Players from throughout the world are making their way to the Bay Area this weekend for the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Finals. Sixteen are scheduled to compete in the Super Street Fighter IV tournament.
In one of those "It just has to be" type of tournaments, why not root for a finals match that includes Justin Wong and Daigo Umehara?
It's the 25th anniversary tournament as well as the culmination of a memorable 2012 tournament year. These two guys have played each other so many times on the big stage, so why not one more time with the whole world watching?
And this is no shake on the rest of the field (although you can hear from miles away that the fans of the other 14 players have their pitchforks ready), but it just seems fitting that a Justin vs. Daigo championship match would happen here.
It would just add to the already exhaustive amount of memorable matches these guys have been in over the years in various games, and it would also be a rematch of earlier this year.
I don't even care who wins if those two make it to the finals. I'm sure most people will side based on nationality, and the hipsters will lean toward whomever doesn't have enough support.
Just think about the journey through the brackets both would take to meet in the finals. They are on the same side of the first pod, which means they could face off in the winners bracket semifinals. Daigo faces Happy Medicine to start and then possibly Dieminion, Gamerbee. Justin starts off with Tokido, with Problem X or Momochi next up.
At this point, if you're a fan of Justin or Daigo, you're probably saying "What are you doing even mentioning their names!?!?!" given my previous track record of things like this. But maybe this is the one rare time that a prediction or a match wish actually happens.
In glancing through a few of the fantasy brackets on Shoryuken, it seems as though more people have faith in Daigo possibly reaching the finals than Justin. That's OK. Given the talent pool for the tournament, there isn't a finals match that will make people cringe.
Either one of these guys could come out of the losers bracket to the finals, given the stacked field, although many predictors believe that if they were to meet, it'd be Justin doing so.
If they were to meet, you could get your non-gaming friends to watch and, without hesitation, actually give them a backstory on all of their previous meetings and wax poetic like a fake Cosell on how you think the match will eventually turn out. There's probably no other matchups (maybe Justin and Ricky or Dieminion and Wolfkrone) where you could do that.
And I think that, above all, is why I hope for a Justin-Daigo final. On this memorial tournament, we can look back at all the memories these two have created as they go for the championship. It wouldn't be just "two great players" in the finals. It would be so much more.
Picture by Michael Yu.