“If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you,” wrote Friedrich Nietzsche. I think this guy who screamed “Hadoken” over and over again at the Street Fighter V French Cup crowd might have some idea what that feels like.
Apparently, a musical group called Neko Light Orchestra was asked to play a Street Fighter V tournament that pits players representing cities from across France against each other to determine the country’s reigning champion. Despite lacking the game’s top-tier talent, many of whom are competing this weekend in Atlanta, Georgia for the Final Round 20 fighting game event, the French Cup made up for with and over-the-top production that at first glance, appeared more sophisticated and desperate than your average competitive gaming event.
Nothing echoed that better, or more literally, than Neko Light Orchestra’s guitarist trying to get a call and response going with the audience by shouting the same thing Street Fighter’s Ryu does when he unleashes his iconic blue energy attack during the game. “Atención, atención,” the singer says before revving up to unleash the most nihilistic “Hadoken” anyone has ever heard. And not just once, but three times. Each greeted by a deafening silence from the crowd.
The empty chairs no doubt didn’t help, and props to the guy from Neko for carrying through with his original endeavor, no matter how destined to be thwarted he must have instantly realized it to be. Perhaps he thought he could will a real Hadoken into existence through sheer will alone, or at least will the people sitting across from him to give him something, anything in return.
You can watch the entire tournament here.