Last night, an anonymous competitor came out of nowhere to win a popular Street Fighter V tournament. And then, just as suddenly as they arrived, they were gone, but not before asking organizers to donate their winnings to charity.
Wednesday Night Fights is a weekly, Southern California-based tournament series that, in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, has moved to online competition for the foreseeable future. Despite the game’s terrible online multiplayer, the competition still manages to regularly attract several strong Street Fighter V players. But no one at this week’s event stood a chance against a mysterious competitor known only as SFVRyuPlayerLol.
SFVRyuPlayerLol beat everyone that stood in their path, winning six straight matches en route to an impressive 3-0 sweep against their grand finals opponent. Placing first meant they were entitled to most of the pot, or just under $100. Not a fortune, of course, but nothing to sneeze at either. When it came time to collect, however, SFVRyuPlayerLol declined their rightful payout.
“Donate mine to the homeless,” the enigmatic player typed in Discord.
“Are you giving away your placing?” the tournament organizers asked.
“Yes, to the homeless or whoever needs it,” SFVRyuPlayerLol responded before leaving. “Goodnight.”
The other grand finals participant, Washington competitor Christopher “ChrisCCH” Hancock shared the exchange on Twitter afterwards, adding, “I’m pretty sure this dude is literally Ryu.”
Some speculated the player behind SFVRyuPlayerLol had to be Wednesday Night Fights organizer Alex Valle. The fighting game veteran is a legendary Ryu player in his own right, after all, and he’s known to pick the same Street Fighter V outfit SFVRyuPlayerLol used throughout the night.
When reached for comment, Valle poured cold water on that theory, telling Kotaku that he is still waiting for payouts to be finalized before deciding on a charity.
“A mysterious Ryu player signed up, kicked ass, and told me to donate the first-place prize,” Valle explained. “That is all I know.”
SFVRyuPlayerLol’s true identity remains shrouded in mystery. As far as I can tell, that handle hasn’t been used in any other tournaments, and the Capcom Fighters Network account associated with the name shows very little activity. Like Ryu himself, the player known as SFVRyuPlayerLol simply blew into town, handled their business, and moved on, content to let their strength and good deeds do the talking.