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SFV at UFA 2022: A Star is Born

Femi Famutimi
5 min

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SFV at UFA 2022: A Star is Born
A new champion emerged at the just concluded UFA 2022 and it was not who everyone expected

The Ultimate Fighting Arena 2022 tournament for Street Fighter V is now over and the winner is none other than Ending Walker. The 16-year-old player has made history with a dominating performance over some of the very best players in the world. To win the top 8 bracket, Ending Walker had to go through Mister Crimson, Punk, and Valmaster.

The top 8 of UFA was full of insane players any of which could have won the tournament with no one raising an eyebrow. 

Top 8 At UFA 2022

Ending Walker started the day with a 3-1 win over Mister Crimson, a player whom he has had problems defeating for a while. In this game, Ending Walker showed a confidence that belied his years and defeated Crimson. This was remarkable as Mister Crimson has had an incredible year winning First Attack, qualifying for Capcom Cup and making top 8 at Evo 2022

This win gave Ending Walker a lot of confidence and next up was Punk. Punk came into this tournament as the defending champion having won UFA 2018 and 2019. He was also coming as one of the only few Americans that made the trip. Punk has also come across Ending Walker, defeating him at VSFighting 2022. In that match, Punk had opted for Kolin, which worked to great effect, and Ending Walker was unable to find a solution to it. However, it would seem that since then, the young prodigy had studied up as he defeated Punk in an emphatic 3-0 set which really got people to look up and pay attention. 

Over on the losers' side, Angry Bird and Big Bird experienced contrasting fortunes. Angry Bird, with his Rashid, defeated one of the last UK representatives in The4philzz who opted for Juri instead of his regular Falke. This didn't work out, and he switched back to the fan-favorite, but it was too late as even though he was able to win a game, he could do little to stop Angry Bird from moving on. 

Big Bird, also using Rashid faced Valmaster who had a tough time on Saturday, but was a completely different animal for the top 8. It also helped that being a Parisian, he had the entire home support. He defeated Big Bird rather easily, which set him up to face Mister Crimson

Against his fellow Frenchman, Valmaster was against his very best to defeat Crimson. It was a close set and ended 3-2, and there were time when it seemed like Valmaster, who hasn't been active competitively for Street Fighter V until recently, would choke and let the occasion get to him. But to his credit, he overcame whatever mental block was there and clutched out a win.

He then came up against another wall in the shape of Angry Bird, who defeated him on Saturday in a match that Valmaster didn't seem to have the grips of. But, with a full day of analysis, Valmaster was better prepared for what Angry Bird had to throw at him, and he also clutched out another difficult 3-2 win. 

In losers' final, Punk was up against Valmaster. The set was fascinating as it showed a situation where having so many characters could actually be a detriment. Punk, well known for using several characters at a high level, opted to use Cammy initially. He lost that match and immediately switched to Luke who he had been using for most of the tournament. Unfortunately, while he got a round and played a lot better than the first game, it would ultimately end in defeat. 

Undeterred and willing to keep trying things, Punk chose to pick yet another character, this time using Chun li to force the mirror match. But, Valmaster who has had a lot of experience playing TKR, another Chun li player, was prepared for all that Punk had to offer. He won 3-0 to send Punk crashing out of the tournament, thereby losing the chance to successfully defend his title. 

Finally it was Grand Finals. Valmaster fell to Ending Walker 3-0 and while the match itself was not one for the ages, it was amazing to watch unfold as we saw the birth of another young FGC superstar. 

This win presents Ending Walker with his first major tournament triumph. He is still top of the World Warrior event for his region and it is hoped that he will be able to go to Capcom Cup to face off against the very best in the world, including players from Japan with Kawano and Momochi already qualified. 

This was such a great tournament and another triumph for PC-ran events as there were no complaints from players regarding gameplay. There were a few technical glitches, but nothing that took away from the pulsating atmosphere around the event.

Top Moments of UFA 2022 SFV

Phenom v Punk
Valmaster Masterclass
Punk loses
The best set

It'll be interesting to see what the future holds for Ending Walker, but tonight, he is a champion. 

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