The day Daigo became The Beast; Tom Cannon and others react to footage of the first times the US and Japan officially locked horns in Street Fighter

Fighting game community history 101

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • September 22, 2018 at 7:40 p.m. PDT

The year was 1998, the internet was almost a thing, Street Fighter Alpha 3 was the big fighting game, Dominique "FOX|SonicFox" McLean was only a few months old and CYG|Daigo Umehara didn't have a nickname.

Fighting game arcade culture was at an all time high point and the Japanese/United States rivalry only went as far as theory. That was all about to change as Japan would send out their top player, 17 year old Daigo, to face off against the United States' best.

A 28-player tournament was held in NorCal inside of an arcade about 50 miles south of San Francisco. The prize for winning this particular tournament would be a shot at the Japanese invader, and it would be none other than 20 year old LU|Alex Valle who would earn said prize.

Up until this point there were only rumors in America as to how strong the Japanese players truly were. No one really knew what to expect as Alex's reset and set up heavy style was pitted against Daigo's patiently calculated approach.

BornFree and UYU rummaged up the old footage of the historical first meeting of Valle and Daigo. Tasty Steve and Sajam both offer some new age commentary on the old footage while EVO co-founder Tom Cannon remembers being on site during the event.

Check out the footage as well as the reactions, stories and more with the videos below. Then let us know your reactions to it all in the comments after.

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