If you’ve only ever seen one piece of footage of competitive video gaming, there’s a good chance it’s this one: the “Daigo Parry” or “Evo Moment #37,” taken from Daigo Umehara’s Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike semi-final match against Justin Wong at Evo 2004. A legitimate feat of manual dexterity and timing that makes Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice look like Spyro the Dragon, Daigo’s incredible fifteen-parry comeback with just a pixel of health left drove the crowd wild.
Now there’s a whole new way to watch it. Mark Julio, a notable figure in the fighting game community who works on the Evo tournaments among other things, dug up some new footage himself and posted it to YouTube. The audio is almost more interesting than the video, as you can hear people in the audience discussing the match as it progresses before freaking out at the magnitude of what eventually happens.
The world of e-sports has come a long way since, but even 15 years on it’s hard to beat the sheer rush of this moment.