It seems no hindrance is critical enough for Daigo "The Beast" Umehara, one of the oldest esports and fighting game legends in history. At 39, Daigo is not only formidable still, but he can still clutch wins even with a physical handicap.
This weekend, Daigo entered the Capcom Pro Tour Season Finals (CPT) with a broken finger, set to play against Kanamori "Gachikun" Tsunehiro in a Guile versus Rashid match-up. The stakes weren't as high as they'd be in a real Capcom Cup — the premier Street Fighter tournament, now on temporary hiatus due to the COVID pandemic — but it still lined up a series of great match-ups for fans to enjoy. Among them, what could be more exciting than a fight between a Capcom Cup champion (Gachikun in 2018) and the undisputedly most recognized and accomplished name in fighting games ever.
Even before its start, the match came with a twist that made it all the more exciting: Daigo not only was pushing 40, an age almost unheard-of in professional esports, but came in with a broken finger on his left hand.
"Yep, my finger is broken. My pinkie just went 'snap!'," Daigo said during a recent stream (translation courtesy of FGC Translated), saying it's no big deal but it hurts every time he puts in a forward jump.
One would think that feeling pain inputting such a critical command would hinder Daigo and give Gachikun a major advantage, but that wasn't the case. Daigo's Guile eviscerated Gachikun's Rashid 4-1 in an almost intimidating display of class and form.
So, what does Daigo do after this win? Rest?
No. Just ignoring the broken bone and streaming some more Street Fighter V.
Esports editor and journalist of 10+ years. Lives on black tea and corgi love.