Evolution Championship Series 2019 has come and gone, and it was another another banner year for the annual fighting game competition, with new fighters and games getting announced at the event. However, the biggest moments of Evo, as always, come from the intense fights and clutch moments. There were nine games showcased in this year's competition, and each of them had at least one big moment. Some fights were close, and others reaffirmed a competitor's dominance over a game. There were newcomers that broke the mould, keeping America and Japan from dominating the tournament. And, of course, there were records broken. So let's rundown the biggest moments from Evo 2019.
SoulCalibur VI - Winners Final - Skyll vs Yuttoto
Winners Finals is the last match before making it to Grand Finals and this is usually where fan favorites fall. Both Skyll and Yuttoto made it here undefeated, and had won two games a piece. Furthermore, they had each taken two rounds, leaving just one left to determine who would go on to the Grand Finals. Skyll's Mitsurugi had less than 10% health and Yuttoto's Voldo only had one pixel of life remaining. Voldo activated his Soul Charge and shaved off a bit of Mitsurugi's health while he was blocking. Both fighters were then within one attack of victory. After some footsies, Mitsurugi put out one quick vertical slash, but that was all Voldo needed. He lunged hip first towards Mitsurugi and landed a horizontal slash for the win.
Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] - Grand Finals - Clearlamp_O vs Oushuu-Hittou
This was the first time this game has been featured on the main roster of Evo. Clearlamp_O's Byakuya went up against Oushuu-Hittou's Seth, with the latter looking to reset the bracket. Once again, both competitors managed to tie the set 2-2 and had won one round a piece. Seth had the life lead, and it looked like a bracket reset was imminent. Seth continued keeping pressure on, forcing Byakuya to block. However, Byakuya found an opening and threw off Seth's footing with some dashes. After an empty jump from Seth, Byakuya attacked and juggled his opponent into a high-damage combo that ended with a match-winning super.
Samurai Shodown - Winners Semifinals - Reynald vs Kazunoko
Samurai Shodown is a classic fighting game series with a long history and one of the most classic matches is Haohmaru vs Genjuro. Kazunoko took control of Haohmaru while Reynald had Genjuro. The two tied the set 2-2 and the match at one round each. Genjuro's strategy of heavy pressure was about to be rewarded with a high damaging combo. However, Haohmaru used Rage Explosion to get out of it. Some jumps and back dashes resulted in Genjuro whiffing a grab attempt and Haohmaru punished with a super, stripping 70% of Genjuro's health from him. Genjuro gained his weapon back and Rage Explosion-ed to keep himself safe. It was now Haohmaru's turn to be the aggressor. Genjuro ran forward to attack, but Haohmaru clipped him at the knees and ended the match with a combo, stealing Genjuro's super from him.
BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle - Grand Finals - Shinku vs Kyamei
Normally, anime fighters are dominated by Japanese competitors. However, US competitor Shinku made it to the Grand Finals undefeated. Kyamei reset the bracket and the momentum was now in his favor. Shinku, however, made an adjustment and came back stronger than ever. In each match, his team of Ruby and Yang proved to be too much as he overwhelmed Kyamei and won 3-0, making him the first American champion of BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle. Shinku ran out and collapsed on stage, overwhelmed by his success. Kyamei hugged and congratulated his opponent, holding his arms in the air. Shinku then dropped to his knees again and sprawled out on the stage, but not before holding his fist up in victory.
Dragon Ball FighterZ - Grand Finals - GO1 vs SonicFox
Last year at Evo, SonicFox won against GO1, becoming the champion for Dragon Ball FighterZ. This year, we got the rematch. SonicFox came back from the Losers Bracket, with GO1 entering undefeated. It almost looked like a bracket reset was going to happen, but GO1's Bardock caught SonicFox's Kid Buu off guard after a super and ended the match. GO1 then broke down in tears while SonicFox comforted and congratulated him. GO1 continued to cry as SonicFox urged him to stand up and face the crowd, holding his arm in the air and then clapping for the new champion of Dragon Ball FighterZ.
Mortal Kombat 11 - Grand Finals - SonicFox vs Dragon
Mortal Kombat 11 had many great moments, and it also saw SonicFox, the previous Mortal Kombat X champion, continuing his reign. SonicFox absolutely dominated this game with Cassie Cage and went undefeated and 3-0 in Grand Finals. This proved that, when it comes to Mortal Kombat games, there is no better player than SonicFox.
Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition - Grand Finals - Big Bird vs Bonchan
Big Bird was Rashid and Bonchan was Karin. The set was tied 2-2 and it was the final round. Rashid had no life left when he managed to catch Karin in a super, making victory and a bracket reset plausible. Rashid set up a mix up with a V-Trigger activation and an Eagle Spike. However, Karin made an incredible read and jumped back, catching Rashid out of his Eagle Spike with a jump kick.
Tekken 7 - Grand Finals - Arslan Ash vs Knee
Arslan Ash, similar to SonicFox, defeated all competitors that faced him, but in doing so, he made history and became the first unified Evo champion. Previously, Ash had won in Grand Finals in Evo Japan. This made him a champion in both competitions, a feat that has never happened in any game. Furthermore, he brought a lot of attention to Pakistan, a country not known for its competitive players.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Grand Finals - Tweek vs MKLeo
In the final game of the competition, MKLeo came back from Losers to reset the bracket. MKLeo then read Tweek perfectly, using his Joker to defeat his opponent's Pokémon Trainer 3-0. The win also brought attention to Mexico, a country that often gets overlooked. This was a return to form for the Smash Bros. series after last year's finals for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, which ended with the two competitors taunting each other.