Press Start's Rene "RyanLV" Romero took home the gold Sunday for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (UMVC3) at the Evolution Fighting Game Championship in Las Vegas. The win caps off RyanLV's dominant year-long terror over UMVC3 and solidified himself as one of the best in the business.
The entire tournament was chock-full of upsets. Whether it was two of the tournament favorites, Splyce's Ryan "FilipinoChamp" Ramirez or Echo Fox' Justin Wong's early exit from the tournament, or the emergence of some of the Curleh Circuit's newer players to the top tier, it was evident that the game still has some legs left. It will be interesting to see what comes next for UMVC3 and whether it can coexist with the upcoming Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.
Grand finals: Chris G against RyanLV
Morrigan vs. Morrigan. Aggression vs. defense. RyanLV and Chris G was the perfect way to close out UMVC3's run on the Evo big stage because the matchup blended the best storyline in the community -- old vs. new. Chris G was arguably the most consistent UMVC3 player in the game's life and RyanLV was the door to the next generation of Marvel mashers.
RyanLV represented the new era of player that prioritized specific tech choices and constant aggression over defense. Chris G, on the other hand, was the old guard that preferred clean offense and defensive mobility with a tempo-heavy neutral game. While both players played the "bullet hell" style of team (where you flood the screen with projectiles, making is difficult to dodge and move), it was RyanLV's placement of fireballs that edged him over Chris G's immaculate control of the overall neutral game. Chris G's run of dominance relied upon his opponents to lose patience and life in their chase of his ever-elusive Morrigan team, but RyanLV just took the projectile game to him.
The run of a "God"
Jose "PC Marvel God" Aldape lost his second round in his pool. For many players, that would be the death knell to their tournament, but not for PC Marvel God. Instead, he ran the tables and took down player after player before finally finishing his insane Evo run with an impressive third place. On his way to the top eight, he took down some of Marvel's heaviest hitters in the community: Vineeth "ApologyMan" Meka, Panda Global's Raynel "RayRay" Hidalgo, and Justin Wong. While in top eight, PC Marvel God ended the tournament of Luis "Paradigm" Cervantes, but fell to Chris G. It was one of the craziest underdog runs in UMVC3 history and a fitting scenario for a game known for its unpredictability.
Still some life in the game
The number one sign of encouragement for a game that is on its final legs is the sign of new competition. The Curleh Circuit was the first step to uncovering players from all over the world and several of these up-and-comers made their appearances known on the biggest stage. It was refreshing to see so many new faces pop up in the top 32. In the top eight alone, Gilbert "Punisher" Matos, Joey "Joey D" D'Alessandro, Mischief Eddie "Not Enough Damage" Mu, and Jose "PC Marvel God" Aldape surprised many with their tournament finishes. Punisher, Joey D, and Not Enough Damage are top point-getters on the Curleh Circuit and will still on people's radar until the tournament season is over.