Gamera wins first place in EVO 2022’s GBVS bracket!

The premier international fighting game event, EVO 2022, was held in Las Vegas from August 5th to 7th. Cygames’ own Granblue Fantasy: Versus (GBVS) was chosen as one of the main titles for the event, with over 525 athletes competing for first place—though the title was taken by Japan’s own Gamera (stylized as gamera). We spoke with the game’s project manager, who attended the event in person, to get his reactions and thoughts on the tournament.

“I felt an incredible vigor and energy from [the athletes overseas].”
“The kind [of passion] you can only get from offline events.”

What was it like to actually watch EVO live? How would you describe the atmosphere?

You could feel the audience’s frenetic energy as they spectated the matches. It was the same type of atmosphere as a sports event, like watching baseball or soccer live. For the previous two years, the competitions were held entirely online, so this year there was a real excitement in the air—the kind you can only get from offline events. It was overwhelming.

In addition to the main screen, the venue had multiple massive LCD monitors set up in various locations, where people were passionately battling it out on other titles. When you hear people making a ton of noise and cheering over by another screen, you think, “Wow, they’re super hyped up over there too,” and it makes you want to go see what’s up. In an offline event, you can actually do that—that’s part of the fun of it all, I feel.

Since the event was live streamed, I think even people watching from far away were able to get a glimpse of how incredibly passionate everyone was. Actually being there in person was incredible—there were times when all you could hear from one end of the venue to the other was ecstatic cheering.

A glimpse of the venue

Gamera ended up winning the GBVS bracket. Could you give us your overall thoughts on the tournament?

This time, 5 of the top 8 athletes were Japanese, but the other players from overseas were also on an extremely high level. I felt an incredible vigor and energy from them, despite the results. There were many heated matches, even in the early preliminary rounds.

*The player names for とろろ and 神木C can be transliterated as Tororo and Kamiki C respectively. However, in order to preserve their official player names, we have chosen to display them in the original Japanese.

An international event like this was a great opportunity to see the passion of athletes from all over the world firsthand. Were there any foreign athletes that particularly caught your attention?

ZomBmu, the Cagliostro player who ended up tying for 7th place, was particularly impressive to me. Cagliostro is a character with a tricky playstyle that prefers to lay down traps and use projectiles rather than relying on hand-to-hand combat alone. This means she requires very precise movements, which is why you don’t see many people win using her at the Cygames Cup held in Japan.

ZomBmu managed to play to Cagliostro’s strengths, expertly calculating the distance between him and his opponent when laying traps and deciding when to engage. His strategic play really proved how deeply he understands the character. He showed us some incredible, high-level battles during the event.

ZomBmu facing off against Kamiki C

Two new game mechanics were added recently, Tactical Moves and Overdrive. Did any athletes manage to make full use of them?

Yes, many players managed to do so. Tororo, the Percival player who took 2nd place, made good use of his character’s long range and spent a lot of his SBA gauge on the two new mechanics we introduced.

I think battles have gotten more intense, and the strategy required even deeper. I heard people shouting in joy whenever the new abilities were used, so I have to say I’m very glad we implemented them prior to EVO.

Gamera crowned champion!
Strategy and good reaction time shine!

Could you explain the exact format of the GBVS tournament for us?

It was a 1-on-1 double-elimination format. That means that, unlike single-elimination, you aren’t removed from the contest when you lose one match. As the name implies, you have to lose twice to be eliminated.

Players who win their first match move on to the Winners Bracket, while those that lose head to the Losers Bracket. The tournament continues until the winners of both brackets finally meet in the championship match. Since players require two losses to be eliminated, if the player from the Losers Bracket wins the championship match, another set will be played to decide the winner.

For a list of the top 8 players in the GBVS bracket, click here.

Gamera, the winner of this tournament, is an experienced athlete who has been playing the game since release and managed to get 2nd place in the RAGE GBVS Summer 2020 tournament. What do you think is his main strength?

Gamera is the type of player who is quite adept at reading his opponent’s movements and finding perfect openings to fire off abilities.

I’d say his strength lies in how well he counters specific characters by responding strategically to his opponent’s playstyle and move combos. Even in Japan, there’s no doubt that he’s one of the most dedicated and top-class athletes currently playing GBVS.

Gamera usually strategically swaps between Vira and Djeeta, but he lost as Vira in his first match of the Top 8 round, so he opted to play Djeeta for the remainder of the tournament. Although Vira is the more powerful of the two, Gamera was more proficient on Djeeta, whom he had used consistently before. I think he chose to believe in himself and go with what he knew best instead.

The championship match between Gamera and Tororo.

After losing his first match in the round of 8, he climbed his way out of the Losers Bracket all the way to the championship. I’d like to congratulate him again for his incredible win. I’d also like to thank all of the players who came out and participated, as well as the audience members who spectated the event. Thank you all for an amazing, exciting tournament.

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