The Super Street Fighter IV match of the year came down to one match that happened late in the year. It won't be the type of match that you'll tell your non-gaming friends about. Rather, it's one of those matches that you sit around with fellow friends in this community and talk about how awesome it was to watch.
Usually, matches of the year aren't like that. They usually involve one or two crazy moments, or a championship is on the line between two big entities.
What also made this match so memorable was that it involved no projectiles, just two guys who had the make the correct decision on when to go in and when to back off.
Of the four of us, two voted for this match.
On the day of this match, the San Francisco Giants were playing an elimination game in the National League Championship Series. With no television and an OK Internet connection, there was no way I could listen and watch both online.
So I put the match on mute and listened to the Giants' broadcast on the radio. I have no idea who the commentators were for this match, and I have no idea what they said. From what I gathered on Twitter that day, there was a lot of screaming, cheering and yelling by everyone in the room.
Sometimes, a match of the year just delivers, even when there's no sound. Few matches can do that.
Even with the sound down, I did my usual armchair quarterbacking, wondering why each player would make a move when "obviously" there was a better move to be had. And with each win by Snake Eyez, it was more apparent he was going to get the job done against Justin Wong.
Talk to me five years down the line, and I'm not sure I'll ever watch this match with the sound up. There's no need to. The tension acts as ear muffs.
Super Street Fighter IV match of the year: Justin Wong vs. Snake Eyez, the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Tournament - Los Angeles Regional championship
Here were the other picks:
Antonio's pick: Dieminion vs. Gamerbee, the Street Fighter 25 Finals Tournament preliminary round. "Easy pick for me -- Dieminion vs. Gamerbee -- SF25 Grand Finals. Dieminion talked big about having trained for this matchup for a very long time, and he did so shortly after he qualified. I admit that I did doubt him for a minute, but I'm glad he proved me wrong. There wasn't anything game-breaking in this match, it was 100% Dieminion's understanding of the matchup."
Dakota's pick: Daigo Umehara vs. Gamerbee, Evolution 2012 Top 8 preliminary: "On Youtube, there's a video with “match of the year!” in the title. But, this wasn't the match of the year for me just because other people think so. And I remember because I wrote this down just for an occasion like this (to think, back then, I was going to do an article on this very subject on my own!).
"During the EVO Top 16, I had just gotten back home from helping a friend move some furniture. I was tired, beaten, and very hungry. So, I made myself an amazing sandwich, grabbed some chips, and, to my surprise, this match was just beginning as I flipped my laptop open. I had missed a good portion of the SF competition that weekend, so I was ready to dive into this.
"And boy, what a match to begin with!
"As much as Gamerbee continues to be one of my favorite players and puts up one hell of a fight whenever the time calls for such action...I mean, come on, its Daigo Umehara. And some of the stuff he can pull off is a bit insane. Mid-match, some sandwich fell out of my gaping jaw (for anyone worried about the sandwich, it was delicious, but I had to finish it after the match because I was afraid I'd choke on it our of sheer amazement), but I continued to enjoy what would be a very memorable match that still sticks in my mind as I write this."