Rapper Lupe Fiasco got his wish for a shot at world Street Fighter champion Daigo Umehara granted, and the two dueled yesterday at Street Fighter 5's launch gala in San Francisco. Incredibly, Fiasco won, 3-2, but in the eyes of many this result is hardly final.
Viewers may judge for themselves; the entire match is above. Longtime Street Fighter fans and just about anyone who understands the difference between elite competitors and enthusiasts, in anything, find it hard to believe the world's most famous and successful competitor in his sport could lose straight up to a celebrity interloper. That's not to say the match and its aftermath isn't entertaining.
In the best three-of-five match, Fiasco (as Ken) prevailed over Umehara (as Ryu) 3-2, winning the first, fourth and fifth games.
To Kotaku, a Mad Catz representative vowed that the fight was not staged. Bear in mind this was an exhibition contest. Tennis pros playing in exhibition matches are notorious for tanking sets to make sure the show goes the distance and the fans get their money's worth, before playing the last set on the square. Maybe that's what happened here and Fiasco legitimately surprised Umehara at the end.
Indeed, if you go to the 18 minute mark of the above video, where Fiasco lands his final KO, neither competitor seems sure of what has happened or what should come next. Fiasco seems confused as to what round they are in for the final game, and then after getting an official notice it's all over, seems like he really can't believe he just won.
The fighting games community subreddit Kappa, among many others on social media, is not going for it. "Daigo is such a pro, man," said one commenter. "Watching him whiff grabs and DPs just close enough to look legit to the casual observer, but knowing they'd miss, all the hype parry attempts, all of it.
"Booked better than a year's worth of Monday Night Raw," he concluded. Another thread mockingly proclaims the United States' superiority to Japan in Street Fighter 5 based on the victory.
That may be a bit of a stretch, but one thing is for sure: Fiasco is undefeated in his career.