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Filipino Champ vs. Kane Blueriver: A story of love, hate and poetic justice

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • February 29, 2016 at 8 p.m. PST • Comments: 136

It may be an understatement to say that the Marvel vs. Capcom community is well acquainted with controversy, but through the years of pride-fueled smack talk and salty feuds, we've never really seen a rivalry like the one between Nicolas "BE|Kane Blueriver" Gonzalez and Ryan "PG|Filipino Champ" Ramirez.

Gonzalez's bask in the light of victory from his EVO 2015 Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom win was quickly darkened by Ramirez's shadow as the fellow EVO champion almost instantly started making claims against Gonzalez's legitimacy as a player.

The mild-mannered Kane Blueriver (KBR) responded to Filipino Champ's (FChamp) hot-headed accusations with simple nods of agreement, acknowledging FChamp's record and status as more impressive than his own.

Unwilling to let the reigning champ off that easy, FChamp continued to prod and poke, demanding an exhibition match and mocking KBR's repeated refusals to grant one. It wouldn't be until seven months after EVO that the two would finally lock horns in UMvC3.

The Exhibition

Kane's non confrontational responses and reserved personality, at first, didn't seem to provide fitting soil for the roots of a heated rivalry to take hold. FChamp's trademark villainous persona tested the community's limits in a way it never had before, as he tread dangerously close to becoming too much of a bully picking a fight with an undeserving victim.

Still, FChamp somehow managed to continue pursuing this new rivalry with just the right combination of sugar and spice to keep things tasteful in at least a portion of the community's eyes.

Winter Brawl 2016 was an event filled with excitement. Along with being America's first major to feature Street Fighter 5, it also featured a collection of hype exhibitions. The most anticipated of these exhibition matches was surely KBR vs. FChamp in a first to 15 in UMvC3.

Things went bad for KBR from the start. Ramirez began with the insults as he won the first game, yelling things like "you are free!" and "this is my game" at his opponent.

Click images for animated versions

After just a few matches, it was clear that KBR was no match for his loud-mouthed, hot-headed opponent. After winning three quick games in a row, FChamp graduated his taunting scheme from mere trash talk to purposefully dropping combos, and then to actually pausing the game to give his opponent free wins.

FChamp would go on to grant three free games in total, and despite multiple team and strategy swaps KBR would lose the exhibition 15-10.

Through the onslaught of insults and mocking gameplay, not once did KBR deviate from his stoic demeanor. It's very likely that he was focused on the coming fruit of his labor: the reward of finally having the feud laid to rest.

Despite enduring 25 painful matches, Gonzalez would not be done with Ramirez for the weekend, as the two would meet again in the Grand Finals of the UMvC3 tournament the following day.
The Last Laugh

Sunday would see top eight play out in the UMvC3 tourney at Winter Brawl, and as fate would have it, KBR met FChamp in winners finals. Echoing the beating from the night prior, FChamp made quick work of KBR, sending him to the losers bracket.

Maintaining that stoic attitude, Kane would carry on with a never say die mantra, eliminating UA|Noel Brown 3-0. Now without the weight of any expectations from audiences, KBR would meet his rival one last time, in Grand Finals.

To everyone's surprise, especially Champ's, Kane reset the bracket with a 3-1 spread using his traditional team of Hulk, Sentinel and Haggar. Champ would turn up the heat a bit after his loss, but in a turn of events that can only be classified as justice incarnate, Kane Blueriver defeated Filipino Champ 3-2 to win the UMvC3 tournament at Winter Brawl 2016.

Taking the high road KBR followed his victory with a firm handshake and zero rebuttal in the way of gloating. Filipino Champ finally tipped his hat in Kane's direction, acknowledging him as a legitimate competitor on the main stage during the award ceremony. He even tweeted the following:

And so after seven months of bad blood Marvel's EVO champion feud can finally be retired with both players having made beautifully-articulated statements via gameplay.

Filipino Champ has given us yet another reminder of why we love to hate him so much, and Kane Blueriver can now continue his career in peace having earned the respect of his loudest critic.

It may not have been all that pretty going through it, but Marvel's latest drama surely was a poetic justice that we couldn't have written out any better if we tried.

You can see the full video of the UMvC3 Grand Finals bout below.

If you'd like to see the first to 15 exhibition you can do so on Spooky's Twitch channel.

Sources: Team Spooky, FChamp's Twitter.
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