A mind-blowing parry that changed the FGC forever.

Fighting games esports is filled with iconic moments, but one of them certainly stands out of the crowd — Evo Moment 37 or the Daigo Parry. Not only is it mind-blowing on its own, but also that one parry has inspired countless fighting games players to strive for perfection.

Let’s figure out what Evo Moment 37 is and why it is so important.

What is Evo Moment 37?

Evo Moment 37 happened during the first Evolution Championship Series (Evo 2004) event. Two players reached the loser's final of the Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike tournament: Daigo Umehara from Japan and Justin Wong from the U.S. They were in the final round of Game 1.

Justin Wong had a substantial health advantage. His options in that round also included playing defensively and waiting for time out. But Justin chose offense with his character Chun-Li. Any of her Special Moves would seal the deal. Justin decided to use Chun-Li’s Super Art II, the Houyoku-sen.

Daigo played Ken, and some analysts say he was unusually aggressive in that match. This style played against Daigo since Justin Wong knew well how to deal with it and deal good damage. The way Daigo reacted to the Super Art II was totally out of this world.

Daigo decided to parry the attack. It means he needed to perform a series of perfect moves to parry all 15 hits of the Super Art II while moving toward the opponent with each of them. The time span for every parry was ridiculous: ten frames, a sixth of a second. The final jumping parry was even tighter at just 7 frames. Moreover, Daigo had to predict what Justin was going to do and start his first parry even before the Houyoku-sen became obvious.

This choice was immensely risky and required flawless precision. Daigo succeeded and was highly rewarded. He lost no health and then landed his combo in return to KO Justin Wong’s Chun-Li and to win that game and, subsequently, the match.

Later, this was named Evo Moment 37 or the Daigo Parry.

Evo Moment 37 video

Why is Evo Moment 37 so important?

Just look at the crowd’s reaction on the video. Even if you are not really into fighting games, you can clearly feel the importance of the Daigo parry.

It’s when something almost impossible becomes real and you can’t believe your own eyes.

It’s when your hard work gets paid off and you take the path of glory.

Evo Moment 37 is absolutely inspirational. It shows that you can achieve unbelievable heights. It shows that you can win even in desperate situations. 

Well, Daigo did not win that tournament. But it was not fully about Daigo. People in the fighting games community (FGC) took the parry kind of personally. Some went to practice this exact thing in Street Fighter III. Some took this inspiration to their own games.

And the sparkle ignites the fire in the hearts of fighting games players even after many years. It’s an epic example of what you can achieve. The FGC treasures it. Evo Moment 37 helps the FGC go further and get better.

Another layer of the Daigo Parry is how exciting the competition within the community can be. Look at the people’s reaction again. It’s the energy of many fighting esports events. On an emotional level, we live through many such moments at various tournaments, but Evo Moment 37 is like a source of that power. It’s even said that the parry saved the competitive fighting scene, attracting many new players,

There were deep analyses of the Daigo Parry in the coming years. But who can do it better than Justin Wong himself? Let’s take a look at his special review of Evo Moment 37 and that whole match against Daigo.

Participants of Evo Moment 37

Both Justin Wong and Daigo Umehara continued their careers in esports. Naturally, both are legendary figures.

Before Evo 2004, Daigo wasn’t especially known in the West. Now, he is simply a celebrity. Daigo focuses on Street Fighter. If you are interested in this title or literally in any fighting game, head to Daigo’s Twitch or YouTube and watch his regular streams. They give a unique example of dedicated training even if you don’t understand Japanese.

Justin Wong is a prominent competitor and content creator. He got lots of top placements within various titles, including different installments of Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, The King of Fighters, Guilty Gear, and Mortal Kombat.

Daigo Umehara and Justin Wong keep inspiring the fighting games community years after their Evo Moment 37.

Occasionally, Justin has to live through a similar experience again. People train hard to recreate the Daigo Parry in their matches against him.

An opinion exists that Justin could approach activating Super Art II differently, for example, cancel a Special Move into it. That would lead to Daigo losing the match as the air parry window would be smaller than the grounded one. Considering the consistency of Evo Moment 37 recreations, it doesn’t feel possible to use this logical analysis at such flashy fighting moments.

Justin Wong and Daigo got their second Evo Moment 37 10 years after the original one occurred. Daigo parried Chun-Li’s Super Attack II again, but this time Justin had more health on his character to survive the consequences and win the round.

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