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Street Fighter V at Evo Japan 2023: Oil King Wins!

Femi Famutimi
6 min

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Street Fighter V at Evo Japan 2023: Oil King Wins!
The Taiwanese Player took the championship in Remarkable fashion

Evo Japan 2023 is now over, and in the world of Street Fighter V, there is only one name on everyone's lips— Oil King.

The Taiwanese player ran the gauntlet and went through a crazy losers' bracket run, to get to Grand Final, and then win the tournament in the most remarkable way possible. He defeated Nemo, 3-0, on two occasions to win the ¥1,000,000 prize on offer for the winner. 

Oil King, using both Rashid and Seth, looked unstoppable and is the deserved winner of the last major Street Fighter V tournament. 

Winners Bracket

The Winners' bracket featured three riveting matches— Higuchi vs Machabo, Nemo vs Mono, and Machabo vs Nemo. We got off to a great start with Higuchi facing off against Machabo who had a very impressive tournament and was hoping to do even better than his last placement which was in the top 10. Higuchi, making use of Guile was quick to establish his fireball game and try to frustrate Machabo into making rash decisions. It worked, but only to an extent, as Machabo was finding the spaces to punish Higuchi. Higuchi then switched it up and attempted to go in and fight Machabo up close. This also had some limited success, and soon, both players had two games each. In the final game, Higuchi started to mix in jumping fireballs to his arsenal. This also only saw limited success, and Machabo was able to close it out. 

Throughout the tournament, Machabo showed great ability and desire to come back into matches in which he had been written off. He did this in his match against Nemo, whose Gill was causing a problem for everyone, and who raced into a 2-game lead against Machabo. However, the Necalli user showed his tenacity winning one game with great confidence before Nemo made the head-scratching decision to switch to Urien. This was weird as his Gill had been doing so well. It also turned out to be a bad mistake, as Machabo won the second game. With the confidence from the win against Urien, Machabo sought to establish his dominance and was almost successful, but would eventually crumble as Nemo found a second wind and won the match.

Nemo had already defeated Mono, who can only look back on this tournament with pride. When the two faced off, it was a battle of projectiles and set-ups with each side trying to evade the traps set by the other. Nemo emerged victorious, but it was a slugfest.

Machabo vs Higuchi
Machabo vs Nemo

Losers' Bracket

Losers' bracket was a fascinating affair. We had some early controversy in the match between Punk and Momochi, with the former suffering from a technical malfunction that he was unable to recover from and which led to Momochi's victory. Momochi, as always, played a solid game, and it was this that gave him the edge over Mono when the two met. Mono's fatal flaw was his inability to deal with Momochi's jump-ins as they gave the Japanese veteran the advantage and, eventually, the game.

Oil King was the other standout performer, and his first match against Torimeshi was a masterclass in movement and wildness. Using Rashid, Oil King proceeded to jump around the screen in infuriating fashion giving Torimeshi no room to breathe. For his part, Torimeshi tried to limit Oil King's options by using his long-range normals to stop any approach, but Oil King was too fast and got the better of him.

His next match was against Higuchi, and it seems that there was a difference in experience here. Nothing Higuchi did seemed to faze Oil King, and this was what told at the end and led to victory. 

Perhaps the most riveting match was between Momochi and Oil King. This was a match that could have gone either way. Momochi was utilizing Cody's Zonk Knuckle and V-Trigger 2 to great effect. Meanwhile, Oil King switched up his antics and started playing Seth as if he was playing Rashid. The sheer wildness of the gameplay seemed to take Momochi by surprise. 

It ended with an Oil King win that one can only say was thoroughly deserved. 

Punk vs Momochi
Momochi vs Oil King

The Finals

Oil King defeated Machabo who had put him in losers' much earlier in the bracket. Machabo was once again close to a comeback, but it was not enough. Having just defeated Momochi and Machabo, Oil King was in the shape of his life up against Nemo.

I would love to say that the Grand Final was a spectacle with both sides outthinking one another, but that would be a lie. It was a bloodbath. If anything, the Grand Finals was a story of one man trying everything he could to defeat an incredible monster and failing at every turn. Nemo lost with Gill, tried Falke, and failed before turning to Urien and failing again. He lost 6-0 to Oil King in a performance that would haunt him for a while.

That said, Nemo was good, it was just that Oil King was so much better on the day. 

It seemed fitting that the two men that defeated Zhen, would be the ones to play in Grand Finals. 

Oil King is the champion, and considering that he was in Top 8 at Evo last year, there is good reason to start to put some more respect on the name of Oil King

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