Evil Geniuses' Ricky Ortiz came out on top at North California Regionals this weekend. In his first match of the Super Street Fighter IV singles top 8 tournament he was playing against Borderland Gaming's Vance "Vangief" Wu. He lost the first game while playing his staple character, Rufus. In an effort to get a leg up over Vance, he counter-picked his secondary character, Chun-Li, to take the second game. Ultimately though; Ortiz lost out to Vance in the third game and was sent packing to the losers bracket.
Down in the losers bracket, Ortiz had a runback match from Evo 2010 against none other than Daigo "The Beast" Umehara himself. Ortiz lost to Umehara at Evo earlier this year, and he wasn't about to lose again at NCR. Umehara's staple character, Ryu, was no match for Ortiz and in round one of the second game, Daigo was getting desperate for a kill. He left himself open and vulnerable and Ortiz took advantage of the opportunity: in the intense game three in the final round, Ortiz got him in a corner and knocked him out of the tournament.
Then, in the losers finals it was two best friends duking it out. Borderland Gaming's Ryan "Filipino Champ" Ramirez, the winner of SoCal Regionals, took the first game. But in the second round of the second game, Ortiz almost had a perfect round against Ramirez' Dhalsim and ultimately took game two. It all would come down to round three of game three. And after two utterly epic games, the final round was somewhat anticlimactic as Ortiz once again got his opponent in a corner and was able to finish Ramirez off.
After heading to the losers bracket early on in the tournament after a tough loss from Wu, it was time for a rematch. How it works in a double elimination tournament like NCR is, if you climb your way back to the grand finals from the losers bracket, you have to win two best three out of five sets twice in order to win the tournament, while Wu only needed to win one best three out of five since he won the winners bracket.
In some of the fiercest matches of the night and maybe even of the whole tournament, using Chun-Li as he did in his earlier matches, Ortiz was able to narrowly pull off a 3-2 victory in the first set. He then went on to punishingly defeat Wu 3-0 in the next set, and was able to come out on top as the champion of the NorCal Regionals SSFIV singles tournament.
Ortiz not only won the singles tournament, but his team "Beauty and the Beasts", consisting of Ortiz, Umehara, and Ari "Floe" Weintraub, won the Super Street Fighter IV 3 on 3 tournament as well. For a more in-depth look at all the championship matches that happened at NorCal Regionals this weekend including more on the singles tournament, as well as the epic 3 on 3 tournament, the SoCal vs. NorCal tournament, and the Tekken 6 tournament, stay tuned.
Mike Ross Street Fighter Champion is featured in the documentary movie FOCUS, an original G4 Film. Please make sure to check it out.