Header photo above by Carlton Beener.
EVOLUTION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES (EVO) 2017 Results
The Evolution Championship Series 2017, held in Las Vegas, NV, USA from July 14th through 16th is now over and the results are in! It was a Japan vs USA Grand Finals between Japan’s ECHO FOX|Tokido and PG|Punk. Japan’s ECHO FOX|Tokido came out victorious and is the 2017 EVO Champion! PG|Punk earned 2nd place and Japan’s GGP|Kazunoko took 3rd place. Below are the EVO 2017 results for top 256!
If you missed any of the action, be sure to visit our videos page, where we will have a playlist for matches from EVO 2017!
We will have more on EVO 2017 in a few days, but for now let’s congratulate ECHO FOX|Tokido and take a look at the final results!
EVOLUTION CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES (EVO) 2017 Results: Top 256
|4th||DNG|Itabashi Zangief (Itazan)||Zangief||400|
|13th||ECHO FOX|Justin Wong||Karin/Ed||160|
|17th||Hx|CYG BST|Daigo Umehara||Guile||130|
|25th||Qanba Douyu|Xiao Hai||Cammy||100|
|49th||CYG BST|PR Balrog||Balrog||40|
|129th||General Azad||M. Bison||5|
|129th||Diablo Bison||M. Bison||5|
|129th||Drae Yomi Games||Laura||5|
|129th||johnchoiboy (John Choi)||Ryu||5|
|129th||TS|Sabin (Arturo Sanchez)||Dhalsim||5|
|193rd||El Cubano Loco||Vega||1|
|193rd||Sgt Slap a ***||Ibuki||1|
|193rd||pH|Nando Tovar||R. Mika||1|
Evolution Championship Series (EVO) 2017 Highlights
EVO 2017 had more than 2,600 entrants for Street Fighter V from around the world. It is by far the biggest Street Fighter tournament and has the fiercest competition. What’s exciting about EVO isn’t just the sheer number of top players that take part but also the unknown players that come out of nowhere to upset them. You can get an idea of the level of competition by observing some of the placements of top players. Once seemingly unstoppable, Korea’s RZR|Infiltration finished outside of Top 32 in 33rd place. Other notable players finishing outside of top 32 include Taiwan’s ZOWIE|GamerBee (33rd), Japan’s AW|Nemo (33rd), Taiwan’s ZOWIE|Oil King (33rd), Japan’s Go1 (33rd), USA’s CYG BST|Snake Eyez (65th), Japan’s GRPT|Fuudo (65th), and Dominican Republic’s RISE|MenaRD (65th).
This year’s Top 8 might not have had a narrative akin to last year’s Li Joe story, with his ‘last American player against Asia’ drama and father-son emotion, but what this year did have was more exciting, nail-biting matches. The pomp and spectacle from last year was still present, being held in the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on an absolutely incredible stage.
While Li Joe was the sole non-Asian representative last year, this year’s Top 8 had a more even national distribution. Top 8 this year had three players form the USA and five from Japan. There has not been an EVO champion from the United States in the Street Fighter 4 and 5 era, so hopes were high that 2017 might be the year to change that. The phenomenal PG|Punk had not lost a single match and was favored to win it all. Liquid|NuckleDu, the Capcom Cup 2016 Champion, was also a strong contender. Both started Top 8 in the Winners Bracket, further increasing the odds. In the end the competition from Japan was too strong, and those hopes will have to carry to another EVO. Japan’s performance at EVO 2017 bolsters their long-time position as being perceived to be the strongest region for Street Fighter play, a position that has been seriously challenged by the USA in recent years.
SPLYCE|Filipino Champ (FChamp) – USA (7th Place)
Coming into Top 8 in the Losers Bracket, SPLYCE|Filipino Champ is having a great season. He has two Top 8 finishes at Premier Events so far, taking 3rd place at Ultimate Fighting Arena in April and 7th Place at Combo Breaker 2017 in May. He is well known in the fighting game community for his fiery, passionate personality and his fierce competitiveness. He has a tremendous will to win and proudly wears his feelings on his sleeve. He is also one of the few players with the skillset to get high placements with Dhalsim, a character that requires a tremendous amount of skill to use effectively. Dhalsim has one of the slowest walk and jump speeds in the game, but Filipino Champ makes him look like one of the fastest through exceptional use of levitation and teleports.
SPLYCE|Filipino Champ (FChamp) vs ECHO FOX|Tokido in Top 8
Filipino Champ lost to Japan’s GRPT|MOV in pools, making his road long and difficult. He would work his way all the way into Top 8 through the Losers Bracket where he faced Japan’s ECHO FOX|Tokido. It was here that he finally ran out of road, being defeated in an absolute nail-biter. Filipino Champ was actually on Match Point to win on two separate occasions during the matchup, only for Tokido to steal it away.
GRPT|MOV – JAPAN (7th Place)
Japan’s GRPT|MOV has been one of the best Chun-Li players in the world and has held international respect as such for over a decade. This is MOV’s second Top 8 finish at EVO in a row, having finished 5th place at EVO 2016. MOV is a Chun-Li loyalist who has stuck with the character through good times and bad, and this year’s Chun-Li has been rebalanced earlier this year. Chun-Li is still a good character, but has lost a few useful tools such as instant-air Lightning Legs. MOV came into Top 8 in Losers bracket, having lost earlier to Japan’s GGP|Kazunoko. He would face off and be eliminated by Japan’s Moke and his hyperactive Rashid.
Liquid|NuckleDu – USA (5th Place)
The Capcom Cup 2016 winner Liquid|NuckleDu is having another great season so far with Premier Event finishes including 3rd place at Final Round 20 in March, 2nd place at NorCal Regionals 2017 in April, and 1st at ComboBreaker 2017 in May. It is only when compared to PG|Punk’s incredible year that NuckleDu’s performance is overshadowed. He made it into Top 8 in the Winners but was beaten by Japan’s GGP|Kazunoko and put into Losers Bracket. He then faced off against Japan’s ECHO FOX|Tokido and was eliminated in an exciting match.
Moke – JAPAN (5th Place)
Japan’s Moke is this year’s player to come out of nowhere to make Top 8 at EVO. He is well respected in Japan for his skill and has a few top 8 placements outside of the CPT, but his first CPT placement was a 2nd place finish at CPT Online Ranking Event Asia/Oceania Two. Moke’s style of play is perfectly suited to Rashid, his chosen character. Moke’s Rashid is a whirlwind of offense from unpredictable directions. Moke took his first loss in Top 16 courtesy of Liquid|NuckleDu and entered Top 8 in the Losers Bracket. He would eliminate GRPT|MOV in a frantic match and would ultimately be eliminated by DNG|Itabashi Zangief in another very close match.
Moke vs GRPT|MOV
DNG|Itabashi Zangief – JAPAN (4th Place)
Zangief players are always crowd favorites and Japan’s DNG|Itabashi Zangief is arguably the world’s best. He had a great 2016 season, including two Top 8 finishes at Premier Events, while most Zangief players were openly complaining about the character and/or looking for alternates. So far in 2017 Itabashi Zangief is doing even better with Premier Event finishes of 2nd place at Ultimate Fighting Arena in April and 3rd at Dreamhack Summer 2017 in June.
At EVO 2017 he continued to play at another level, making it into Top 8 in the Winners Bracket. At Top 8 he was put into Losers by PG|Punk, who made a rare switch to Nash to counter the grappler. Itabashi went on to eliminate Japan’s Moke in a thrilling match (see below) and was finally eliminated at Losers Semi-Finals by Japan’s ECHO FOX|Tokido in another great match 3-2 (also below). We look forward to seeing more of Itabashi in further events this year, and with his 4th place finish at EVO he is assured to be at Capcom Cup in December.
DNG|Itabashi Zangief vs Moke in Top 8
GGP|Kazunoko – JAPAN (3rd Place)
Up until this event Japan’s GGP|Kazunoko had been having a relatively quiet season. The Capcom Cup 2015 winner’s highest Premier Event placements this year were both outside of Top 8 with a 9th place finish at Ultimate Fighting Arena in April and 9th at BAM 9 in May. A 1st place finish at the Online Ranking Event Asia/Oceania Two helped with his CPT leaderboard standings. There is no better event than EVO to push yourself to a higher level and that’s exactly what Kazunoko did here at EVO 2017. He was finally knocked into Losers Bracket by PG|Punk in Winners Finals and was eliminated by ECHO FOX|Tokido in Losers Finals.
GGP|Kazunoko vs Liquid|NuckleDu in Top 8
PG|Punk – USA (2nd Place)
Expectations were high for USA’s PG|Punk, who rose to prominence like a meteor. This year so far he has won two Premier Events (NorCal Regionals and Dreamhack Austin in April) and took 2nd in another (CEO 2017 in June). He also took 1st at the West Coast Warzone Ranking Event. This was accomplished while focusing on big events outside of the Capcom Pro Tour. At EVO, up until the very end, he didn’t disappoint, felling opponents one after the other. In fact, Punk didn’t lose a single game all the way up to Grand Finals! At Grand Finals it was a different story, as ECHO FOX|Tokido reset the bracket and ultimately prevailed in the second set. In Grand Finals Punk went 1-3, 0-3. After the loss Punk was visibly shaken, being unaccustomed to defeat until now. Punk’s performance at EVO 2017, Grand Finals aside, was spectacular and his 2nd place finish is a big achievement in his very young career.
PG|Punk vs GGP|Kazunoko in Top 8 Winners Finals
ECHO FOX|Tokido – JAPAN (1st Place)
If you look at ECHO FOX|Tokido’s EVO record over the since 2010 you would be forgiven for concluding that becoming EVO Champion was inevitable at some point. He is probably the most consistent top 13 placer at EVO, making Top 16 six times since EVO 2010 (2010 – 13th, 2011 – 5th, 2012 – 33rd, 2013 – 2nd, 2014 – 33rd, 2015 – 5th, 2016 – 13th, 2017 – 1st). His previous best was a 2nd place finish at EVO 2013 and now he is the EVO 2017 Champion! His only loss was to PG|Punk in Top 16 in a 0-2 defeat. The road wasn’t easy though, as he was within a round of defeat against several players including SPLYCE|Filipino Champ and DNG|Itabashi Zangief in Top 8 alone. At Grand Finals he would get the runback against PG|Punk, would reset the bracket, and ultimately get the victory. Tokido is a warrior who is always striving to get better. He already has enough points to have a spot at Capcom Cup 2017. Will he be the first player to win both EVO and Capcom Cup in the same year? Tokido has what it takes, and we’ll have to stay tuned to see how far his will to win will take him.
ECHO FOX|Tokido vs DNG|Itabashi Zangief in Top 8
ECHO FOX|Tokido vs GGP|Kazunoko in Top 8 Losers Finals