Rapper and record producer Lupe Fiasco earned a narrow victory over global fighting game champion Daigo Umehara during a high-energy Street Fighter V exhibition event held on the eve of the game’s official release.
Street Fighter V‘s launch event drew a large crowd at California’s Folsom Street Foundry, and attendees witnessed a stunning upset in an exhibition that extended to the final round of the last possible match before a victor was crowned.
Playing as classic Street Fighter series rivals Ryu and Ken, Umehara and Fiasco battled for top honors in a first-to-three set over the course of multiple rounds. After losing the first round to Umehara’s Ryu, Fiasco’s Ken responded with overwhelming strength and expertise, earning him victory in the next two rounds and the first match point in the event.
Umehara went on to win two matches in a row, putting Fiasco on risky footing for the rounds that followed. Fiasco then recovered to win a second point, bringing the event to its final possible matchup of the evening.
The night’s final battle saw Fiasco losing the first round but claiming victory in the second, turning what was expected to be a surefire win for Umehara into a surprisingly high-stakes matchup. Fiasco’s final-round victory over Umehara was so unexpected that neither competitor knew how to react until moments later when the final results were announced.
The Fiasco vs. Umehara matchup saw its genesis on Twitter earlier this year, and controller manufacturer Mad Catz stepped in to make the exhibition a reality. Street Fighter V launched globally in the wake of the event, resulting in a near-instantaneous server outage as early adopters swarmed online lobbies in search of competitors.