vs. Chris Schmidt (Magneto/Storm/Pshylocke) Winner: Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney

Game 9

Match 1: Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney (Storm/Sentinel/Captain Commando) vs. David Lee (Magneto/Cable/Sentinel) Winner: David Lee

Match 2: Desmond "Xecutioner" Pinkney (Storm/Sentinel/Cyclops) vs. David Lee (Magneto/Cable/Sentinel) Winner: David Lee

Grand Finale

Match 1: Justin Wong (Sentinel/Storm/Captain Commando) vs. David Lee (Magneto/Cable/Sentinel) Winner: Justin Wong

Match 2: Justin Wong (Sentinel/Storm/Captain Commando) vs. David Lee (Magneto/Cable/Dr. Doom) Winner: Justin Wong

Match 3: Justin Wong (Sentinel/Storm/Captain Commando) vs. David Lee (Magneto/Cable/Sentinel) Winner: Justin Wong

Capcom vs. SNK 2

The Capcom vs. SNK 2 finals featured a lot of talented American players who were striving to keep the Japanese players from locking down the top three spots again. Among the favorites to win this year were Ricky Ortiz, who knocked out an unorthodox Campbell "Buktooth" Tran, a shotokan/Sagat player named simply "Dan," and the consistently strong Sagat/Guile player John Choi. When it came down to the grand finale against Kindebu, however, Ricky had a problem finishing the dominating path he had started and was forced to settle for second place.

Finals Video

Game 5 Match 1: Kindebu (A-Sakure/Bison/Blanka) vs. John Choi (C-Ken/Guile/Sagat)

Footage from Evo2K4 finals

This winner's-bracket game would decide who would end up in the loser's finals and who would go on to the grand finale. As with a lot of the best finals Matchups, neither John Choi nor Kindebu could clearly hold onto an advantageous position in the Match, making it an exciting exhibition of high-level Capcom vs. SNK 2 play.

1st: Kindebu
2nd: Ricky Ortiz
3rd: John Choi
4th: Dan
5th: Justin Wong
5th: Campbell "Buktooth" Tran
7th: Eddie Lee
7th: RF

Finals Breakdown

All games were the best two out of three Matches, including the grand finale.

Game 1

Match 1: Ricky Ortiz (A-Vega/Sakura/Blanka) vs. Kindebu (A-Ken/Bison/Blanka) Winner: Ricky Ortiz

Match 2: Ricky Ortiz (A-Vega/Sakura/Blanka) vs. Kindebu (A-Sakura/Bison/Blanka) Winner: Kindebu

Match 3: Ricky Ortiz (A-Vega/Sakura/Blanka) vs. Kindebu (A-Sakura/Bison/Blanka) Winner: Kindebu

Game 2

Match 1: Justin Wong (C-Vega/Blanka/Chun-Li) vs. John Choi (C-Ken/Sagat/Guile) Winner: John Choi

Match 2: Justin Wong (C-Sagat/Chun-Li/Vega) vs. John Choi (C-Ken/Sagat/Guile) Winner: John Choi

Game 3

Match 1: Eddie Lee (A-Mai/Eagle/Vega) vs. Dan (C-Ken/Ryu/Sagat) Winner: Dan

Match 2: Eddie Lee (A-Mai/Eagle/Vega) vs. Dan (C-Ken/Ryu/Sagat) Winner: Eddie Lee

Match 3: Eddie Lee (A-Mai/Eagle/Vega) vs. Dan (C-Ken/Ryu/Sagat) Winner: Dan

Game 4

Match 1: RF (A-Sakura/Bison/Blanka) vs. Campbell "Buktooth" Tran (N-Iori/Morrigan/Hibiki) Winner: Campbell "Buktooth" Tran

Match 2: RF (A-Sakura/Bison/Blanka) vs. Campbell "Buktooth" Tran (N-Iori/Morrigan/Hibiki) Winner: Campbell "Buktooth" Tran

Game 5

Match 1: Kindebu (A-Sakura/Bison/Blanka) vs. John Choi (C-Ken/Guile/Sagat) Winner: Kindebu

Match 2: Kindebu (A-Sakura/Bison/Blanka) vs. John Choi (C-Ken/Guile/Sagat) Winner: Kindebu

Game 6

Match 1: Dan (C-Ken/Ryu/Sagat) vs. Justin Wong (C-Vega/Chun-Li/Sagat) Winner: Dan

Match 2: Dan (C-Ken/Ryu/Sagat) vs. Justin Wong (C-Vega/Chun-Li/Sagat) Winner: Dan

Game 7

Match 1: Ricky Ortiz (A-Vega/Sakura/Blanka) vs. Campbell "Buktooth" Tran (N-Iori/Morrigan/Hibiki) Winner: Ricky Ortiz

Match 2: Ricky Ortiz (A-Vega/Sakura/Blanka) vs. Campbell "Buktooth" Tran (N-Iori/Morrigan/Hibiki) Winner: Ricky Ortiz

Game 8

Match 1: Dan (C-Ken/Ryu/Sagat) vs. Ricky Ortiz (A-Vega/Sakura/Blanka) Winner: Ricky Ortiz

Match 2: Dan (C-Ken/Ryu/Sagat) vs. Ricky Ortiz (A-Vega/Sakura/Blanka) Winner: Ricky Ortiz

Game 9

Match 1: Ricky Ortiz (A-Vega/Sakura/Blanka) vs. John Choi (C-Ken/Guile/Sagat) Winner: Ricky Ortiz

Match 2: Ricky Ortiz (A-Vega/Sakura/Blanka) vs. John Choi (C-Ken/Guile/Sagat) Winner: Ricky Ortiz

Grand Finale

Match 1: Kindebu (A-Sakura/Bison/Blanka) vs. Ricky Ortiz (A-Vega/Sakura/Blanka) Winner: Kindebu

Match 2: Kindebu (A-Sakura/Bison/Blanka) vs. Ricky Ortiz (A-Vega/Sakura/Blanka) Winner: Kindebu

Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution

The Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution finals really started to heat up toward Game 3, with Eric "Shoutime" Chung's Sarah poking and prodding for an opening in Jimmy "Maddy" Byun's Akira game. Shoutime would walk away from that Match and eventually go through Kurita, Raoh, and Ryan Hart on the way to the grand finale. Ironically, the only "predictable" element in these finals was the unpredictability of Itabashi's Shun Di, who quickly became a crowd favorite and ended up dominating the competition.

Finals Video

Game 2 Match 1: Itabashi (Shun Di) vs. Ryan Hart (Kage)

Footage from Evo2K4 finals

If you ever doubted Shun Di's strength in the hands of an experienced player, this video should change your mind. Ryan Hart, who was gunning for at least one of several 3D Evolution championships and who was playing one of the stronger Akiras at this year's event, simply couldn't stop Itabashi's fierce drunken style.

1st: Itabashi
2nd: Eric "Shoutime" Chung
3rd: Kurita
4th: Ryan Hart
5th: Raoh
5th: Adam Yuki
7th: Che "Cappo" Dunkley
7th: Jimmy "Maddy" Byun

Finals Breakdown

All games were the best two out of three Matches, except for the grand finale, which was three out of five. Each Match was set for the best two out of three rounds.

Game 1

Match 1: Kurita (Vanessa) vs. Raoh (Lau) Winner: Kurita

Match 2: Kurita (Vanessa) vs. Raoh (Lau) Winner: Raoh

Match 3: Kurita (Vanessa) vs. Raoh (Lau) Winner: Kurita

Game 2

Match 1: Itabashi (Shun Di) vs. Ryan Hart (Kage) Winner: Itabashi

Match 2: Itabashi (Shun Di) vs. Ryan Hart (Akira) Winner: Itabashi

Game 3

Match 1: Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) vs. Jimmy "Maddy" Byun (Akira) Winner: Jimmy "Maddy" Byun

Match 2: Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) vs. Jimmy "Maddy" Byun (Akira) Winner: Eric "Shoutime" Chung

Match 3: Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) vs. Jimmy "Maddy" Byun (Akira) Winner: Eric "Shoutime" Chung

Game 4

Match 1: Adam Yuki (Jeffrey) vs. Che "Cappo" Dunkley (Pai) Winner: Adam Yuki

Match 2: Adam Yuki (Jeffrey) vs. Che "Cappo" Dunkley (Pai) Winner: Che "Cappo" Dunkley

Match 3: Adam Yuki (Jeffrey) vs. Che "Cappo" Dunkley (Pai) Winner: Adam Yuki

Game 5

Match 1: Kurita (Vanessa) vs. Itabashi (Shun Di) Winner: Itabashi

Match 2: Kurita (Vanessa) vs. Itabashi (Shun Di) Winner: Itabashi

Game 6

Match 1: Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) vs. Raoh (Lau) Winner: Eric "Shoutime" Chung

Match 2: Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) vs. Raoh (Lau) Winner: Eric "Shoutime" Chung

Game 7

Match 1: Ryan Hart (Kage) vs. Adam Yuki (Jeffrey) Winner: Ryan Hart

Match 2: Ryan Hart (Kage) vs. Adam Yuki (Jeffrey) Winner: Ryan Hart

Game 8

Match 1: Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) vs. Ryan Hart (Kage) Winner: Eric "Shoutime" Chung

Match 2: Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) vs. Ryan Hart (Kage) Winner: Ryan Hart

Match 3: Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) vs. Ryan Hart (Kage) Winner: Eric "Shoutime" Chung

Game 9

Match 1: Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) vs. Kurita (Vanessa) Winner: Eric "Shoutime" Chung

Match 2: Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) vs. Kurita (Vanessa) Winner: Kurita

Match 3: Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) vs. Kurita (Vanessa) Winner: Eric "Shoutime" Chung

Grand Finale

Match 1: Itabashi (Shun Di) vs. Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) Winner: Eric "Shoutime" Chung

Match 2: Itabashi (Shun Di) vs. Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) Winner: Itabashi

Match 3: Itabashi (Shun Di) vs. Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) Winner: Itabashi

Match 4: Itabashi (Shun Di) vs. Eric "Shoutime" Chung (Sarah) Winner: Itabashi

Guilty Gear XX

The Guilty Gear XX finals saw Daigo Umehara, again, fighting his way to a first-place finish. Along the way, Daigo had to go through an incredible Faust player named RF early on in the finals, who kept the pressure on anyone who was trying to snag a top-three finish. There was also the colorful Kindevu, whose Eddie game eventually shut down RF in the loser's finals and placed him in the grand finale.

Finals Video

Game 7 Match 1: Kevin "Shin Kensou" Turner (Chipp) vs. RF (Faust)

Footage from Evo2K4 finals

RF proved over and over again during the Guilty Gear XX finals that his Faust was nothing to mess with. Although Kevin Turner practically has him beat by 66 seconds in Match 2, RF quickly turns things around and steals the victory.

1st: Daigo Umehara
2nd: Kindevu
3rd: RF
4th: Kevin "Shin Kensou" Turner
5th: Miu
5th: Saif "ID" Ebrahim
7th: Daniel "Ruin" Realyvasquez
7th: Peter "Xenotiger" Suh

Finals Breakdown

All games were the best two out of three Matches, except for the grand finale, which was three out of five. Each Match was set for the best two out of three rounds.

Game 1

Match 1: Daigo Umehara (Sol) vs. RF (Faust) Winner: RF

Match 2: Daigo Umehara (Sol) vs. RF (Faust) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Match 3: Daigo Umehara (Sol) vs. RF (Faust) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Game 2

Match 1: Miu (Sol) vs. Kindevu (Eddie) Winner: Kindevu

Match 2: Miu (Sol) vs. Kindevu (Eddie) Winner: Kindevu

Game 3

Match 1: Daniel "Ruin" Realyvasquez (Eddie) vs. Saif "ID" Ebrahim (Sol) Winner: Saif "ID" Ebrahim

Match 2: Daniel "Ruin" Realyvasquez (Eddie) vs. Saif "ID" Ebrahim (Sol) Winner: Saif "ID" Ebrahim

Game 4

Match 1: Peter "Xenotiger" Suh (Faust) vs. Kevin "Shin Kensou" Turner (Chipp) Winner: Peter "Xenotiger" Suh

Match 2: Peter "Xenotiger" Suh (Faust) vs. Kevin "Shin Kensou" Turner (Eddie) Winner: Kevin "Shin Kensou" Turner

Match 3: Peter "Xenotiger" Suh (Axl) vs. Kevin "Shin Kensou" Turner (Eddie) Winner: Kevin "Shin Kensou" Turner

Game 5

Match 1: Daigo Umehara (Sol) vs. Kindevu (Eddie) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Match 2: Daigo Umehara (Sol) vs. Kindevu (Eddie) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Game 6

Match 1: Saif "ID" Ebrahim (Sol) vs. Miu (Sol) Winner: Miu

Match 2: Saif "ID" Ebrahim (Sol) vs. Miu (Sol) Winner: Miu

Game 7

Match 1: Kevin "Shin Kensou" Turner (Chipp) vs. RF (Faust) Winner: RF

Match 2: Kevin "Shin Kensou" Turner (Chipp) vs. RF (Faust) Winner: RF

Game 8

Match 1: Miu (Sol) vs. RF (Faust) Winner: RF

Match 2: Miu (Sol) vs. RF (Faust) Winner: RF

Game 9

Match 1: RF (Faust) vs. Kindevu (Eddie) Winner: Kindevu

Match 2: RF (Faust) vs. Kindevu (Eddie) Winner: Kindevu

Grand Finale

Match 1: Kindevu (Eddie) vs. Daigo Umehara (Sol) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Match 2: Kindevu (Eddie) vs. Daigo Umehara (Sol) Winner: Kindevu

Match 3: Kindevu (Eddie) vs. Daigo Umehara (Sol) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Match 4: Kindevu (Eddie) vs. Daigo Umehara (Sol) Winner: Daigo Umehara

Soul Calibur 2

The Soul Calibur 2 finals saw two friends, Rob "RTD" Combs and Marquette "Mick" Yarbrough, make it to the grand finales. Depending on how you view this situation, RTD and Mick's pairing in the finale might have been a cool thing for their personal relationship, but it supposedly made for a not-so-exciting finish for the crowd. Nevertheless, this small wrinkle still didn't stop the overall finals from featuring some of the best Soul Calibur 2 competitive Matches to have transpired in a long time, which includes the video Match below.

Finals Video

Marquette "Mick" Yarbrough (Cassandra) vs. Rob "XCTU" Nagaro (Talim)

Footage from Evo2K4 finals

Taking place a bit earlier in the finals, this Match between Marquette Yarbrough and Rob Nagaro shows what top-tier Soul Calibur II Matches are all about. While Nagaro plays a highly evasive Talim, his attempts to control the pacing and orientation of the Match weren't enough to shut down Yarbrough's highly adaptable Cassandra.

1st: Rob "RTD" Combs
2nd: Marquette "Mick" Yarbrough
3rd: Mystic "Sow Nemesis" Senior
4th Christian "Vicious Suicide" Gonzalez
5th: Steven "B:L" Luong
5th: Rob "XCTU" Nagaro
7th: Jonathan "Binkley" Soon
7th: Steve "Eternal Fighter" Hanna

Finals Breakdown

Not available

Tekken 4

It's probably not surprising to a lot of people who are familiar with Tekken 4 that the finals saw a whole lot of Jin and Julia use. The aforementioned Ryan Hart would find his Heihachi only able to cling to fifth place, while Hilfiger, Aenica, and JinKid found themselves at one another's throats for the chance to knock heads with Jackie Tran, who was waiting patiently in the winner's bracket. In the end, JinKid would surpass Hilfiger and Aenica, which led to a classic Jin vs. Jin confrontation. JinKid was able to defeat Jackie Tran for a single elimination but found that he couldn't repeat during the second phase and was cleaned out 3-0. (Because Jackie Tran was the winner's bracket leader in a double-elimination system, JinKid had to play and defeat him twice to gain first place).

Finals Video

Game 6 Match 2: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Nina) vs. Jason "USMC Ogre" Greeson (Paul)

Footage from Evo2K4 finals

Just coming off of a Match 1 victory and an intense showdown between Chetan Chetty, Jason Greeson was looking to shut down Thomas Kymn for a chance to move into Game 8. After a very close second round, however, Thomas Kymn proved to the United States Marine Corps that he was not going to concede a second loss without a fight.

1st: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran
2nd Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro
3rd: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn
4th: Nikos "Aenica" Fourikis
5th: Ryan Hart
5th: Jason "USMC Ogre" Greeson
7th: Chetan "ChetChetty" Chetty
7th: Qbert

Finals Breakdown

All games were the best two out of three Matches, except for the grand finale, which was three out of five. Each Match was set for the best two out of three rounds.

Game 1

Match 1: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran (Jin) vs. Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Nina) Winner: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran

Match 2: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran (Jin) vs. Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Steve) Winner: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran

Game 2

Match 1: Ryan Hart (Heihachi) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Jin) Winner: Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro

Match 2: Ryan Hart (Heihachi) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Jin) Winner: Ryan Hart

Match 3: Ryan Hart (Heihachi) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Jin) Winner: Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro

Game 3

Match 1: Chetan "ChetChetty" Chetty (Paul) vs. Jason "USMC Ogre" Greeson (Paul) Winner: Chetan "ChetChetty" Chetty

Match 2: Chetan "ChetChetty" Chetty (Paul) vs. Jason "USMC Ogre" Greeson (Paul) Winner: Jason "USMC Ogre" Greeson

Match 3: Chetan "ChetChetty" Chetty (Paul) vs. Jason "USMC Ogre" Greeson (Paul) Winner: Jason "USMC Ogre" Greeson

Game 4

Match 1: Qbert (Jin) vs. Nikos "Aenica" Fourikis (Julia) Winner: Nikos "Aenica" Fourikis

Match 2: Qbert (Jin) vs. Nikos "Aenica" Fourikis (Julia) Winner: Nikos "Aenica" Fourikis

Game 5

Match 1: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran (Jin) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Jin) Winner: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran

Match 2: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran (Jin) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Heihachi) Winner: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran

Game 6

Match 1: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Nina) vs. Jason "USMC Ogre" Greeson (Paul) Winner: Jason "USMC Ogre" Greeson

Match 2: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Nina) vs. Jason "USMC Ogre" Greeson (Paul) Winner: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn

Match 3: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Nina) vs. Jason "USMC Ogre" Greeson (Paul) Winner: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn

Game 7

Match 1: Nikos "Aenica" Fourikis (Julia) vs. Ryan Hart (Heihachi) Winner: Nikos "Aenica" Fourikis

Match 2: Nikos "Aenica" Fourikis (Julia) vs. Ryan Hart (Heihachi) Winner: Nikos "Aenica" Fourikis

Game 8

Match 1: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Nina) vs. Nikos "Aenica" Fourikis (Julia) Winner: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn

Match 2: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Nina) vs. Nikos "Aenica" Fourikis (Julia) Winner: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn

Game 9

Match 1: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Nina) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Jin) Winner: Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro

Match 2: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Nina) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Jin) Winner: Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro

Grand Finale Part I

Match 1: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran (Steve) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Jin) Winner: Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro

Match 2: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran (Jin) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Jin) Winner: Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro

Match 3: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran (Jin) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Jin) Winner: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran

Match 4: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran (Jin) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Jin) Winner: Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro

Grand Finale Part II

Match 1: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran (Jin) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Jin) Winner: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran

Match 2: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran (Jin) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Jin) Winner: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran

Match 3: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran (Jin) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Jin) Winner: Anthony "Jackie Tran" Tran

Tekken Tag Tournament

Tekken Tag Tournament, like almost every other event at Evolution 2004, had a lot of exciting Matches that featured some of the best players locking horns during the final Matches. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro and Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn, two players who placed in the top three for Tekken 4, found themselves knocked out of the running by the likes of Nick Shin and Fabrizio "Bode" Tavassi. Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera was not going to go down easily with his Armor King/Devil team and proved it by snagging a Grand Finale spot from Brad "Slips" Vitale's Eddy/Julia offensive. Best of all, however, was Ryan Hart finally walking away with this year's Tekken Tag Tournament championship. He's been through a lot of close calls in other games, both in Evolution 2003 and 2004, but it was great to see him finally go the distance.

Finals Video

Game 4 Match 2: Fabrizio "Bode" Tavassi (Michelle/Julia) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro

Footage from Evo2K4 finals

The loser of Game 4 was looking at elimination from the tournament, and the way things were looking after a perfect victory by JinKid in Round 2 of this Match, Bode was on the verge of being that loser. In typical high-level fighting-game style, however, nothing is over until the last pixel of health is depleted, and Bode poked, prodded, and hit his way out of elimination.

1st: Ryan Hart
2nd: Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera
3rd: Brad "Slips" Vitale
4th: Nick Shin
5th: Fabrizio "Bode" Tavassi
5th: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn
7th: Chetan "ChetChetty" Chetty
7th: Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro

Finals Breakdown

All games were the best two out of three Matches, except for the grand finale, which was three out of five. Each Match was set for the best two out of three rounds.

Game 1

Match 1: Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera (Devil/Armor King) vs. Brad "Slips" Vitale (Julia/Eddy) Winner" Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera

Match 2: Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera (Devil/Armor King) vs. Brad "Slips" Vitale (Julia/Eddy) Winner: Brad "Slips" Vitale

Match 3: Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera (Devil/Armor King) vs. Brad "Slips" Vitale (Julia/Eddy) Winner: Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera

Game 2

Match 1: Nick Shin (Julia/Michelle) vs. Ryan Hart (Jin/Kazuya) Winner: Ryan Hart

Match 2: Nick Shin (Julia/Michelle) vs. Ryan Hart (Jin/Kazuya) Winner: Ryan Hart

Game 3

Match 1: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Devil/Jin) vs. Chetan "ChetChetty" Chetty (Jin/Devil) Winner: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn

Match 2: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Devil/Jin) vs. Chetan "ChetChetty" Chetty (Armor King/Anna) Winner: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn

Game 4

Match 1: Fabrizio "Bode" Tavassi (Michelle/Julia) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Devil/King) Winner: Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro

Match 2: Fabrizio "Bode" Tavassi (Michelle/Julia) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Devil/King) Winner: Fabrizio "Bode" Tavassi

Match 3: Fabrizio "Bode" Tavassi (Michelle/Julia) vs. Joshua "JinKid" Molinaro (Devil/King) Winner: Fabrizio "Bode" Tavassi

Game 5

Match 1: Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera (Devil/Armor King) vs. Ryan Hart (Jin/Kazuya) Winner: Ryan Hart

Match 2: Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera (Devil/Armor King) vs. Ryan Hart (Jin/Kazuya) Winner: Ryan Hart

Game 6

Match 1: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Devil/Jin) vs. Nick Shin (Michelle/Julia) Winner: Nick Shin

Match 2: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Bruce/Julia) vs. Nick Shin (Michelle/Julia) Winner: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn

Match 3: Thomas "TomHilfiger" Kymn (Bruce/Julia) vs. Nick Shin (Michelle/Julia) Winner: Nick Shin

Game 7

Match 1: Brad "Slips" Vitale (Eddy/Julia) vs. Fabrizio "Bode" Tavassi (Michelle/Julia) Winner: Fabrizio "Bode" Tavassi

Match 2: Brad "Slips" Vitale (Eddy/Julia) vs. Fabrizio "Bode" Tavassi (Michelle/Julia) Winner: Brad "Slips" Vitale

Match 3: Brad "Slips" Vitale (Eddy/Julia) vs. Fabrizio "Bode" Tavassi (Michelle/Julia) Winner: Brad "Slips" Vitale

Game 8

Match 1: Nick Shin (Julia/Michelle) vs. Brad "Slips" Vitale (Eddy/Julia) Winner: Brad "Slips" Vitale

Match 2: Nick Shin (Julia/Michelle) vs. Brad "Slips" Vitale (Eddy/Julia) Winner: Brad "Slips" Vitale

Game 9

Match 1: Brad "Slips" Vitale (Eddy/Julia) vs. Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera (Devil/Armor King) Winner: Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera

Match 2: Brad "Slips" Vitale (Eddy/Julia) vs. Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera (Devil/Armor King) Winner: Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera

Grand Finale

Match 1: Ryan Hart (Jin/Kazuya) vs. Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera (Armor King/Anna) Winner: Ryan Hart

Match 2: Ryan Hart (Jin/Kazuya) vs. Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera (Devil/Armor King) Winner: Ryan Hart

Match 3: Ryan Hart (Jin/Kazuya) vs. Shaun "Unconkable" Rivera (Devil/Armor King) Winner: Ryan Hart

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