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The Evolution of Street Fighter: From Arcade Classic to Esports Staple

5 min

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The Evolution of Street Fighter: From Arcade Classic to Esports Staple
Walk through the history of the series

Games have been around for centuries and have always been competitive. Take football as an example. What started as a pastime that pitted teams against each other has grown into an international sport with billions of fans. Casino games are no different. Many of them started as centralized games before spreading across the world. Thanks to their popularity, a player can sign up for a top online casino in Philippines and enjoy games that were only available in some regions centuries ago. The esports world has taken on a similar path by embracing classic games and highlighting them as some of the most illustrious gaming options. We look at how Street Fighter got into this niche and what this means for potential players.

How Did Street Fighter Start?

In the early 1990s, when arcade rooms had all the hype, Capcom released Street Fighter II, no doubt changing the gaming landscape. This arcade game appealed to players due to its unique features as follows:

  1. One-on-one fighting: Rather than play as teams, players could choose to fight other characters as they made their way to the top. This competitive feature meant that only the best players could survive in the game long enough to make a name for themselves. And just like that, people could see the beauty of this twist as it was different from most of the games at the time. Add the fact that players received grades at the end of each game, and they all wanted to get better scores.
  2. Multiplayer options: While each player had to figure out the character they would use in the game, they could also play alongside others. This team experience allowed them to battle different characters at a time, thereby raising their stats in the community. Events would often feature arcades.
  3. Variable characters: To play in the game, players had to choose the character they thought they could embody the most. Each of the eight characters had different strengths and moves. As such, players had to specialize in a character if they wanted to be competent enough to fight in the big leagues.
  4. Strategy: While this was a fighting game like many others at the time, players could not win just by landing punches and kicks. Instead, they had to figure out the strengths their characters had and the weaknesses of their opponents. The game characters also had special skills that players could only harness by using unique commands. This two-sided thinking meant that players had to invest a lot of time in playing the game if they were to make it to the top.
  5. Dynamic environments: Games at the time were not highly specialized. But this title changed this by ensuring that the environments responded to what happened in the game. For example, if a player landed a good punch, the game spectators would cheer them on, which made the game feel even more realistic.
  6. Tournaments: This game took competition to the next level by organizing global events. Players could rise through the ranks and fight other equally good opponents to take on the top roles. Winning such events was so coveted that players would dedicate weeks to months of training to better their standings.

In addition to all these perks, the game was also a recurrent theme in pop culture, as many media references referenced it. Thus, this game made its way into many arcade rooms, where players would flock to better their scores and hope to make it to the main tournaments.

The Move to Esports

As Street Fighter became more common, more people were eager to try it out. Around the mid-90s, Nintendo released its Super Nintendo Entertainment System, allowing players to enjoy this game through consoles and eliminating the need to play in arcade rooms. This development not only enabled players to perfect the challenging combo moves but also enjoy the dynamic graphics in the gaming environment as this system came with advanced features. To add to this, Capcom increased the character diversity by adding backstories for all the characters, which helped players resonate with them even more.

But that was not all. The competition became even stiffer as players could now spend hours practicing for tournaments from the comfort of their homes. And the tournaments started attracting even more crowds in living rooms across the globe. The community grew, and Capcom capitalized on this by advertising the games, selling merchandise, and developing the graphics and characters even more. It was not long before all these changes translated into lucrative competitions where the best players walked away with huge prizes. What’s more, this game inspired a new age of esports games that used Capcom’s winning strategies to build their own communities.

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