Wolfkrone made this so easy last year.
The 2011 Super Street Fighter IV Player of the Year was wrapped up probably in October when Wolfkrone had a profile that was out of this world.
This year? The award could have gone to several players. Of the four of us who voted, three players were chosen. One got the majority vote, and that player ended up being the Player of the Year.
A month ago, when I was deciding my vote for Player of the Year, I had to think about who had even come close to matching what Wolfkrone did a year ago. It’s tough to top seven Top 4 finishes at Evolution circuit events, which is what Wolfkrone did. It’s also tough to match all of the memorable moments he had in 2011.
But this player did.
All I could think of when I came to the conclusion of this guy getting my vote was, “because he won so much and was always a threat!” Well, he didn’t win that much, but he was indeed a threat.
Did he match Wolfkrone’s seven Top 4 finishes from last year at Evolution circuit events? No, but he had six in 2012! When I looked it up* the other day, I was amazed. I thought it was just two or three, but he really did work the field whenever he went to an Evolution circuit event. Although his performance at the finals tournament wasn’t what he had hoped, you couldn’t count him out until the end. He kept his roll going as he tried to make a mark during the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Tournament series.
But I’m sure that he’ll remembered this year for being in the SSF4 Match of the Year. It’s OK, he’s been on both sides of memorable moments. If he runs roughshod over everyone in 2013, it shouldn’t be surprising.
2012 Super Street Fighter IV North American Player of the Year: Justin Wong.
My vote went to Justin Wong.
Antonio’s take: It's difficult to disregard his complacency in the latter quarter of 2012, but Justin Wong is still my pick for AE2012 POTY. Early this year, up until after EVO, we saw both Justin and Ricky (with one cameo by Momochi at CEO) place top 2 multiple times starting with SCR 2011 -- Yes, I know this was in 2011, I'm not stupid. Arguably, Dieminion's successes in the latter half of 2012 could very well merit him this year's POTY, but you can't disregard Justin's dominance in the first half. As good as Dieminion is, he didn't dominate the second half of 2012 as much as Justin did in the first.
Timothy’s take: SnakeEyez had quite a year. No, he didn't dominate the tournament scene with first-places, but he made up for it with the biggest impact. Let me clarify when I rank "Player of the Year." I mean the player who made the biggest difference to their position in the community as a top-tier player AND their victories in the tournament scene. In that sense, SnakeEyez was my first choice. First, he was signed to one of the better sponsorship in the community to date -- "PDP/AGE" as part of their small SSF4AE division. Second, he's the ONLY player to win a major in North America with Zangief (possibly even the World). This accomplishment, alone, made him a valid candidate for player of the year. Next, his multi-game diversity; from HDR, X Tekken, and SSF4AE, he was accomplished in every game. Of course, his most notable victory may have come before 2012 (his 2012 HDR EVO victory), but that should not discredit how successful he's been. From a top-five showing in SFxT at EVO2012 to his Capcom 25th qualifier (and placing the highest of ANY non-Asia player), he boasts the resume for POY.
Dakota’s take: Honestly, I'm not sure how people will react to my pick, but I don't care - PR Balrog was one of the most impressive players this year, but not only that, he continues to be a friendly and welcoming role model for the community. He's consistently been one of my favorite players throughout the year, even before his 3rd place finish at EVO. Even since then, PR has continued to keep himself relevant with valiant effort and maintains a stellar composure. Though I was tempted by those such as Justin Wong and the like (and, don't get me wrong, there are just too many players worthy of this vote), I have to give this to PR.
* - He won Winter Brawl, UFGT8 and CEO 2012, finished second at ECT and Final Round XV and took third at Toryuken.