After a long Evo championship, “Murderface” smiled. It was Taniguchi “Tokido” Hajime turn to finally earn an Evo Street Fighter title on Sunday night. He held off Capcom Pro Tour leader Victor “Punk” Woodley to win the Street Fighter V finals at Evo 2017, and took home over $35,000 for his victory and moved up to second place in the Capcom Pro Tour standings.
Tokido has come close to Evo glory on multiple occasions. He lost in the 2013 grand final, and reached fifth place in 2011 and 2015, but never got to be the champion. All of that changed yesterday despite the odds appearing to be against him. Tokido began the night on the losers’ side of the bracket after a loss to Punk the night before. While Tokido fought his way through the lower bracket, Punk scored 3-0 victories over both Kumada “ItaZan” Hiromiki and Inoue “Kazunoko” Ryota. Punk reached the grand final without dropping a game all tournament.
Tokido defeated Punk 3-1 in the first grand final set, then rode the momentum to a 3-0 win in the reset to take the title. It was enough to bring a smile to the man known as “The Murderface.” “You guys know from my face, I’m so happy now,” said the champion.
Kazunoko and ItaZan finished in third and fourth places respectively.It appeared that a long American drought was about to come to an end. No American had won a Street Fighter IV title at Evo throughout the life of that game, and South Korea’s Lee “Infiltration” Seon-Woo took top honors in Evo’s Street Fighter V tournament last year. This year was supposed to be different, but Punk failed to complete his mission. Still, his second place finish was enough to earn over $15,000 and hold on to his spot atop the Capcom Pro Tour leaderboard.