The 2015 Red Bull Kumite isn’t part of the Capcom Pro Tour – it’s an invitation-only tournament featuring 14 of the best Ultra Street Fighter players from around the world. What’s impressive is that the production value equals or even rivals that of certain Capcom Pro Tour Premier Events. Hats off to Red Bull and the Frenchmen!
Salle Wagram Auditorium, Venue for the 2015 Red Bull Kumite Invitational
Fighting game tournaments have no shortage of drama, although sometimes stoicism and professional demeanor rein in the expected backlash from wounded pride and loss of face. In the events leading up the the 2015 RBK Grand Finals, however, as-yet-unknown circumstances brought out a grudge between two world warriors out in the open.
Hajime Taniguchi (Tokido), an Akuma specialist, pelted Masato Takahashi (Bon-chan), a Sagat loyalist, with a flurry of taunts:
- “If he uses Ryu, I’ll body him!” (referencing Bon-chan’s recent victory over Daigo Umehara, where Bon-chan used his pocket Ryu instead of Sagat, his main)
- “If he uses Sagat, I’ll body him!” (presumably referencing Bon-chan’s ‘downward spiral’ since losing to Luffy in the EVO 2014 USF4 Grand Finals)
- “You are forever stuck in 2nd place. I know you want to be a champion. I’m sorry, but your opponent today is Tokido.”
Bon-chan responded simply, but in no kinder terms:
- “You’re a coward.” (possibly referencing Tokido’s refusal to explore other characters in USF4, as many other pro players have already done)
Tokido is known for his love of playing the crowd (as can be seen in this video), so it’s possible that both players set up the confrontation beforehand as a way of riling up the audience. Either way, it made for possibly the most tense FGC grand finals match ever since Garireo vs Dogura (EVO 2014 Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma Grand Finals).
2015 RED BULL KUMITE FOOTAGE
2015 Red Bull Kumite Loser’s Semifinals – Nemo (Rolento) vs Infiltration (Decapre)
2015 Red Bull Kumite Winner’s Semifinals – Tokido (Akuma) vs Bon-chan (Sagat)
2015 Red Bull Kumite Loser’s Finals – Bon-chan (Sagat) vs Nemo (Rolento)
2015 Red Bull Kumite Grand Finals – Bon-chan (Sagat) vs Tokido (Akuma)