Daigo Umehara is something of a legend. Known in Japan as "the god of 2D fighting games," Umehara is one of the most famous Street Fighter players in the world — and he just lost to a rapper.
Rapper Lupe Fiasco and the professional video gamer duked it out in a Street Fighter V exhibition contest on Monday night at The Foundry in San Francisco that was livestreamed via Twitch.
Umehara played as Ryu, while Fiasco played as Ken during the best three-of-five matches. The rapper, whose real name is Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, showed off his skills early only, winning the first match after three rounds. Even though Umehara's Ryu was knocked down early on, he got back to his feet to win the second and third match.
However, the champion player could not hold up against the rapper's nonstop attacks in the last two matches, making Lupe the overall winner with the final score of 3-2. Even he was shocked (check out his reaction in the video below).
Lupe Fiasco may be known as a hip-hop artist, but he also has a strong love for video games. So much so that he often makes video game references in his lyrics, such as in his track "Adoration of the Magi."
The rapper tweeted back in January that he would love to go head-to-head against the professional Street Fighter champ after the former community and sponsorship manager Mark "MarkMan" Julio of the arcade joypad makers MadCatz proposed the exhibition.
Seems like a dream come true from my view. Been playing SF since I was 5 years old. Chance to play the GOAT is https://t.co/0zMPg3acPz— Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) January 27, 2016
!!!! It would be an honor to lose to Daigo-San... https://t.co/GLrSl3wxcd— Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) January 27, 2016
However, many fans watching were left wondering if Lupe taking home the title was fixed. How could an amateur Street Fighter enthusiast defeat such an elite player?
According to Kotaku, MadCatz has denied that the end results of the matches were set up.
"No sir, it was not! Daigo would never allow such a thing," MadCatz's Alex Verrey told the site.
While some think that Umehara intentionally didn't block and drop combos, it's important to remember this was just an exhibition to generate buzz about the latest title from the Street Fighter franchise.
Even though it was all in good fun, Lupe did take the exhibition seriously, stating that he was practicing and planning his strategy.
Don't confuse my actual skill level with your personal opinion.— Lupe Fiasco (@LupeFiasco) November 21, 2015
Regardless of whether it was fixed or not, it's still entertaining to watch the professional recording artist take on the professional video gamer. Although the rapper announced that he will be releasing a new album "soon" via his Twitter, he could always change careers to become an elite gamer in the future.
Street Fighter V was released today, Feb. 16 for PS4 and PC. Watch Lupe Fiasco defeat Daigo Umehara in the video below.