GG 0

Is competitive video gaming a sport? It’s a debatable issue. On the one hand, it doesn’t require much in the way of raw strength, but neither does table tennis, and that’s an Olympic event. Likewise, video gaming isn’t a serious test of physical endurance, but neither are golf or curling.

You could also argue that the mentality of competitive games is fundamentally the same as traditional sports. Both can produce the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Oh, and as this video from the world’s biggest fighting game tournament shows, the embarrassing hilarity of a premature victory.

The Evolution Championship Series, also known as Evo, has come a long way. Just a little over a decade ago, the fighting game tournament was being held in such humble venues as the student union building of Southern California’s Cal Poly Pomona university, but now the event commands worldwide attention from video game enthusiast and industry members. Last weekend, Evo 2015 was held at the Bally’s and Paris casinos in Las Vegas, with Arc System Works’ Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- being one of the titles organizers were looking to crown a champion for.

As the tournament progressed, Japanese players Ogawazato and Woshige found themselves among the final eight remaining competitors.

▼ Ogawazato in the foreground, and Woshige in the back

GG 1

The pair sat down and grabbed their joysticks. Ogawazato chose his customary Zato-1 from the game’s roster of fighters, while Woshige selected Millia.

GG 2

Like most fighting games, an in-game Guilty Gear match is structured as a best-two-out-of–three-rounds battle. However, Evo adds an extra wrinkle, in that to advance to the next stage of the tournament, a player has to defeat his opponent in two matches. In other words, the tournament stage could be over in as little as a total of four rounds, if you win four straight, On the other hand, a back-and-forth battle could stretch to nine rounds, with the stage winner eventually taking five rounds to his opponent’s four.

Keep all those scenarios in mind, because they’re going to be important in a minute.

Ogawazato started off strong, winning the first match by taking two consecutive rounds. Woshige bounced back, though, winning both rounds of the second match.

▼ The steely-eyed Woshige, after evening the score

GG 3

As the final match opened, Ogawazato jumped out to an early lead, capturing the first round and keeping the pressure on Woshige in the second. But just when it looked like it was all over, Woshige pulled off a stunning super attack that knocked Zagato-1 out.

GG 4

GG 5

GG 6

With the crowd roaring, Woshige leapt to his feet, raising his arms and turning to the crowd to bask in the applause…

GG 7

…for his performance in a match that wasn’t over.

▼ Skip to ahead to 8:27 to see Woshige’s celebration start, and 8:33 to watch it abruptly end.

Meanwhile, Ogawazato kept his focus. By the time Woshige was back in his seat, his opponent was in the middle of a devastating seven-hit combo, and just 11 seconds into the round, Ogawazato won with a perfect.

GG 9

▼ Ogawazato then displayed the proper time to celebrate: after you’ve won the contest.

GG 10

▼ At the end of the video, Woshige can be seen mouthing the words “Mou ikkai,” or “One more time” but Ogawazato wasn’t interested in showing mercy during or after the match.

GG 11

As the mortified Woshige tries to walk off stage, he slumps to the floor in humiliation. He’d later go on to finish third overall in the event, while Ogawazato went home as the champion.

Still, Woshige seems to be doing what he can to keep a positive attitude and look on the bright side, as he later tweeted:

“This is Woshige, who finished third at Evo, and was number one in Nico Nico Douga rankings and Twitter trending. Man, I really screwed that up, didn’t I?”

“I’d like to sincerely apologize to everyone who was rooting for me. But setting aside the accident, I readily accept that the better player won.”

Gracious in defeat, Woshige shows that he’s got a good grasp of sportsmanship. Still, his blunder is a valuable lesson for all aspiring video game competitors: Always keep your head in the game, and your hands on the controls.

Source: IT Media
Images: YouTube/evo2kids