Las Vegas lit up with the fire of high-level competition this past weekend as the Evolution Championship Series descended on the city. The biggest celebration of fighting games gathered players from all over the world across 9 titles and multiple side events.
Echo Fox’s full fighting game team was present, ready to take on the challenge, prove themselves, and represent the prowess of the Fox Den in each of the games entered.
In the Injustice 2 tournament, Scar, SonicFox, and Theo easily made their way out of pools, advancing to the latter stages of the winner’s bracket, before reaching the point where they would have to meet each other in battle. Scar began his semi-finals run by losing to Rogue’s Slayer, leaving him to navigate the losers bracket all the way to a Top 8 qualifier match against fellow Fox Theo, who had just finished a match against SonicFox. In a heartbreaking team kill, Theo advanced, eliminating Scar in 9th place. Theo and SonicFox advanced to the finals.
The Top 8 started off with a surprising game 5 upset by HoneyBee against SonicFox, forcing the two remaining Foxes to battle their way through different sides of the lower bracket.
Most believed that this would ensure a dramatic loser’s bracket run by SonicFox and a new encounter between him and Tekken Master, but the surprises were not stopping yet as Semiij from Noble defeated both players consecutively, stopping SonicFox at 5th place. It was the first time in three years he has left Evo without a championship.
Thus, it all came down to Theo, the last defender of the Fox Den. He avenged SonicFox by defeating Semiij in the losers semi-final and looked for more vengeance as he encountered HoneyBee right before Grand Finals. Unfortunately, he fell short in another nail biting series of 5 games. Theo and Echo Fox’s run in the Injustice 2 tournament at ended with Theo in 3rd place.
Overall, Echo Fox took had a 9th place finish and two players in Top 8, a solid showing in Evolution’s first showing of NetherRealm Studios’ brand new game, leaving players and spectators alike excited for what follows in the Injustice 2 Pro Series and the next appearance of the team’s players.
Super Smash Bros.
On the Smash side of the tournament, legend Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman and young ace Leonardo “MKLeo” Lopez represented Echo Fox in the Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U tournaments respectively.
MKLeo cleared through his first round of pools with no issue, but in true Evo fashion, he encountered an unexpected twist in the semi-final match of his second-round pool. The Fox from Mexico was upset 2-1 by False, knocking him into the loser’s bracket to face Mute Ace, a Peach/Bayonetta player who followed up the rollercoaster of surprises by eliminating MKLeo 2-0. Leo, one of the event’s favorites saw an early exit at 65th place, surely lighting a new fire in him to come back stronger in his next event.
However, Echo Fox was not down for the count in Smash. Mew2King kept the flame alive for the team by getting to Melee’s Top 8 without dropping a set, beating players such as Ka-Master, Bladewise, CLG’s PewPewU and TSM’s Leffen on his way there. In the semi-finals, he faced Armada from Alliance, which led to a last stock 2-1 in favor of the Swedish Peach. In the loser’s bracket, Mew2King defeated Lucky to reach the semi-finals once more, now having to battle Team Liquid’s Hungrybox for a shot at Mang0 in Loser’s Finals. Despite his character proficiency and the usage of Fox to counter Hungrybox’s Jigglypuff, Mew2King fell 2-0 in the set, finishing at 4th place in Melee’s 6th Evo tournament.
Street Fighter V
Tokido headed into the Street Fighter V top 8 in the loser’s bracket after Victor “Punk” Woodley defeated him in Winner’s Quarterfinal. From there, Tokido was determined to face Punk in the Grand Final for a chance at redemption.
However, he faced a long road with opponents like Ryan “Filipino Champ” Ramirez, Du “NuckleDu” Dang, Hiromiki “Itabashi Zangief” Kumada, and Ryota “Kazunoko” Inoue. Through his time in the Loser’s Bracket, Tokido found different ways to take the offensive. Against Filipino Champ and NuckleDu, he pushed them into corners using V-Triggers and V-Counter, if necessary.
The first player that caused a significant issue was Itabashi Zangief. Each time Tokido was in close proximity to him, Itabashi Zangief would deliver Spinning Piledrivers for huge damage. Eventually, Tokido was able to read his opponent’s offense and counter his movements.
They went through all 5 games but Tokido prevailed victorious after Itabashi Zangief attempted an EX Spinning Piledriver that Tokido masterfully countered.
Like Tokido’s previous opponent, Kazunoko was no pushover. He used Cammy’s drills to initiate combos and finish rounds, but Tokido did not let himself get frustrated. He adapted his play to his opponent’s offensive strategy. Tokido was able to use Demon Flips and V-Triggers to zone Kazunoko and advanced to the Grand Finals against Punk.
In his attempt to redeem himself from the Loser’s Bracket, Tokido used this momentum to come out strong. Tokido constantly varied his offensive strategy, making it impossible for Punk to get a read on him. Tokido’s offensive onslaught stunned Punk on multiple occasions, which gave Tokido a quick victory, resetting the bracket for one last, winner-takes-all match.
In this second set, Tokido kept his offensive tempo high, not giving Punk any breathing room. Punk was unable to change his playstyle, and Tokido controlled the set. Tokido would sweep Punk 3 games to 0, winning his first Evo Championship.
Tokido, in his postgame interview, explained that he spent plenty of time in Training Mode to improve, but that his biggest improvement came when he realized that controlling his opponent was the best strategy.
With his championship win, Tokido earned 1000 points and a strong push towards qualification for the Capcom Cup, where he is currently ranked #2 behind Punk.
With multiple Top 8 finalists, Echo Fox asserted its presence in the Fighting Game Community at the Evolution Championship Series. Be sure to keep an eye out for what’s next for Echo Fox and its FGC team as the summer continues.