Rappers playing games is nothing new to the gaming world. Some have even gone as far as live streaming their gaming sessions, like rap legend Snoop Dogg. However, a rapper defeating a professional player is almost entirely unheard of, until Monday night when Twitter banter turned into an exhibition match between Lupe Fiasco and Street Fighter legend Umehara Daigo.
Street Fighter V released on Tuesday – but there was some hubbub around its release on Monday night. Our resident martial arts expert did a review on it as well, but more importantly an exhibition match happened an hour before the release of the new title, according to Polygon. Daigo is no small name when it comes to Street Fighter. At Capcom Cup 2015 he placed second, and he even had his own Manga made detailing his Street Fighter career which he offered to Lupe prior to the match. Lupe did return the favour by handing Daigo his Metal Gear Solid jacket. The event was to promote the release of Street Fighter V in San Francisco and, needless to say, it was all fun and games for the two promoters.
The First Punch
It all began on Twitter when Lupe tweeted about Street Fighter, and just how good he is. Naturally this did not sit well with the Fighting community in North America. A rapper? Claiming to be that good? The banter eventually reached Mark “Markman” Julio, former MadCatz’ brand ambassador, and offered him the chance to face off against Daigo, who’s sponsored by MadCatz, and Lupe eagerly agreed to the showdown.
The stage was set for the launch party where the two players would feature as part of an exhibition series alongside other professional players. Little did he know he would be facing a two time Evo champion, which is the largest Fighting Games tournament in the world.
Fiasco raps it up
This may seem a bit like a marketing pitch, pitting a rapper against a professional, but whether or not it was, it seemed rather legitimate. Fiasco took the series 3-2 against his professional opponent offering a unique playstyle which was not as obvious as Daigo had hoped. He used unorthodox combinations and landed a few major damage blows which inevitably threw his opponent off his mark. Daigo had admitted to not playing any Street Fighter V prior to the tournament, which became evident as the series went on. In the end Fiasco’s unreadable moves played a major hand in his victory, and jokingly retired from competitive Street Fighter whilst on top. Geoff, however, is convinced it was all for show, with Daigo sandbagging the match.
The two seemed to enjoy the exhibition match, laughing and chatting whilst it unfolded. After the event they headed to the nearest Game Stop to hand out copies to those who had pre-ordered the game. History was made, and fun was had. Fiasco will always be remembered as the rapper who put his money where his mouth is… your move Kanye.
Last Updated: February 17, 2016