Tecmo crowns world DOAU champion

Team Ninja's Itagaki on hand as Tecmo holds final competition to determine the best combatant in Dead or Alive Ultimate.

LOS ANGELES--Tecmo held an event a stone's throw away from the LA Convention Center, where E3 2005 kicked off Wednesday, to determine who was the best combatant in Dead or Alive Ultimate. The Japanese publisher hosted seven finalists from around the world for the week in order for them to compete against each other during the finals, which were held during an evening ceremony.

The collection of combatants boasted a truly international flavor, with reps from the US, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, Australia, and Singapore on hand. Like the diverse roster of DOA Ultimate characters, the contestants were a rich assortment of individuals, including a soft-spoken Japanese woman in addition to the expected array of young males. All had made it there that night after winning semifinals held in their respective regions.

The evening kicked off with a series of matches designed to thin the crowd of seven down to just two fighters. To keep the matches even, game creator Tomonobu Itagaki joined the fray and clashed with American finalist Daniel Roberson. But the battle between Roberson's Hayabusa and Itagaki's Kasumi was surprisingly one-sided, as the young American actually schooled the veteran developer.

Despite the smackdown, the usually shy game maker laughed out loud as he lost the battle. Later in the evening he admitted that he actually tried his best against his opponent. But Roberson's victory didn't last long--he later lost against Japanese finalist Yuichi Yanagisawa in a heated match that saw his Hayabusa fall to Yanagisawa's Helena.

The closing ceremony saw Yanagisawa handed a check for a $1,000 and Itagaki showing off an unedited version of the Dead or Alive 4 trailer that included some racier-than-normal shots of one of the female fighters.

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