The incredible comeback of a former ‘Street Fighter’ world champion

To everyone’s surprise but his own, Daigo unleashed hell on Xian, shutting out the champ with a stunning 10-0 performance.

 

Patrick Howell O'Neill

Streaming

Published Aug 30, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 7:43 am CDT

Maybe Daigo Umehara just doesn’t age like the rest of us.

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Known as the Beast, the 32-year-old Japanese Street Fighter phenom has been around the top of the game for almost two decades now. But he hasn’t won a world championship since 2010, and the eSports world is unsure whether he still belongs in that very top tier.

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Last night, at an exhibition during PAX in Seattle, Umehara faced off in Street Fighter 4 against Xian, the reigning Evolution 2013 world champion. Before the match, bets overwhelmingly favored Xian.

Poll: Daigo or Xian? Who do you think will win the Mad Catz Unveiled SSF4 AE v2012 exhibition? http://t.co/atwspmNEoc

— Event Hubs (@eventhubscom) August 27, 2013

@ultradavid @eventhubscom Xian will BODY Daigo.

— ??????????????????? (@KingofSarus) August 27, 2013

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To everyone’s surprise but his own, Daigo unleashed hell on Xian, shutting out the champ with a stunning 10-0 performance. Fans went wild.

The matches start about about 2:30:

Daigo just BODIED the EVO Champion Xian 10-0. DESTROYED.

— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) August 30, 2013

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“God alert” ~ @Zhieeep @daigothebeast @XianMSG @MadCatz

— Ben Goldhaber (@FishStix) August 30, 2013

Watching that entire Daigo vs Xian set made me remember why I play fighting games.

— [FKD] Tenryo (@TenryoTheLight) August 30, 2013

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Epic fail (”’_T) gg to @daigothebeast

— DM MCZ Xian (@XianMSG) August 30, 2013

“He’s a very special player that defies time,” said commentator Zhi Liang Chew.

watched daigo v xian, daigo’s fb spacing & timing is ridic and his understanding of setups & set plays is perfect, yikes & wows & congrats

— David Philip Graham (@ultradavid) August 30, 2013

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As a post-script, Daigo played 15 more games versus fans from a rowdy Seattle crowd. The Beast didn’t drop a single round, racking up a 25-0 record on an instantly classic night.

The question is, can Daigo put on that kind of performance in a major tournament setting?

Daigo, Ultra Street Fighter IV EVO2k14 champ eh?

— ???????????????????? (@Lforminerva) August 30, 2013

Photo via Mad Catz

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*First Published: Aug 30, 2013, 4:12 pm CDT