Panda Global hit the Vegas strip this past weekend for the world’s largest fighting game tournament: the Evolution Championship Series. Along with signing autographs for fans at the Geico Gaming booth throughout the weekend, 11 of the team’s players prepared to battle for the coveted title of champion.
The first two days of the tournament took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, where unprecedented large pools led to an exhaustive start to the weekend.
Only three of the Pandas would make it to Sunday’s finals, held at the Mandalay Bay Center, but each and every player did their jersey justice as they battled through the top ranks of the FGC.
First, notable mentions go to Trela who secured 9th place in Smash 4 after eliminating fellow Panda ESAM; Coach Steve with 25th place in Pokken Tournament; and RayRay and Fchamp with 17th and 13th place respectively Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3.
Sunday’s finals began with Mortal Kombat XL and our very own Scar who entered on the Losers side. After eliminating CR’s Dragon (Alien) and WoundCowboy (Shinnok), he moved on to semis versus Big D (Ermac).
Scar was undeniably on top of his game for EVO: when he took a round he did so definitively, refusing to give up control to his opponent. His beautiful command of Demo Sonya and stylistic combos guaranteed him a 2-1 victory over Big D and a spot in the Losers finals against Tekken Master.
Tekken Master got a quick 2-0 lead over Scar- our Panda did everything he could to bring the game back to an even 2-2. In game 5, Tekken switched from War God to D’Vorah, and ended up sending Scar home with 3rd place.
Next on the schedule was Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, with our very own MarlinPie as the last American standing in the Top 8 on the Losers side. Unfortunately his run was cut short by a Zato mirror match with Japan’s Ogawa, and Marlin fell into 7th place.
Finally, Panda Global’s EVO 2016 came to a close with Plup charging his way into the Top 4. After an impressive 2-0 victory over Liquid’s HungryBox, in the Winners Finals Plup suffered a crushing 0-3 loss to Armada’s Peach.
Hbox fought his way through the Losers for a rematch versus our Panda. Plup was lacking composure as the wily Puff took control of the match. Although he was able to take one game for himself, Plup ultimately stepped off in 3rd place - with HungryBox continuing on to take the championship from Armada.
Panda Global is extremely proud of the performance of each one of their competitors. While not every tournament goes your way, the value of the experience is invaluable. The weekend was not solely about competition, but also served as an opportunity for the fighting game community to come together in a spectacular show of camaraderie and spirit.
If you’re looking for where you can catch your favorite Pandas next: Super Smash Con 2016 is taking place Aug. 11-14, while Capcom Cup heads to NY for Defend the North on the weekend of July 29-31.