A letter to Daigo
A well known member of the FGC who shall remain anonymous has told me a rumor that somewhat saddened me. The rumor says that after your loss at EVO2011, you probably felt all the normal emotions a player would feel in that situation, but you also felt… relieved; That a huge burden was taken off your shoulders.
You felt like the fighting game community made you some sort of “villain” that we strive to defeat, a feeling that only got stronger after you started playing the overpowered Yun in the latest version of SF4, and you did not want to be in that role.
By looking at the usual comments you can see on the internet, in Youtube videos and even on SRK, one would think that your impression is indeed true.
For some people it may indeed be the case. For others, it may have turned into a competition between nations- USA vs Japan.
Frankly, I really don’t take those views seriously, and you too should shrug that off as lighthearted drama with sole the purpose to make things more fun and exciting.
But there’s more to it than that! There is a serious part to the story which you should know about and care about!
I’ll admit- I, too, wanted you to lose and I was very happy when it happened. But my reason is different.
I can only speak for myself, and for others who think like me, but this is the explanation:
To me you are not a “villain”. No player is a “villain” nor he/she should be.
To me you (like any top player) are like a mirror that shows us what we need to see; That sends back feedback on the performance in the game. You are the criteria to judge our skill by. You are the true test.
You need to understand where we are coming from:
The golden rule of fighting games since forever was that Japan will always be number one because they have a culture that cares more about competitive video games, arcades, and bigger scenes.
The lack of the above in the rest of the world are conditions that are set in stone, and we will forever be powerless to change them.
That’s why we are always accompanied by a depressing feeling in the back of our minds that no matter how hard we try, we’ll never be as good as the Japanese just because of where we live. We are doomed to be inferior in the genre we love so much and want excel at so much.
That is why the whole world was so happy to see you lose, mainly to Latif. For us it’s not “good vs evil” but the “the player with the arcades vs the player without the arcades”.
The result matters to us not just as SF4 players, but also as Guilty Gear players, Tekken players, Arcana Heart players, Super Turbo players, and players of every fighting game out there.
You see, when Latif won against a living legend, the #1 ranked player in Japan, the best of the best, IT GAVE US, PLAYERS ALL AROUND THE WORLD, HOPE!
IT SHOWED US THAT THE GOAL IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE!
IT SHOWED US THAT OUR HARD WORK WILL BE ABLE TO OVERCOME GEOGRAPHY!
Your loss gave millions of players out there the motivation to play harder, to strive higher.
So no, you are not a “villain”, but a “sparring partner” and a “companion” in the collective mission of every player to become the best he can be.
So I hope to see you next time, stronger than ever, “doing your thing” and encouraging all of us work even harder.
Novril/tataki, a competitive fighting game player,
and all the competitive fighting game players around the world who feel the same.