Lupe Fiasco is a rapper who also happens to be a big fan of video games. Daigo Umehara is one of the world’s best Street Fighter champions, although his opinions on rap music are unknown. To celebrate this week’s launch of Street Fighter V, both men met up in front of a massive international Twitch audience and battled it out in a few rounds of the new game. Turns out Fiasco’s skills aren’t just on the mic!
If you’ve written this off thinking that it’s just a gimmick, check out the video of the officially sanctioned event. Once Fiasco recovers from a bout of fanboyish glee, matches go to the full three rounds, and both opponents are surprisingly well-matched, trading wins as well as blows. The best-of-five challenge came down to the final round, when Fiasco (as Ken) pulled out a shock upset, defeating the champ’s Ryu 3:2.
Remember, Daigo first catapulted his way into the headlines at Evo 2004, when he pulled off an impeccable 15-hit parry and combo to take out Justin Wong’s Chun-Li. The idea of the “2D fighting game god” losing to a musician is a bit of a stunner.
Mad Catz, who sponsored the event and provided the fight sticks, has gone on the record saying the event was not staged, but fans are yet to be convinced. Some have decided Daigo was taking it easy on the rapper, while others are happy that Fiasco just scored a lucky break.
Late last month, Fiasco posted that “it would be an honor” to lose to Daigo-San… so it’s no surprise that after his triumphant outing, the rapper is leaving on a high. “I’m retiring,” he says. “I’ll take the win and run, I know when to get out.”