5. C-C-C-Combo Maker
Combos are as much a staple in fighting games today as Ryu’s Hadouken or Scorpion’s spear. This wasn’t always the case however. During the development of the original Street Fighter II, lead producer Noritaka Funamizu discovered a bug in the game while testing the famous car smashing bonus stage. This bug allowed players to attack multiple times without interruption. And the bug was used against an actual fighter, it prevented them from attacking. Assuming it was too complicated to replicate even if you were to discover it, Noritaka decided to leave the bug in. Little did he know the fighting game community would not only learn this trick, but master it in order to gain a competitive edge. As a result, Capcom decided to officially implement combos into Super Street Fighter II, making it the first game to support a real combo system. It’s largely due to the devoted community dead set on being the best around. (cue “Karate Kid” theme song)
4.Woshige Can’t Count (Ogawa vs Woshige)
It’s Evolution 2015 and the stage has been set for the biggest fighting game community event of the year. Grand Finals for Guilty Gear Xrd have begun and it’s Woshige vs Ogawa. The two players are in the winners semifinals. It’s tied 1-1, meaning the winner of this next match takes the set with. Ogawa is up one game in the match, bit Woshige ties it 1-1 after a relatively close game. But alas, that is where it all went wrong. Woshige popped off his seat, celebrating an early victory. He thought he won and moved on to winners finals. As soon as Woshige realized he only won a round, the confused player rushed back to his fightstick. But, it was too late; he had already taken a clean 65% and was backed into a corner. This moment made waves, even showing up on ESPN. It teaches that you have to keep composure until victory is certain. However for Ogawa, it was just one more thing to write in his notes, “Woshige can’t count”.
3.Through Zero to Hero (Nairo vs Zero)
Ever since the game’s emergence in late 2014, Gonzalo “TSM ZeRo” Barrios reigned supreme by winning every single Super Smash Bros. for Wii U tournament he took part in. His streak, stretching over 50 wins, continued until MLG 2015. Nairoby “Liquid Nairo” Quezada finally triumphed over his longtime rival ZeRo in Smash 4 at MLG 2015. Nairo fought his way back from the losers’ brackets to reset the game in grand finals and take over ZeRo with 3-1 victory. Anyone that followed the Smash Bros. community at that time knew that this wasn’t just any regular victory, it was someone dethroning a king and ending a win streak deemed unbreakable.
2. The Wombo Combo.
If you’re into Smash at all, I’m sure you’ve seen this video. I’m sure you’ve witnessed the utter destruction of poor Zhu in one of the most seemingly rehearsed team combos I’ve ever seen. Despite being an incredible combo, there is another element of the wombo combo moment that made it so memorable and that’s the commentary and crowd reaction. With Yung Waf (HomemadeWaffles) and Phil on the mic, the dynamic duo explodes along with the crowd. It’s that yelling, “GET YO ASS WHOOPED” “non-esports” commentary that made this moment so much more. Hell, it even brought it to meme status. Overall, the wombo combo is jampacked with tons of hype and will easily be remembered as one of the most hyped moments in Super Smash Bros. Melee history.
1. Impossible Parry (Daigo Vs J. Wong)
Like a fireball to the face, you probably should have seen this coming. If you follow the scene, Daigo Umehara’s impossible parry comes as no surprise to top our fighting game community moments. But for those not in the know, let me enlighten you. Comebacks happen all the time, but one of this magnitude is the definition of one in a million. The reaction time needed for something like this is almost inhuman and certainly not something you can truly prepare for. Against all odds, Daigo somehow deflects each and every kick from Chun-Li’s lightning legs to pull off a win so unfathomable, that you had to be there to believe it. This moment isn’t just highly praised for the skill on display though, or for one of the hypest crowd reactions you’ll ever see, but for what it represents. Daigo’s victory came at a time when fighting games were losing popularity and their future was as unforeseen as the outcome of this fight. But much like Daigo’s vengeful comeback, the fighting game community returned as a force to be reckoned with.
Having watched the clip in preparation to write this, the Daigo parries have once again left me speechless. It just seems impossible; Daigo had no life left and he would have easily died if he blocked those attacks. But he parried all of them. It’s an act of incredible skill to have turn the match around and take the victory by such a slim margin.
This moment in Street Fighter is the pure definition of “clutch.” Daigo not only parried every single hit from Chun-Li’s super, but he punished the other player and won the match with only a single pixel of life left. Parrying is by no means easy, even though it might seem that way to the casual gamer. It requires both your precision and timing to be on point. The setting also pushes this moment into becoming a spectacle; Evo is not a place where skill is practiced. It was all reaction and precision on Daigo’s end. When talking about fighting game community moments, Daiogo’s impossible parry will surely go down in history as one of the most amazing and inspiring moments.