|Date of birth||May 19, 1981|
|Games||Super Street Fighter II Turbo
Street Fighter III 3rd Strike
Ultra Street Fighter IV
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Capcom vs. SNK 2
Capcom Fighting Evolution
Daigo Umehara (Japanese: 梅原 大吾 Hepburn: Umehara Daigo?, born May 19, 1981) is a Japanese arcade fighting video game player. He specializes in 2D arcade fighting games, mainly those released by Capcom. Known as "Daigo" or "The Beast" in the West and "Umehara" or "Ume" in Japan, Umehara is one of the world's most famous Street Fighter players and is often considered its greatest, as well. He currently holds a world record of "the most successful player in major tournaments of Street Fighter" in Guinness World Records.
Before properly being called a pro gamer from signing a sponsorship deal with Mad Catz, Japanese media usually referred to Umehara as "God of 2D fighting games" (2D格闘ゲームの神 "2D Kakutou Gemu no Kami").
Umehara began going to an arcade game center and playing fighting games at around 10 years of age when he was an elementary school student, the same time when Street Fighter II and Fatal Fury: King of Fighters hit the game center. Because the SF2 cabinet had a very long line and also had older kids playing, his first fighting game is actually Garou Densetsu. Because there was usually a long line in his free time and he could not stay too late, Umehara first started challenging other players in Street Fighter II Dash (Champion Edition) even though he felt shy and had to ask for permission to challenge first, but that was also when he started to like playing with other players.
Around the time when he was a 13-year-old middle school student, Umehara shifted his main game to Vampire Hunter because he thought he did better than SF2 and first developed some reputation by setting a 286-win streak record before he was forced to leave due to closing time at Akihabara Sega (now Club Sega) game center. He first joined a tournament when he entered GAMEST Cup's national Vampire Hunter tournament in 1995, though he lost in the block's finals. His second tournament and also his first tournament winning is GAMEST Cup's national Vampire Savior tournament in 1997 where he defeated Ōnuki (now Nuki) in the finals.
In 1998, 18 year old Umehara participated in Capcom's official Street Fighter Zero 3 national tournament and advanced to the finals which took place on a stage in Tokyo Game Show 1998: Autumn on October 11. After winning the tournament by defeating Ōnuki 3-1, as the champion, Umehara went on to face Alex Valle, who was the winner of the U.S. national Street Fighter Alpha 3 tournament. The international "Grand Championship" was held in San Francisco, California on November 8. This was Umehara's first trip to U.S. and the first overseas tournament he participated in. The match was played as best out of three games, with each game as best out of five rounds. Umehara came from behind to win 2-1; These two events received a 50-minute TV coverage in Japan.
In September 2001, Umehara gained enough fans to have a book about him published. The title is VERSUS, also known as "Umehon" (ウメ本) or "Ume Book." It contains both his background and stories behind his competitions and opponents.
In 2002, Umehara appeared in U.S. versus Japan theme exhibition matches in Japan. American players competed in four games (Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike and Marvel vs. Capcom 2) for the right to battle Japan's best players in those respective games. Umehara only entered the 3rd Strike exhibition, but defeated all of his opponents, ending each round with Ken's fierce Shoryuken. These events were filmed for the documentary Bang the Machine.
In 2003, Umehara won the Super Street Fighter II Turbo tournament in the first Super Battle Opera (Tougeki) and won the same game in Evolution Championship Series when he joined the event for the first time in the same year, making him the first player to win both SBO and Evolution in same year on the same game. Umehara also went to Evolution 2004 and Absolution 2004 on April 18 in England and won SSF2 Turbo there.
Umehara started becoming famous internationally from the YouTube video clips of his match in the Losers bracket final in Evolution Championship Series 2004's Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike competition where he made a dramatic comeback against Justin Wong's Chun-Li. In the final round of match 1, Umehara's Ken was down to his last pixel of vitality. At this point, any special attack would knock Umehara's character out if connected, since special attacks deal chip damage even when blocked. In an attempt to win the round, Wong attempted to hit Umehara's Ken with Chun-Li's multihit Super Art move Houyoku-sen (鳳翼扇, "phoenix-wing fan"). However, instead of avoiding it, Umehara chose to "Parry," a technique whereby an incoming attack is blocked without the player losing any health, but by doing so requires moving toward opponent's direction in the same time a hit lands, within four of thirty frames of the impact animation. After the move was launched, not only were all 15 hits parried, but Umehara also managed to get into a good position to make a powerful attacking combo that knocked Chun-Li out instead. This moment, and the ecstatic cheering of the spectators that followed, was recorded and later spread on the Internet, gaining immense popularity. In 2011, Kotaku ranked it first place in its list of "The 10 Best Moments in Pro-Gaming History".
NHK's TV program, MAG-NET, has called this moment "Kiseki no Gyakuten Geki" (奇跡の逆転劇) or "The miraculous reversal play". Within the English speaking fighting game online community, it is referred to as "Evo Moment #37: The Beast is Unleashed", and the offensive combo used would later appear in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition as Advanced Parry Training #5. This trial mode challenge specifically refers to Daigo's use of the combo, as the challenge description is "Evo Moment #37." (Most Trial Mode challenges within the game have a description of the combo in the challenge.)
Street Fighter IV era
In July 2008, Umehara came out of retirement and became competitive once again. This time, his focus was on the newly released Street Fighter IV. Because of this, Japanese arcade gaming magazine Arcadia has included a DVD featuring "Umehara Concept Matches" in its January 2009 issue (released on November 29, 2008) and "The God has returned" was stated in Umehara's player introduction part. The DVD contains exhibition matches between him and Japan's 6 top players such as Inoue, Itabashi Zangief, Fuudo, Nemo, and Mago.
On March 5, Umehara made an appearance as the "God of fighting games world" in a TV show "Gamer's Koshien". He and the fellow Japan's 4 top players (Soushihan KSK, Itabashi Zangief, Mago, and Tokido) had to compete with each other and with celebrities in a Street Fighter IV round-robin tournament where the top players had to beat the amateurs overwhelmingly in order to get a good point as a handicap.
On April 18, at GameStop's Street Fighter IV National Tournament 2009,San Francisco, California, there were exhibition matches between 4 players from 3 countries after the actual competition ended. It featured Iyo who had recently won the Japanese National SF4 tournament, Poongko who won the Korean SF4 National Tournament, Justin Wong who won the American National SF4 tournament, and Daigo Umehara who came by Capcom's invitation. Umehara defeated Iyo, Poongko and Justin Wong to win the tournament. He was awarded a free trip to Evolution 2009 in Las Vegas.
Umehara began writing a column in Arcadia starting from the August issue, called Umehara Column: Michi. ("Umehara Column: Street")
For his win at the GameStop tournament, Umehara started his Street Fighter IV competition as a seeded player in the semi-finals on July 18, which is the second day of Evolution 2009. In the third and the last day, Umehara defeated Justin Wong and put him into the Losers Bracket, then advanced to the grand finals just to meet Wong again. The two fought until the last game possible, but Umehara won the competition.
The September issue of Arcadia magazine included a DVD featuring the second of "Umehara's Concept Matches" which is the sequel to the DVD from late 2008. This time Umehara had to fight Japan's 5 top players: Mago, Iyo, Nuki, Nemo, and Shirou.
Umehara went to America again to join a tournament called Season's Beatings on October 16–18 in Columbus, Ohio. He won Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix and Street Fighter IV Singles competition.
On November 26, Umehara and 5 other top Japanese Street Fighter IV players joined a Nico Nico internet live show to talk about the second GODSGARDEN tournament. The show also held an exhibition match between himself and Mago.
Instead of participating GODSGARDEN #2 (March 6), Umehara flew to France to enter Street Fighter IV tournaments in World Game Cup gaming event that took place between March 3–7. He finished the second place in singles and first in 2 on 2.
Umehara and two teammates participated official Street Fighter IV National Tournament and qualified to the top 14 on April 4. His team was eliminated in the quarter finals. The competition was broadcast live on Nico Nico.
Umehara went to the United States to join Capcom's Super Street Fighter IV "Fight Club" launch party in Los Angeles on April 23. The party held exhibition matches in which he played various characters including Hakan, Guy and Dee Jay against a dozen of challengers. The event ended with a 3-out-of-5 match, between him and Justin Wong. Their draw result from double K.O. at the end left Umehara undefeated in that night.
The limited edition of Super Street Fighter IV game from e-CAPCOM store comes with a special DVD featuring two tournaments between Japan's 8 top players: Umehara, Tokido, Iyo, Shirou, Kin Devu, Momochi, Tokidoki Nukings, and Itabashi Zangief. The first one is a "new character only" tournament where Umehara played as Adon. The second one is for old characters. The Super Street Fighter IV Technical Guide published by Enterbrain which was released on April 28 includes a DVD featuring exhibition matches of the new characters played by Japan's 7 top players: Umehara, Tokido, Kin Devu, Iyo, Momochi, Itabashi Zangief, and Shirou.
On May 9, Umehara made his appearance as the "Super Player" on an NHK's Sunday night program "MAG-NET" which had a scoop on Street Fighter. The show told the story about his fame (including his 2004 dramatic comeback), his life, his competitions and his opponents. There was also Umehara's tutorial session where he demonstrated his arcade stick gripping method called "Umehara Mochi" (ウメハラ持ち) or "Umehara Grip" and his signature Ryu's combo technique—Shouryuken > Focus Attack Dash Cancel > Metsu Hadouken.
On May 15, Nico Nico Live held a Super Street Fighter IV online competition where participating online players on Xbox Live got a chance to fight Japan's 3 top players: Umehara, Mago, and Tokido. They also have offline matches and a short talk corner.
Umehara went to Australia for the first time when he participated Evolution Asia Pacific's Super Street Fighter IV tournament in Sydney on May 29–30. He won the tournament losing just one game and, as the grand prize, earned a paid flight to Evolution 2010 in Las Vegas where he will start off as a seeded player.
On June 4, Umehara joined the 106th Xbox Live Park online event held by Microsoft Japan with Famitsu's editorial department. Participating Xbox Live Gold members got a chance to have a Super Street Fighter IV online match and chat with Umehara in the 2-hour period.
After the invitation to play in Electronic Sports World Cup (July 3–4) was cancelled and after getting the 2nd place in Nagoya Street Battle 15 (July 4), Umehara joined Evolution 2010 between July 9–11 and faced a tougher challenge than before with over 1,700 players from around the world participating in the Super Street Fighter IV tournament. However, without going down to Losers bracket, Umehara won the tournament in front of ten thousands of audiences both in the hall and in front of computer screens. The live stream of the event set a new record with approximate 48,000 viewers at peak 2 channels combined (Stickam 18,000 and Ustream 30,000) during the SSF4 grand finals before it went down due to technical problems. Umehara also received Evo exclusive golden arcade stick with serial number 1 as a prize.
After winning the qualifier on May 22, Umehara's team participated in the Super Battle Opera 2010's Street Fighter IV finals on September 19 and won the second place. The event took place as a part of Tokyo Game Show 2010 at Makuhari Messe International Convention Complex. A pay-per-view live stream was distributed by Nico Nico.
Umehara participated in Season's Beatings tournament in Ohio for the second time between October 15–17, Southern California Regionals tournament in Los Angeles between November 6–7, Canada Cup in Canada between November 13–14, and Northern California Regionals tournament between November 20–21. He then went to Kuwait for an exhibition event on November 26.
Umehara published his first book The Willpower to Keep Winning (勝ち続ける意志力 Kachitsuzukeru ishiryoku?) on April 2, 2012.
|2014||Evolution 2014||Ultra Street Fighter IV||48th||Evil Ryu|||
|2014||Topanga Charity Cup 4||Ultra Street Fighter IV||lost in the 3rd round||Evil Ryu||Teammate: Mago, Nyanshi, Nemo, Misse|
|2014||Topanga World league 2014||Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition||1st||Ryu|
|2013||DreamHack Winter 2013||Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition||1st||Ryu|
|2013||Evolution 2013||Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition||7th||Ryu|
|2012||Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Tournament||Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition||2nd||Ryu|
|2012||Evolution 2012||Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition||5th||Ryu|
|2012||Community Effort Orlando 2012||Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition||7th||Ryu|
|2012||South East Asia Majors||Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition||2nd||Ryu|
|2012||LG Cup||Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition||2nd|
|2011||Nagoya Street Battle X MadCatz||Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (3-on-3)||1st||Teammate: Tokido, Mago|
|2011||Nagoya Street Battle 30||Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (3-on-3)||1st||Teammate: Tokido, Mago|
|2011||Super Battle Opera 2011||Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (2-on-2)||3rd||Teammate: Iyo|
|2011||Evolution 2011||Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition||4th||Yun|
|2011||NorCal Regionals 9||Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition||1st||Yun|
|2011||ReveLAtions||Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition||1st|
|2010||NorCal Regionals 8||Super Street Fighter IV||4th|
|2010||NorCal Regionals 8||Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix||1st|
|2010||Canada Cup||Super Street Fighter IV||1st|
|2010||SoCal Regionals 2010||Super Street Fighter IV||2nd|
|2010||SoCal Regionals 2010||Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix||1st|
|2010||Season's Beatings V||Super Street Fighter II Turbo||1st|
|2010||Nagoya Street Battle 17||Super Street Fighter IV (3-on-3)||1st||Teammate: MACHI, Momochi|
|2010||Super Battle Opera 2010||Street Fighter IV (3-on-3)||2nd||Teammates: TKD, Bon-chan|
|2010||Super VS Battle 20-X||Super Street Fighter IV||3rd|
|2010||Evolution 2010||Super Street Fighter IV||1st||Ryu|
|2010||Nagoya Street Battle 15||Super Street Fighter IV (3 on 3)||2nd||Teammate: Mago, Tokido|
|2010||Evolution Asia-Pacific||Super Street Fighter IV||1st|
|2010||World Game Cup 2010||Street Fighter IV||2nd||Ryu|
|2009||Seasons Beatings IV||Street Fighter IV||1st||Ryu|
|2009||Seasons Beatings IV||Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix||1st||Ryu|
|2009||GODSGARDEN #1||Street Fighter IV||3rd||Ryu|
|2009||Evolution 2009||Street Fighter IV||1st||Ryu|
|2007||2nd Darkstalker Combination Cup||Vampire Hunter||1st|
|2007||X-Mania 7||Super Street Fighter II Turbo (3-on-3)||2nd||Ryu||Teammates: Yaya, Aniken|
|2006||Evolution 2006||Guilty Gear XX Slash||2nd|
|2005||Super Battle Opera 2005||Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike (2-on-2)||1st||Ken||Teammate: Nuki|
|2005||Super Battle Opera 2005||Capcom Fighting Jam (2-on-2)||2nd||Urien/Guile|
|2004||4th Cooperation Cup||Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike||1st||Ken|
|2004||Absolution 2004||Super Street Fighter II Turbo||1st||Ryu, Balrog, O.Sagat, Zangief|
|2004||Absolution 2004||Guilty Gear XX #Reload||1st|
|2004||Absolution 2004||Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike||1st||Ken|
|2004||Absolution 2004||Street Fighter Alpha 3||3rd||X/A/V-Ryu|
|2004||Evolution 2004||Super Street Fighter II Turbo||1st||O. Sagat, Ryu, Balrog|
|2004||Evolution 2004||Guilty Gear XX||1st||Sol|
|2004||Evolution 2004||Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike||2nd||Ken|
|2004||Kakutou Ishin||Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike||2nd|
|2004||Kakutou Ishin||Street Fighter Alpha 3||2nd|
|2003||Evolution 2003||Super Street Fighter II Turbo||1st||Ryu|
|2003||Evolution 2003||Guilty Gear XX||1st||Sol Badguy|
|2003||Evolution 2003||Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike||2nd||Ken|
|2003||Evolution 2003||Capcom vs. SNK 2||2nd||C-Guile/Cammy/Sagat|
|2003||Super Battle Opera (#1)||Super Street Fighter II Turbo (3-on-3)||1st||Chun-Li||Teammates: Kurahashi, Otochun|
|2003||Super Battle Opera (#1)||Capcom vs. SNK 2||2nd||C-Guile/Chun-Li/Sagat|
|2000||Official National Tournament||Capcom vs. SNK||1st|
|2000||3rd Official National Tournament||Street Fighter Alpha 3||1st|
|2000||X-Mania 2000||Super Street Fighter II Turbo (3-on-3)||3rd||Teammates: Kurahashi, Tamashima|
|1998||Official National Tournament||Street Fighter Alpha 3||1st||V-Akuma||International Champion|
|1997||GAMEST Cup||Vampire Savior||1st||Bishamon|
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- consists of 4 moves ending with shippuu jinrai kyaku 疾風迅雷脚, lit. "lightning-fast hurricane kicks" or "hurricane thunderclap leg", Ken's super art #3 in Street Fighter III, which is a series of kicks that lifts and then pushes the opponent away
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- Daigo's Official Mad Catz Profile page (English)
- Daigo Umehara's Japanese fan site (Japanese)
- Daigo Umehara related articles on Japanese gaming magazines (Japanese)