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DashFight's Evo 2023 Top Moments

Femi Famutimi
9 min

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DashFight's Evo 2023 Top Moments
Evo 2023 might have been the very best one

Evo 2023 was an unforgettable festival for fighting games and over the course of three days, we got to see the very best of the community. We always talk about community, but in  a world largely dominated by the discourse on social media, it is easy to fall into the error of thinking that that is all it is about. 

However, watching Evo, what you saw instead was a passion for something shared by several individuals from every nation, gender, and creed. 

Evo was littered by several moments of genius, fun, and emotion, and we have some of the very best moments here.

Evo's Best Players

Arslan Ash

No one knew who Arslan Ash was before 2019, and his way of bursting unto the scene was magical. He made history by winning Evo Japan and Evo for Tekken 7 in 2019, and if you thought it was a fluke, he followed it up with several other wins, but 2023 will be a year to remember for Ash. As the final one for Tekken 7 since Tekken 8 has been announced, you would have been forgiven for wanting to remember the game by one iconic player who more or less encapsulated what being a champion is all about. Arslan Ash is THAT GUY. He not only won Evo Japan and Evo 2023, but was also the winner of Combo Breaker 2023 and the Gamers8 tournament hosted in Saudi Arabia all in the last couple of months. 

This win makes him the only player to ever win four Evo titles in Tekken's history. A young man with a dream, Arslan Ash has himself become a dream for many behind him to look up to. 


Street Fighter 6 featured the largest open bracket pool ever seen for fighting games and all of esports. The tournament had over 7000 competitors and by the time Top 6 came around, each person left was highly accomplished. There was Tokido, one of the greatest players ever, multiple Evo winner, and Street Fighter ambassador. There was Punk, a player who defined an era and was so dominant, such a feat has never been repeated. There was Haitani, one of the men dubbed 'the fighting gods of Japan,' MenaRD, the only two-time Capcom Cup winner, multiple tournament winner, and the man who put his country, The Dominican Republic, on his back, and one of the best players for Street Fighter. There was also Kakeru, somewhat news in terms of how well-known he is, but who had dominated Red Bull Kumite and only lost to Big Bird, who won that tournament. 

AngryBird stood above them all, showing resilience, craft, and guile to outwit everyone with a rushdown style that was relentless. His Evo win is his first and also a first at any major FGC tournament. 


Bold, brash, and hugely controversial, Leffen is a player with several fans and understandably several more haters, but you cannot deny that his feat is pretty remarkable. The Swedish national is already regarded as a Smash Bros. Melee legend, having won Evo in 2018. In recent years, he began to dabble in Guilty Gear -STRIVE- and he has now conquered the summit of that game too with a win in 2023. 

Using Happy Chaos, no one could come close to Leffen, and considering GGST had over 2000 entrants, second only to Street Fighter 6, his win cannot be overstated. He won with relative ease and with that has joined a very unique cluster of people including SonicFox and Justin Wong who have won Evo in more than one game.

DashFight's Evo 2023 Best Plays

Tokido vs Kakeru

Kakeru was so impressive all through Evo and was involved in some of the best matches of the entire tournament. His set against eventual winner AngryBird was very, very close and he could easily have knocked the Evo Champion to Losers' but for some magnificent play from AngryBird. But against Tokido, it was perhaps more impactful and heartbreaking. Facing yet another Ken, Kakeru constructed his combos well and dealt with Tokido's attempts to get too close really well. Battling all the way to the very last round, Tokido showed why he is considered one of the best to ever do it. Having used a level 2 super to down Tokido's life to its end, Kakeru was one jab away from victory when Tokido unleashed an unexpected level 1 super from Ken to finish the round, and the set.

Xiaohai vs E.T.

KoF XV is a great game and one of the best in it is easily Xiaohai. In a Grand Final to remember up against his team mate, E.T., he had to reach into the depths to get his win. Patience was key and as the seconds wound down, Xiaohai blocked like his life depended on it and used little hits to whittle down E.T.'s life to the end and he was able to get a precious win.

Jimmyjtran vs Jing

Jing was the Evo Champion for Melty Blood Type Lumina for 2022 and was looking to reclaim his title against Jimmyjtran, a well-known Tekken player who is also huge in Melty. Jing had earlier sent Jimmy to Losers and in the Losers' Semi-Final, the two would meet again. Jimmy was the definition of pressure and he forced Jing to the corner with the reigning champion doing his best to block it all out. But, Jimmy would not be denied as he hit Jing with an unblockable that took him to Losers' Final. While he only finished 3rd, this win was significant for Jimmy and emotional for those who love Melty Blood.

Hypest and Most Emotional Moments

Mena vs Tokido Stare off

Street Fighter 6 was a conglomeration of hype and emotional moments, but one of the ones that standout the most was a moment shared between MenaRD and Tokido. The two can be considered rivals after meeting in 2017 and Mena was the winner on that occasion to take his first Capcom Cup. Meeting again on the largest stage, Tokido and Mena decided to gift the crowd a staredown. It looked menacing, but seeing two players who respect each other deeply, face off, and ready to play to the ends of their ropes, was powerful.

The Light Show

Evo 2023 was the biggest ever and the moment everyone decided to take out their phones and use the torchlight to play out an amazing light show really showed the scale of the moment. 

With Street Fighter 6's tournament nearing its close, the crowd showed their love by doing the 'lighters up' gesture in what was a goosebumps-inducing moment. 

Blind Warrior Sven's Iconic Win

One of the things Street Fighter 6 has been most lauded for is its accessibility options that make the game easier to play for people with physical difficulties of any sort. Blind Warrior Sven is a player who has made use of Capcom's excellent sound design for years, and he showed everyone what he was about by winning a game with a blindfold on. Sven is legally blind but still used Honda to defeat his opponent.

The clip went viral and it showed one of the more wholesome sides of the FGC.

Best Sportsman Moment

AngryBird's Bro Moment

With a name like AngryBird, it is easy to believe that he is indeed a very angry man, but AngryBird is one of the nicest individuals in the FGC. You see it from his impassioned shouts when supporting his teammates in Street Fighter League, especially Big Bird, and we definitely saw it during Evo. During his match with MenaRD, the Capcom Cup champion's controller had a little problem which would normally have meant Mena had to forfeit that round, or something had to be restarted. Instead, AngryBird simply let the game go on. This was because, at the time the round had just started and no one had hit anyone else. But the gesture of letting the game go on was just so cool and drew the admiration of both the crowd at the venue and those watching around the world.

There were so many moments to point at for Evo 2023. It was the event that saw Tony and Tom Cannon honored by the city of Las Vegas, and many announcements that bolstered confidence about the future of fighting games. It will be an event to remember and one that should definitively show that the FGC is the greatest community in video games. 

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