New to the Evolution Championship Series this year was the first-ever women’s invitational tournament for Super Street Fighter IV, which invited players to compete amongst themselves in a separate division.
“There’s a lot of machismo going on sometimes,” says Capcom’s Seth Killian. “Fighting games are aggressive and some women haven’t liked the aggressive games. There are some women who enjoy that kind of competitive thing. We just noticed that there were more and more women players. Locally there were good players developing and the tournament is about pushing in a new direction.”
“The people I played against were friendly,” said Patricia Eagle, a 28-year old gamer from New Jersey. “I think everybody is trying to have fun.”
While no woman has ever cracked the finals of a Street Fighter tournament at EVO, 36 women faced off at the inaugural women’s invitational. The best among them heading into the tournament was Kayane Obuie-Laure of France.
“I think sometimes women don’t go into tournaments because they are shy. I saw a lot of women and I was surprised,” Obuie-Laurie said.
It was lively during pool play, when a sizeable crowd gathered in the corner of the ballroom for the qualifying rounds. There was a lot of chirping going on amongst the players, but it was a friendly atmosphere.
Eight moved on to the women’s final held on Sunday with the large finals-crowd on hand to see Obuie-Laurie take the championship over Abedusoba Adesji.
“I was so happy to win it, I’ve never played in front of so many people” Obuie-Laurie said after her final match. “I hope more women practice more and come out to the next tournament.”
Above: Kayane won at the women’s finals with her Chun-Li. Here she is with fellow champion Daigo “The Beast” Umehara
Above: A crowd gathers to watch the qualifying rounds at the Super Street Fighter IV women’s invitational at EVO
Above: aAa Kayane (Chun-Li) vs. Burnyourbra (Rose/Ken) at the EVO women’s finals
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