I’ve just recently arrived home from an extended stay in Vegas after the conclusion of EVO 2009. I have a few thoughts as well as some shout-outs that I’d like to get out there while things are (somewhat) fresh in my mind.
First I’d like to say that the level of competition in tournaments this year was much higher than I personally expected. I ran into a number of known players taking losses or even eliminated from that ever-dangerous “some-guy”. It’s great to see the level of competition on the rise.
The vibe in the room was great all weekend. I was able to meet a number of you attending your first Evo and I must say you picked a good one to come out to. Veterans of the tournament as well repeatedly mentioned good things time and time again.
1000 plus people entered SF4. Think about that for a second. To get to semifinals, over 900 people had to be eliminated on Friday. That’s like running four 256 man brackets in one day alone. Simply amazing, and I applaud everyone who came out to compete.
I never thought that I would see such heavy press coverage. The word is definitely out that the annual event that so many of us love to attend is something worth checking out.
With that, I’d like to toss a few words of thanks out there.
First, whoever made the “Let’s Go Justin” shirt, that’s fantastic. I request a shirt for selfish reasons
To those of you lucky enough to watch the barefoot drag races, I share another round of bellyaching laughter. To those of you who do not know what I speak of, I’m sure youtube will help some of the footage go viral (if it already has not). Reminiscent of doing special moves in the parking lot of Folsom back in 2001, this post-game silliness was actually captured on video.
To those of you who volunteered to help move / clean / etc, I again applaud your efforts. In years past, the staff would be up until the wee hours of the morning getting things set up for the next day. With your efforts, that turnaround time was reduced tremendously. Having help like that really makes things go smoothly and it will always be welcome. Thank you from myself as well as the rest of the Evo staff
As I mentioned prior to the start of the SF4 finals, I commend the work done by the judges for all pools. I know that some folks had a few rough spots but they were able to get things back on track, so a huge thanks to those guys in particular. Running 24 pools in one day is a tremendous feat, and without the help of these judges, it would have been very challenging to meet the schedule we set. We all owe you guys another round of applause for your work this past weekend.
What can I say about the EVO staff. Fellas, this was certainly one to chalk up there as a great tournament, and with the effort put forth to getting the event started, down the track, and to the finish line was certainly worth it in the end. Seeing the pictures / videos of the crowds was a huge payoff for me, and I hope it was for you as well. My hat goes off to all staff members for their efforts this weekend and I look forward to next year already
Finally, I send a well-deserved “thank you” to both Tom and Tony Cannon. Their efforts over the years and their service to the fighting game community have fostered a wonderful culture that helped skills increase, visibility of our scene to expand, and the creation and maturing of countless relationships. It has been a pleasure working with the two of them, and an honor to have been a part of not just this past EVO, but of all events in the past. Thanks guys, your awards are well deserved and the applause could not go long enough for both of you.